December 14, 2019

Our Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea was held at the Royal Tea Room in South Tampa.

November 16, 2019 

At home with Alicia - AGM and England trip review.

October 12, 2019 Sunken Gardens Box Hill

September 7, 2019 Regency Dance Workshop

Recap by Vikki:
September 7, 2019 we held a Regency Dance workshop at the Feather Sound Clubhouse.  Dance instructor Gillian Carney came down from Tallahassee and we enjoyed learning a selection of dances from Jane Austen’s era.  We were joined by several guests, including two young gentlemen:  a son and a nephew of one of our members!  Attendees brought snacks to share and overall, it was an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
“Fine dancing, I believe, like virtue, must be its own reward.” 

   ~ Jane Austen

June 8, 2019

Recap for the June 8th meeting by Vikki:
Eleven of us met at the Victorian home of Vikki Silverman.  Alicia Lopez led an extremely informative discussion pertaining to British Law in the Regency Era - particularly in relation to relevancy in Jane’s books We are all extremely grateful to Alicia for all of her thorough research. 
We addressed the topics of inheritance laws with relation to primogeniture, entails, and titles. We compared the different inheritance schemes in the novels: Longbourn’s entail, the probability of Anne de Bourgh inheriting Rosings, and possibly why Lady Catherine was so determined to have Anne marry a cousin (Pride & Prejudice); the Norland Estate Property Will as well as the disinheritance of Edward (Sense and Sensibility); and Sir Walter’s incapability of bestowing Anne Elliot’s fortune upon her marriage (Persuasion).
We examined marriage in how it affected the laws of property ownership, including the necessity of Anne de Bourgh’s marring a cousin and the full danger if Wickham had succeeded in eloping with Georgiana. We discussed marriage licenses and the marriage reasons for travel to Scotland, as well as the issues of divorce and remarriage raised in Mansfield Park.
The second part of our gathering centered upon the discussion of forming a Jane Austen Fan Fiction Book Club.

April 27, 2019

Our scheduled Regency Dance Workshop was postponed, however, we had a regular meeting where we watched a talk by John Mullan and discussed afterwards. You can watch the video here:

Box Hill Outing to Bok Tower Gardens

On March 16, 2019, we visited Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, as our spring "Box Hill" outing. We toured the Pinewood Estate on the property, a 20-room Mediterranean mansion built in the early 1930s, we enjoyed the Carillon concert, toured the gardens, and visited together. 

Here is our photo: 

February 2, 2019

At Home with Alicia

Kathy M provided our recap: 

On Saturday, February 2nd we opened our new year of celebrating Jane Austen by gathering in the Tampa home of, Alicia Lopez, our Regional Coordinator. Alicia hosted us and guest speaker, Dr. Kathleen Anderson, of Palm Beach Atlantic University. Dr. Anderson helped us usher in the new year by gifting us Janeites with the very manna of our existence... 'new insights into old loves!'

Dr. Anderson began by telling us that after spending time academically toiling in the bruising worlds of the likes of Dickens, Bronte, Eliot and finally being pushed over an edge by Hardy's “Tess...,” she became convinced she needed to look for new journeys that uplifted her days and provided just and satisfying outcomes... and then there was “Jane!”

Dr. Anderson has so far published two books inspired by Austen and is working on a third. Please check out the two titles listed below and you will get a spark of an idea of the fuel that lit up our first, wonderful meeting of 2019!

Jane Austen Guide to Thrift An Independent Woman's Advice on Living Within Ones Means  Published by Berkley Books, 2013,  “A work of nonfiction that celebrates economical, ethical living and community values through the lens of Jane Austen's character and ideals” From

Jane Austen's Women: An Introduction  Suny Press December 2018,  “An original critical introduction to women characters in the novels of Jane Austen”  From

Unfortunately I can not give you a taste of the elegant, scrumptious tea snacks that overwhelmed Alicia's tea table at Saturday's meeting, (I wish I had taken a picture), but, I can leave you with a taste of the Austen *manna that we all shared.

*Wisdom does not live solely in those characters who seem or deem themselves to be wise but also in some who appear foolish and inconsequential.

*Hospitality, civility, encouragement, kindness, etc. are intrinsic graces that Austen women can possess and are wont to share not only with those who love and care for them but also with those who in no way, by no means, wish them well and from whom they can expect no good outcome for themselves.

Thank you so much to author and professor, Dr. Kathleen Anderson from Palm Beach Atlantic University for sharing her scholarly love for Jane Austen with us. It was a delightful afternoon and I know I'm not alone when I say that I hope we will repeat it again.

December 16, 2018

Some of our members attended Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at the American Stage Theatre in St. Petersburg.


December 15, 2018

Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea


October 13, 2018

Regency Games Workshop presented by members Catherine G and Julie P.


June 9, 2018 
As our dear Jane Austen says “You can never have too large a party!”;  but we all agreed that you can never have too small a one either!
Our intimate group gathered at JASNA member Catherine G’s home in Carrollwood Village for a delightful afternoon of tea, food, fellowship and Jane Austen!
At our meeting, we discussed several articles posted by Alicia L on our website -  - specifically the Wall Street Journal articles concerning sexual harassment in Jane Austen and the Wal Walker article were debated. 
Following our chapter meeting, Catherine G, Kathy B and Julie Z headed north to the Tilted Teacup Tea Room for their 1st Annual Jane Austen Tea! Our chapter assisted with this event by providing the props for their Jane Austen Display and making Bookmarks for each guest to take home. In addition, two local actors from the community theatre worked the room as Elizabeth and Darcy. They were wonderful!  A photo of our members with the actors is below:

April 14, 2018 

Box Hill to Gamble Plantation Historical State Park

Our April 2018 Box Hill Outing to Gamble Plantation was delightful and well attended! Robert, our knowledgeable and amiable Florida park ranger, gave us an informative and interesting tour of this mid-19th century home and its history. For those unable to attend, here is a link with details about the site:  Gamble Plantation. Following our adventures through the two floors of the home, we gathered at an onsite pavilion for a post-tour wrap up. Julie Prall also shared some insight from the book, A World on Fire, by Amanda Foreman, about the current state of affairs and thought in England during the American Civil War.

Our group in front of Gamble Mansion Some of our Members went to tea before the meeting.

February 10, 2017 

Catherine shared her experiences at the October 2017 JASNA AGM followed by a visit to several Jane Austen sights in England! She showed photos of both the AGM and her trip to England and showed off her collection of regency items. She also brought gifts back from her adventures for all the members

December 16, 2017

Another delightful Birthday Tea Party and another delightful Tea House!  In the 15 or so years that our Region has been in existence we continue to follow the birthday party model started by founder, Terry Hubener, that very first December of traveling to a tea house to celebrate Jane's birthday. We've had one repetition during this time but invariably we've been able to find a new and different tea house every year. This years' location, The Charms of Leffingwell, is situated in a rehabilitated early 20th century cottage in Ellenton. The proprietress is a tea aficionado and her husband is an antiques collector thus the cottage has become full of quality teas and artifacts for viewing and purchasing. We can recommend The Charms of Leffingwell if you want to transport back in time, whilst you sip custom tea blends and allow your senses to experience some of the art and beauty that fill the quaint two story house. It must be noted that tea houses in general can claim to be small bastions and facilitators for the furtherance and display of human artistic endeavours! Find one and enjoy!

Catherine Gwinner, our Regions' Jane Austen/JASNA "fan girl" of the year, traveled out to Huntington Beach, Ca in October for her very first AGM. Her enthusiasm has  been un-suppressible since her return! Catherine gave us an effervescent overview of her experiences while attending the meeting and she will give us a pictorial presentation and a more detailed report at our February meeting in Tampa. You are forewarned as I expect she will still be bubbling over in February. 

October 7, 2017

Once again a lively and interesting meeting was experienced by we Janeites here on the west (central) coast of Florida. Many thanks to Kersti for hostessing us in her lovely home in Feather Sound! And a special WELCOME to Vikki and Maren, long time Jane Austen lovers who through JASNA found us this weekend! 
Our meetings' focus carried over from our cancelled hurricane Irma meeting and was about the "cancelled chapters from Persuasion." You will find these 2 chapters on YouTube.  Julie P. wonderfully led us through our discussion and read excerpts and we could all agree that the cancellation was a good idea from Austen for without it she may not have been inspired to write Capt. Wentworth's letter to Anne, You pierce my soul, I am half agony, half hope...   Ahhh, who among us does not swoon when we see and feel those words? 
Below we offer for your reading entertainment several  recommendations this month:
*The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne, which was an interesting read. It is a biography of Austen told through objects in her life. 
*Jane and Me: My Austen Heritage by Caroline Jane Knight, comes highly recommended. Caroline is the founder of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation and is the fifth great niece of Jane Austen. 
*Reading Austen in America by Juliette Wells which is about the history and development of an appreciation for Austen in America.
Article from The Atlantic, Jane Austen Is Everything

The June 10th meeting, in Clearwater/St. Pete., of the JASNA West Coast Region provided another wonderful afternoon of Austen Immersion. 
June 10, 2017
Remembering Jane Austen's death on Thursday, July 18, at 4:30 AM 1817
Alicia Lopez, our Regional Coordinator started the afternoon by handing out copies of "Such a Treasure, Such a Sister, Such a Friend" by Marsha Huff, Wisconsin Region, which is a compilation of letters commemorating the 200th Anniversary of our beloved Jane's death. We rotated amongst the 16 of us in attendance to read the letters. Despite these being letters written during Austen's final months the humor exchanged between she and her loved ones is palpable. 
Emma - Frank Churchill, as code master
Our planned focus for this meeting was to revisit Emma and to take a look back and see how it was that Austen crafted Frank Churchill's words in such a way as to render us all clueless that he was in love actually with Jane Fairfax while we all thought that he was crushing on Emma! Special thanks to members, Kathy Blackwell and her much read copy of the Oxford edition of Emma and Catherine Gwinner and her copy of Emma An Annotated Edition edited by Bharat Tandon for their guidance in demystifying Frank Churchill's words and to Julie Prall who informed us of a talk given by PD James to the Jane Austen Society at Chawton in 1998 titled, "Emma Considered as a Detective Story." The text of which can be found in the appendix to James' autobiography "A Time to Be in Earnest." Hmmm, could Emma perhaps be the genesis of the mystery novel?  Frank Churchill's off putting words could certainly conjure up a lively debate on such a notion.

April 1, 2017
"Box Hill" outing to Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

December 17, 2016

Annual Jane Austen Birthday celebration and tea.

October 8, 2016

In October our Box Hill excursion to Historic Spanish Point situated on a picturesque slice of mainland off Little Sarasota Bay just south of Sarasota rendered up a sweet afternoon strolling back in time. Rustic paths, Indian mounds, handmade wooden houses and a quaint church with adjacent cemetery all gathered there to tell the story both of native American habitation and early 20th century development. Our docent told the story of one residents' determination to live his life in this rustic setting building small wooden boats and his dream home. The story also goes that his wife was equally determined to get off the point and get back to civilization in Sarasota. When you have guests in town and you want to go exploring put Historic Spanish Point on your travel list. We're sure it would be Austen approved!

August 13, 2016

In August we had an "at home" meeting with Kathy where we discussed Jane Austen's story, Love & Friendship.

June 11, 2016

In June we had an "at home" meeting with Kersti where we discussed Lady Susan by Jane Austen and the Love & Friendship movie.

May 28, 2016

Members or our group went to see the Love & Friendship movie with discussion afterwards.

April 9, 2016

In April our "Box Hill" excursion was to the USF Botanical Gardens in Tampa.

Feb 27, 2016

Some of our members went to see the movie, The Lady in the Van.

February 5, 2016

Our February meeting was "at home" with Alicia and was a tribute to Terry, our founder, to thank her for bringing us all together and for serving as the regional coordinator for so many wonderful years.


Members of our group went to advanced screenings of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on January 13, 2015 and February 2, 2015.

December 5, 2015

Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea Party.

On October 17, 2015, we toured Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.  We had beautiful weather for our visit. The gardens were lovely, especially all the colorful flowers.  Some of our members had lunch at the Selby House cafe.  We had our usual lively conversation before and after the tour.

We had yet another excellent meeting on Saturday, August 15, 2015! Our tea table was filled with delicious home made delicacies, made from recipes found in,Tea Time Magazine. Although several of us confessed that we didn't trust our culinary skills we all did fine, all of our offerings where received with high praise and we contemplated doing a future meeting, next year, with a similar focus.We talked much about food and dining practices of the Regency period with much information coming from the book, Tea with Jane Austen. I would like to conjecture that some ingredients used two hundred yeas ago will probably never, ever, come back into food fashion.

~ Photos courtesy of Kathy Murray
~ Recap & Photos courtesy of Kathy Murray

On Sat. 20 June several JASNA West coast gals gathered for some movie time at Terry’s lovely home.  We watched the movie, “Love Finds You in Charm”, which was released earlier this month on the UP network.  Our ever-fun-loving and endlessly clever Kathy Murray showed us how to season on our popcorn according to our own tastes AND pop it in the microwave without a pot, popper or pre-made popcorn bags (courtesy of a Jenny Jones blog)!  After some requisite and always enjoyable socializing, we got down to the business at hand.  The 90 minute movie provided us with plenty of opportunities to laugh, escape and smile!  Afterwards we spent time talking about the movie, its merits, its faults…and asundry other Jane Austen topics unrelated to the movie J  Below is a list of comments provided by the ladies present.   We wish you all could’ve joined us!  What a pleasant way to spend the afternoon!

· It was an entertaining movie was based on a book
· We liked quotes from JA books that were interspersed throughout the movie
· Good escape for an afternoon
· Opening sequence engaging but then plot slowed a bit
· About midway through movie story line (when Emma meets Noah in Charm) the movie became much more interesting, engaging & drew you in 
· Beautiful cinematography
· Kelly Bennett & Emma Miller - interesting use of JA character names
· Concerning the relationship b/n the male & female lead, there was great onscreen connection & chemistry 
· Good casting for leads & most of primary actors
· Emma, the lead female character read outside materials & has some worldly smarts
· Both women (Emma & Kelly) left men that were wrong for them, moved to another town and learned about themselves, developed good friendship b/c they had similar experiences
· Interesting when Noah finds Emma reading JA and he is able to converse intelligently about English Lit and therefore you assume that he could also talk on a higher level about other things - contrast to relationship b/n Jacob and Emma which seems very superficial
· The movie provided a good message about finding what you are meant to do with your life and what you are called to do - both girls come from very different worlds and spend their time during the movie learning about who they are, what they really want, what is right for them and their place in the world 
· It was interesting that as the movie progresses, you become suspicious of Englishers just like the Amish do
· The movie also was about finding yourself on your own terms even though other people want to save you from pain and lost time - But Emma’s father and Noah really see and understand Emma and give her the freedom to find her own way....which ends up being back home.
· After the movie, our group enjoyed a stimulating conversation about the Amish culture in general - how they live, the choices they make, what they’re able to do and not do.
· We also learned about the UP network (which premiered the movie), discuss Amish culture, and the “Find Love” book series.
· We found the movie had several JA characters from Pride and Prejudice:   Jacob - like Mr. Collins, Emma’s sister – Elizabeth Bennet’s sister Mary, Andy, Wine writer – Wickham
· Note of trivia - The scene at the vineyards was actually filmed at the winery just out of Sugarcreek Ohio.  Most of the movie was filmed in Sugarcreek Ohio.

~ Recap courtesy of Catherine Gwinner

On May 30, 2015 we had a bonnet trimming workshop!

Our Spring outdoor "Box Hill" meeting this year was held on April 18, 2015 at Heritage Village in Largo, Florida, where we toured some historical homes and had a picnic.  

On Saturday, February 21, 2015 we had an "at home" meeting at Alicia's house to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's Emma and to celebrate the Florida strawberry.  

Our annual Jane Austen Birthday tea party was held on December 6th, 2014.  Our group traveled into The Village of the Arts in Bradenton. We lunched on a custom menu of sweets and savories exclusively prepared for us by Chef Dana of the Sugar Cubed Bakery. Thank you's go to Julie for finding Dana.  Alicia, once again this year designed our entertainment for the party! She donned us all with ribboned necklaces carrying a paper pendant with the name of an Austen character written on it (the wearer could not see the name). As we socialized we gave each other clues as to "who we were." I'm happy to say that we all eventually came to know who we were. We also had a drawing for some Austen-centric gift items.  Our founder, Terry, gave us a report on a special Jane Austen outreach project she undertook this fall. She visited the pre-school of one of her neighbors' children dressed as usual in her Regency finery and gave the children a primer hour on Jane Austen. An official at JASNA told Terry that she very well may be the first person ever to have initiated an outreach program to preschoolers. Brava,Terry!   Terry's photos and her written observations can be found here:  Jane Austen Preschool Outreach.
At our meeting on October 4, 2014, our topic was a primer on the 'forms of address' of the UK aristocracy." Longtime JASNAWCF member, Julie P. gave a wonderful presentation on what we found out is a very baffling subject. The titles of the males are listed below; any further foray into learning the titles of their wives and children is a complicated journey. If you want to become a true proficient Julie recommends  The Queen herself must have an in house scholar to advise her on how to avoid a misstep when it comes to knowing and expanding the British aristocracy which Julie told us doesn't happen much any more... if at all!


Not inherited/non-peer:
Below you will find an easy to read link about the British aristocracy but Julie warns "the caption to the first picture is incorrect. All of the characters are commoners in that they are not members of the royal family. The Earl of Grantham and his family are noble, and Mrs. Crawley isn't, but they are all commoners. Oh, and the Dowager Countess is not a peer. She is a peeress."

Our last meeting was on Saturday August 2, at the home of our founder, Terry, and mainly focused on Terry's reflections on her July JASNA trip to England.  Terry, as we know her, was in her Regency attire the whole of the tour and was asked on many occasions to pose for photos so look for her in future official JASNA reviews of this year's trip. Terry was still in a state of delight and complete satisfaction as she shared her trip memories with us on Saturday.

Several springs have come and gone since our group first expressed the desire to have a “Box Hill” excursion. This spring that desire has been satisfied! On May 17, 2014 with blue skies, low humidity and cooling breezes we gathered at The Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, Florida for our spring meeting. When we entered the gardens we found a lovely covered pavilion where we made ourselves comfortable and launched into the meetings’ agenda, albeit a ‘loose’ one. Mansfield Park and other gardens in Austen’s works was our focal point of the day. Amidst the environs of a butterfly gardens, a fruit tree orchard and a tropical plants trail we discussed The Mansfield Park inmates’ journey to Sotherton to observe the grounds and hear Mr. Crawford’s opinions “I have been a devourer of my own,” on how Mr. Rushworth might make improvements upon them. As we have come to know aesthetically observing the gardens at Sotherton became the last thing on the minds of those young people. However, our inclination to aesthetically enjoy the botanical gardens was fulfilled as we culminated the afternoon by wending away a leisurely hour admiring the natural world of the Florida landscape as well as admiring the Florida friendly cultivation of flowers and herbs. It was a truly lovely afternoon and once again we must thank Jane Austen for influencing and inspiring our lives. 

JASNAWCF Meeting Report February 15, 2014
By Kathy Murray
Topic: Lady Susan
Lady Susan, written by our beloved Jane Austen at about the age of 19 just before she would write the first version of Elinor and Marianne, which of course eventually became Sense and Sensibility, received the full force of our attention at our February 15th meeting. The text of this novel, as you know, is written in letter form and also as you know it was published posthumously from an untitled manuscript.  I will let you imagine the content of our conversation by giving you a look back at Lady Susan as Austen herself describes her via excerpts.
Letter 4 
Reginald De Courcy to Mrs. Vernon
"My Dear Sister,
I congratulate you and Mr. Vernon on being about to receive into you family, the most accomplished coquette in England. has lately fallen in my way to hear some particulars of her conduct ...she does not confine herself to that sort of honest flirtation which satisfies most people, but aspires to the more delicious gratification of making a whole family miserable. ..I long to see her...that I may form some idea of those bewitching powers which can do so much." Reginald as heard tell of her "engaging at the same time and in the same house the affections of two men who were neither of them at liberty to bestow them - and all this without the charm of youth."  
So wrote self-confident 20-something, Reginald De Courcy, flirt himself, as he accepts the invitation to  join the party at his sister’s home and meets 30-somrthing, Lady Susan.
Letter 7 
Lady Susan to Mrs. Johnson  
"...for the first week, it was most insufferably dull.  Now however, we begin to mend; our party is enlarged by Mrs. Vernon's brother, a handsome young man, who promises me some amusement.  ...he may be an agreeable flirt. There is exquisite pleasure in subduing an insolent spirit..."
I won’t be a spoiler as to the outcome of that relationship for those who haven’t read the novel yet, suffice it to say that Reginald was “subdued.”
The very recently widowed Lady Susan has a 16 year old daughter, Frederica, who is in a school in London “the price is immense, and much beyond what I can ever attempt to pay.” Her maternal feelings are brought out several times during the story and make an appearance that would warm our own maternal hearts had we not first read:
Letter 7
Lady Susan to Mrs. Johnson
“My dear Alicia,
You are very good in taking notice of Frederica, and I am grateful for it as a mark of your friendship;” However. “She is a stupid girl, and has nothing to recommend her.  I would not therefore on any account have you encumber one moment of your precious time”
There were some among us who before now couldn’t believe ‘our Jane’ could write such a character as Lady 
Susan but upon closer inspection and supported by examples from her own personal letters we can all agree that really no one else but Jane Austen could have written Lady Susan; after all, the tale contains all the good stuff we've come to love and expect from our dear sweet 238 year old English countryside spinster: lying, cheating, infidelity, child neglect.  
Some of us may not have given Lady Susan much attention before but none of us now will overlook her again. 

Another birthday party gone by and another tea party with it. Our party this year was held on December 7, 2013 at the Chattaway restaurant; we had 20 party goers with many regulars and a couple of new gals too.

This year's party game was focused on Pride & Prejudice as we wrapped up a year of celebrating it's 200th publication anniversary. Alicia and Julie devised a devious competition of trivia questions centered around the great estates of Longbourn, Netherfield, Rosings and Pemberley. The tables were named after each estate and their diners formed teams. There were three categories of questions: easy, medium and difficult. However, had we voted I think it would have been decided that difficult could have described all the questions that our 2 gamesters dug up! It was a hoot however and we laughed a lot and learned a lot of trivia that we all will probably never forget!!! So, be on notice, future-meeting-attendees, that we 20 are now armed with such a catalogue of minute facts about P&P that in future we can not but help to beguile you with our new found knowledge. Many, many thanks to our brainiacs, Alicia and Julie for a fun and informative afternoon of Pride and Prejudice!!!

Also, thank you's must be given to Julie for supplying door prizes for our party. She shouldn't have, but she did. And thank you to Alicia for sending us all home with a sac of her favorite, home made Christmas cookies. What a great group we are! Yes, I just patted us all on the back.

We had a special treat at our latest meeting on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at the home of our founder, Terry. We welcomed guest speaker and student at USF St. Pete., Ashlie Flanigan whose essay, The Empirical Austen: Finding Nature and Nurture in Pride and Prejudice won 3rd Place in JASNA's national essay writing contest. Ashlie read her essay to the group, which was a condensed version of a much longer research paper exploring the concept of nature vs. nurture in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Then we had an enthusiastic discussion about Austen's identification of these two competing influences and her use of the nature/nurture dynamic in her books. Ashlie's paper provided our group with some new insight into Austen's works and we appreciate her willingness to share with us. Ashlie also shared her observations and photos of last month's AGM in Minneapolis. Thank you, Ashlie! We are looking forward to our annual Austen Birthday Tea on December 7th at 3 pm at Chatterley. See you there!

Austenland movie review by Kathy Murray:  I am no critic but I will offer you several observations from our group regarding the film Austenland which seven of us viewed together on September 15, 2013 at the Woodlands 20 movie theater in Oldsmar and I know that several more of you around the area viewed it at various other theaters. Generally speaking our group received the film in the spirit of fun. "Feel good movie" was a phrase used several times by our group in our après movie ice-cream-chat-fest. Giggles emitted from our group throughout the film and we must credit Jennifer Coolidge for most of them. The actor, J.J. Feild, raised my pulse several times as Mr. Henry Noble/Mr. Darcy. Mr. Feild is otherwise known to us and favored by many of us as giving the best portrayal in 2007 of Mr. Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey. Spoofs of Austen's characters and their stories, spoofs of movie scenes and their actors, all comingled in Austenland to bring this group of Janiacs a fun retrospective of Austen on film.

Our August 24, 2013 was our typical enthusiastic gathering! Terry, our enduring founder started off our meeting by introducing 2 new members, sister­-in-laws Diane and Dawn. The gals are from LA and are long time Austen fans who found us through JASNA. When finished hashing over dates for our fall get-togethers we finally got onto our topic du jour, thoroughly modern Jane. As you all know this is a very broad topic what with the myriad books and movies and videos and blogs and newsprint articles. Last week alone there were articles on Austen related book releases in USA Today and the Tampa Bay Times. And in Hollywood and London actors walked the red carpet for the premiere of Austenland a new movie about a Jane Austen resort. Check out and thanks to Kathy Blackwell for providing us with that link. All of us agreed that we would like to go to Austenland, not just the movie, but also the resort.  We, as fans, have our favorite fan fiction books and movies so I shan’t list all of those that we covered but we did cover a lot! Thanks to Allison Burd, who brought in a hard copy of the next day's Tampa Bay Times' Lattitudes we were able to preview a lengthy piece on Austen and several new book releases: Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom by journalist Deborah Yaffe and Jane Austen’s England by husband and wife historians Roy and Lesley Adkins. Our Leader Terry, tells us that: Jane Austen also made the front page of The Wall Street Journal under Money and Investment. It's entitled "The bank of England Brings a New Sense & Sensibility to the Pound. Jane is everywhere these days"
Also during our meeting you can rest assured that those of us who had questions to ponder were met with a preponderance of views and speculations about those ponderings and this has always been a hallmark of our gatherings, the free and untethered exchange of ideas and conversations stimulated by Jane Austen, her characters and her stories.We Janeiacs or if you prefer Janeites are indeed living in a very enthusiastic era for the appreciation of the works of our goddess, Jane Austen.
Also, check out the link and check in with Professor Amy Robinson and read all about her student, USF’s 3rd place winner in the national Jane Austen essay competition, Ashlie Flannigan.

   Notes, by Dr. Angela Baisley and Comments by Kathy Murray on the April 20, 2013 JASNAWCF Meeting
On Saturday, April 20, 2013 our JASNA group met and spent an energetic afternoon learning more about and discussing Jane Austen’s place in the world of English literature. Our own Dr. Angela Baisley was our moderator and shared with us two video seminars which directly and lovingly focus on “our Jane.” Angela has provided us with her preparation notes for the afternoon and I have excerpted them here so that those of us who attended can review and those of you who were unable to attend can experience a bit of our wonderful afternoon with Jane.
Title of DVD:  The English Novel, Instructor Timothy Spurgin, through The Great Courses (The Teaching Company), Chapters 7. Austen and the Comedic Tradition and Chapter 8. Austen and the History of Consciousness.
Jane Austen notes
This course, The English Novel, is 24 half hour lectures.  We’ll be doing just two:  Austen and the Comedic Tradition and Austen and the History of Consciousness--all very high sounding, but really entertaining and enlightening, especially since they’re about our Jane. Our Instructor basically says that Jane Austen is the first great author of the novel and that she has inspired all novelists since.
Chapter 7 Introduction to Jane Austen and the Comedic Tradition
By comedic tradition, he simply means that the novel ends happily, at least for the good guys.  Characters get what they want and deserve. 
But just to emphasize how important Jane Austen is to the novel, how many of us have read any of the following lately or even heard much about them?
Henry Fielding--Tom Jones
Samuel Richardson--Pamela
Fanny Burney--Evalina  (Fanny had a very exciting life--lots of husbands and lovers and adventures, but she really wasn’t much of a novelist.)
Ann Radcliffe--The Mysteries of Udolpho (all six tomes are on line!)
Sir Walter Scott--Rob Roy, Waverly Novels, Ivanhoe, etc.
BUT, we have read Jane Austen!!!
Questions Raised
How does he (or do we) account for the great popularity of Jane Austen?
How has society changed for the characters in the end of P & P?
Can love affairs really be the basis of great literature?
At the conclusion of the first video our group burst into a round of applause and then raced forward into questions, speculations and ah ha moments! It was apparent that the instructor is a great fan of Austen and to our delight did not disappoint us in his presentation and offered us some nourishing food for thought. The first video, centering on the comedic tradition, employed Pride and Prejudice to illustrate and some of our afterthoughts were:
*Was part of Austen’s genius and timelessness due to the fact that she knew what to leave out rather than what to add into her stories?
* Lack of naming and describing historical and political events may have been a stroke of genius rather than a weakness. After all, we readers didn’t have to struggle through the terrors of the Napoleonic wars to get to the Meriton country dance. And, we are still going there today, over 200 years later.
*Our own Julie wondered, ah ha, was the lack of male dancing partners at the Meriton dance a nod to the war?
*Did the fact that Jane’s writing for the entertainment of her family and reading aloud to them have any impact on the construction of her writing? It is known for its efficiency, precision and intentional meanings
*Dr. Spurgin at one point likened Mr. Darcy with all his wealth and social status to JFK Jr. and wondered how any girl in her right mind would refuse his marriage proposal.
*Who was Lizzie Bennet and what did she really represent? Who was Mr. Darcy and what did he really represent?
*Could Austen have been quietly bringing to light or expressing her opinion on something other then love by letting Darcy and Lizzie get together?
Intro to Chapter. 8. 
Austen and the History of Consciousness, in which our lecturer states that Austen’s greatest achievements, may lie in her innovative explorations of human psychology and human consciousness.  And, he says more than once, that aspiring novelists should read Jane Austen, dissect her writing, and try to do as well!  And there is a reason we do not read other early English novelists much today.  Our Jane writes with an economy of words; she neither uses too many nor too few.  Some of this must come from the Austen habit of reading aloud often.  She did read her works aloud to the family and accepted their suggestions and pleasures and incorporated them.
How did Jane Austen develop and use free indirect speech or free indirect discourse?
What great writers did the lecturer say owed much to Jane Austen?
How is she so superior to Fielding, Burney, Richardson, etc.
From Samuel Richardson, Austen learned the importance of creating a strong bond between her characters and her readers.  (Remember, Richardson wrote epistolary fiction in which we got to know each character through their letters.)
From Fielding, she found plots of great complexity told by a narrator, but he never succeeded in creating a strong emotional connection between his characters and his readers.
In Emma, Austen develops a way to combine emotional immediacy with narrative control; she has her narrator borrow the language or vocabulary of her central characters. This technique allows the narrator to remain on the scene, as a more or less reliable source of information, without crowding Emma out of the picture: free indirect discourse.
Once again a round of applause was offered at the conclusion of 2nd video however it was time delayed because of an immediate burst of questions that erupted. Emma was used to explore Austen’s “ innovative explorations (into)human psychology and human consciousness"
I think we all now have an even deeper sense of how important Jane Austen was to the structure and readability of the English novel and how beautiful her writing truly is. Our admiration for Jane Austen seems to grow more and more as we explore her works and her life. Dr. Spurgin concluded his segment on Austen by suggesting that Austen’s writing is as beautiful and important to prose as Mozart’s compositions are to music! Austen and Mozart in the same breath! Can it get any better?

Jennifer wrote the recap for our March 23, 2013 meeting, which was also her first:
My first introduction to Jane Austen was in 1995 when I saw the BBC's mini series of Pride and Prejudice. After watching the series, I had to know more about Jane Austen's work. I slowly began to read through her works, and admittedly, still have a few to go, I suppose I'm savoring them. In 2011, I started to read Jane Austen fan fiction as well as other Regency era history and wondered if there were other people that enthusiastically shared my interest in all things Austen. After running a Google search, I found JASNA and a local chapter! I immediately joined but never seemed to be able to get to one of the local meetings. To my good fortune, I was finally able to attend my very first JASNA meeting this February 2013, only a year later but I have arrived! What a delightful group of welcoming ladies that I was able to meet with such an enthusiastic love for Austen! We began with brief introductions, some light fare including tea and delicious scones provided by our hostess (thanks Alicia), and then discussed the topic of the month: Jane Austen's Couples. Kathy did a lovely job with her visuals of the various Jane Austen novels and then we proceeded to discuss the couples in Austen's works. There were light hearted debates on what qualified as a couple: did they have to be pre~established or did they have to become coupled in the story line or could it be just a hint of love in the air between two characters? Since it was my first meeting, and admittedly, I've only read 3 out of the 6 novels, I enjoyed being a spectator for the most part and learned a great deal about the various takes on Jane Austen playing Cupid in her writings. Several of the ladies, including myself, expressed our perfect Jane Austen couple and Jane Austen's male characters. Mine of course will always be Mr. Darcy, but enough of that... I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend my very first and not last JASNA meeting and hope to learn more about the various interpretations of Jane Austen's timeless works from these lovely ladies in the west coast of Florida.

Here are the pairings we came up with:

Northanger Abbey

Sense & Sensibility

Pride & Prejudice

Mansfield Park



Catherine & Tilney

Elinor & Edward Ferrars

Elizabeth & Darcy

Fanny & Edmund

Emma & Knightley

Anne & Wentworth

Catherine & John Thorpe

Elinor & Colonel Brandon

Elizabeth & Wickham

Fanny & Henry

Emma & Frank Churchill

Anne & Musgrove

Miss Tilney & Viscount

Lucy & Edward

Elizabeth & Collins

Mary Crawford & Edmund

Knightley & Jane Fairfax

Anne & Elliot

Isabella & James

Miss Morton & Edward

Elizabeth & Col. Fitzwilliam

Maria & Rushworth

Knightley & Harriet Smith

Louisa & Wentworth

Isabella & Capt. Tilney

Marianne & Brandon

Anne de Bourgh & Darcy

Maria & Crawford

Harriet & Elton

Harriet & Wentworth

Marianne & Willoughby

Miss Bingley & Darcy

Julia & Yates

Harriet & Martin

Mrs. Clay & Sir Walter

Willoughby & Miss Grey

Jane & Bingley

Julia & Crawford

Emma & Elton

Mrs. Clay & Mr. Elliot

Willoughby & Eliza Jr.

Georgiana & Bingley

Augusta Hawkins & Elton

Elizabeth Elliot & Mr. Elliot

Eliza & Brandon

Charlotte & Collins

Miss Taylor & Mr. Weston

Edward Wentworth & Wife

Lucy & Robert Ferrars

Georgiana & Wickham

Jane & Frank

Henrietta & Charle Hayter

Anne & doctor

Jane & the poet

Harriet & Frank Churchill

Louisa & James Benwick

Mary King & Wickham

Wickham & Lydia

Lydia & Denny

Kitty & Chamberlayne

Charlotte & Collins

Jane & Collins

Mary & Collins

Mrs. Bennet & redcoat

Harriet Forster & Mr. Forster