Enjoy the Louisville Jane Austen Festival vicariously


Bonny Wise, who has organized the four Jane Austen Festivals in Louisville, sent us a video put together by one of their members with some images from the 2011 Festival.

(Here’s a link to the video page, which has some more information about the video.)

We have attended two Festivals, and got a little nostalgic watching this. It really does a great job showing the beautiful grounds of Locust Grove, where the festival is held, and the fun that is to be had there. It also looked like an especially good ball (and was at a new venue).

Darcy brings all the ladies to the yard


Or to Louisville for the Jane Austen Festival on July 9-10! Check out this year’s advertisement:

We are very sad that we are not going this year–we had a ball at the last two festivals. Check it out if you’re in the area, or even if you’re not in the area, think about making the trip!

Jane Austen Festival News from Louisville and Pittsburgh


Maeder Turban from Dolley MadisonWe have some exciting news about two upcoming Jane Austen Festivals held by JASNA regions in Louisville (just next month) and Pittsburgh (next year).

First, the 2010 Louisville Jane Austen Festival will include a presentation from Edward Maeder, who created the bonnets & turbans for the PBS documentary on Dolley Madison. Mr. Maeder will have ten of his creations from the documentary on hand. Check out the confection to the left…stunning! Other presentations for the Festival include keynote speaker Kim Wilson, author of In the Garden with Jane Austen and Tea with Jane Austen, workshops, four-course tea, and a ball on Saturday evening. The Editrix had such a good time last year, she is road-tripping out with three friends for this year’s event–say hi to us if you see us there! Registration and other information is available at the Louisville region website.

Also, JASNA’s Pittsburgh Region will hold a Jane Austen Festival on March 12, 2011. There will be speakers, including Joan Klingel Ray, novelist Gaelen Foley, and Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield, Professors of English and editors of Jane Austen in Hollywood. There will be other speakers, a fashion show, and a Saturday night ball! The lovely and talented Allison Thompson, dance historian and AustenBlog book reviewer extraordinaire, will be speaking as well. They have some other plans in development that sound like a lot of fun. Our calendar is marked; we are thrilled to be only a (longish) train ride away from so much fun!

Getting Local With Jane: Summer Festivities Edition


Welcome to Getting Local With Jane, where we post about upcoming local events of interest to Jane Austen fans. Remember, this is now an AustenBlog DIY service, so please add your links, or links that you know about, in comments.

We would like to point out that online registration is now open for the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville on July 10-11! The tea seatings and ball and workshops require advance registration and payment, and fill up quickly, so make haste if you want to go. We are all registered and will be there, so we would love to meet some more readers there!

Go ahead and add links in the comments (and just a warning: we will delete links we determine to be non-Jane Austen-related).

A delightful time in Louisville


I had a great time in Louisville two weekends ago at the second annual Jane Austen Festival at historic Locust Grove. The lovely Janeites of JASNA’s Louisville Region made me feel so welcome and overwhelmed me with their hospitality!

Historic Locust Grove, Louisville, Kentucky
Historic Locust Grove – click for larger version

The event took place over two days, though the schedule was the same for both days so you could attend one day and see and do just about everything (though it would be a very jam-packed day and require very strict and lucky scheduling). I spoke about manners and society in the world of Jane Austen’s novels. There also was a fashion show with some incredible period costumes that looked like something out of a museum (in fact, many were copied from museum pieces) and “Dressing Mr. Darcy,” concentrating on gentleman’s costume.

A delicious tea was served by polite and attentive period-costumed young ladies; not only hot tea, of course, but sandwiches and scones and yummy desserts. I was introduced to the delights of Benedictine, a cream cheese concoction, invented in Louisville, that made delicious tea sandwiches.

There was a Regency Emporium with everything from books to bonnets, at which we did a little (cough) shopping; one of the vendors had some great period reproduction fabrics. It really was a joy for the costume geek; some attendees wore their period costumes all weekend, and others got tips for making new items. There were a lot of serious historical re-enactors and interpreters in the crowd, and the attention to detail in their costumes was magnificent.

On Saturday night, there was a ball, which was really fun. It was relaxed and friendly and welcoming to those of all skill levels, and made us think we really need to get involved in English country dancing on a local level.

I met so many great Janeites and they were just having so much darned fun. Just being there, communing with their fellow Janeites, talking about Jane, learning about life in her time, making jokes that only fellow Janeites would understand, dancing, shopping, and having fun; always with the having fun. “Are you having fun?” I would ask them, and their eyes would light up and they would smile and say, “Oh, yes, it’s wonderful!” And it was.

Locust Grove is a great old place, and the docents and caretakers and researchers and historical interpreters who look after her are dedicated to not only preserving the house and grounds but to teaching others about it.

And until now, the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness has been metaphorical. Until now.
The Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness The Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness The Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness
(click on each photo for a larger version)

The Editrix is armed. Be very afraid, O Philistines.

Many thanks to the indefatigable Bonny Wise, Regional Coordinator and event planner extraordinaire, and to all the JASNA-Louisville members who worked so hard on this event and made me feel so welcome (and GAVE ME THE CLUEBAT!!!)! Particular thanks to Deb Sexton, who tirelessly drove us around (and put up with our squeeing in the Louisville Slugger Museum without complaint), and Cynthia Cooke, who hosted us at her beautiful home, Bashford Manor.*

The Louisville Courier-Journal had a report about the event, which has some great photos since we were too busy gawking at everything to take many, and the Editrix had a chat with the Louisville Eccentric Observer, or LEO. (We hasten to add that we were NOT the creator of the event…that was Bonny Wise.)

*For those following the Saga of the Mysterious Chest in our room at Bashford Manor…it actually had drawers that were turned against the wall. I peeked; they seemed to contain bedlinens. Naturally. 😉

Louisville Loves Jane


Not only are they looking forward to a stage production of P&P (see below), but we heard from JASNA Louisville Regional Coordinator Bonny Wise that their first Jane Austen Festival was a smashing success!

I have attached a couple pictures from our first festival held July 12 & 13 at Historic Locust Grove, a circa 1790 National Historic Landmark in Louisville, KY. 676 attended and 257 had afternoon tea. [Holy Cow! –Ed.] Joan Ray was well received and had a large crowd to hear her speak about JANE AUSTEN FOR SMARTIES. The Regency Emporium and Style Show were also very popular.

Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of the photos. Looks like a great time was had by all. Bonny also said that a Jane Austen Festival will be held at Locus Grove next year, possibly the third weekend in July 2009. Details to come as we receive them.