I spent a lovely day in Brooklyn this afternoon in the company of fellow Janeites. Some in jeans, some in skirts and some in regency attire. Attentive and most agreeable, we delighted in various Jane-related lectures and workshops.
Topics varied but shared the common thread of this year’s theme: Sex, Money, & Power (not to mention country ball dancing and the art of reticule).
Indeed! I attended JASNA’s 2012 AGM (that would be the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Annual General Meeting).
After the informative and enjoyable session, The Power of the Printed Word… and the E-Word: Publishing Jane Austen and Her Fiction Progeny (which included seasoned literary panelists Elda Rotor, Associate Publisher & Editorial Director at Penguin Classics; Deb Werksman, Editorial Manager at Sourcebooks; Mitchell Waters, literary agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd.; and moderator, Valerie Peterson, from About.com Book Publishing), I got to say hello to this month’s featured Dark Jane Austen Book Club author, Janet Mullany. Her Austenesque/vampiresque books include Jane and the Damned and Jane Austen; Blood Persuasion
Also present and taking part in the follow-up Q&A session was Patrice Hannon, author of Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love. I recognized Patrice’s name as I sometimes refer to her trivia book, 101 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Austen (she also selected the stories for Bad Austen-The Worst Stories Jane Never Wrote).
A delightful day spent with fellow Janeites — and then a lovely evening — rummaging through my complimentary red and black Jane Austen tote bag filled with Austen-related material and souvenirs. (I particularly like my new “obstinate” and “headstrong” buttons).
And so much more to come! Saturday morning, Diana Birchall (Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma) and Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and Dracula, My Love) will present an original play in which James will play our dear Jane and Birchall will play the role of Charlotte Brontë (also dear to many of us). Both are contributing writers in the Austen-anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It.
One cannot have too large a party. Jane Austen
*Photo of Janet Mullany and Patrice Hannon (taken with my cellphone camera) after the book publishing session.