We are astonished to report that Miss Lerner waltzes


This is a great report from the BBC on the gathering at Chawton last week to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen coming to live at Chawton. The video includes an interview with Sandy Lerner, some glimpses of the ball, at which Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul (who played Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in the 1980ish BBC adaptation of P&P) are shown dancing. Also we are shocked and grieved to see that Miss Lerner waltzed with Mr. Darcy. We had not heard she was so fast. 😉

There’s also a funny tidbit from the academic conference JAS AGM at Chawton Cottage (scroll down past the royal gossip).

Members of the Jane Austen Society, who gathered at Chawton, Hampshire, at the weekend to mark the 200th anniversary of the author’s arrival in the village, didn’t quite know what to expect of the guest speaker, the mischievous columnist and broadcaster Matthew Parris.

But they needn’t have worried – he delivered a witty and illuminating talk on Austen.

And Parris, who is gay, got an extra laugh when outgoing chairman Patrick Stokes – dubbed ‘Admiral’ by the previous speaker because he is a descendant of one of Jane’s seamen brothers – offered him a glass of water.

‘Thank you,’ said Parris, adding in a waspish aside worthy of Austen: ‘Or maybe it should be: “Well hello, sailor.” ‘