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We are all hastening together to perfect felicity. (Narrator, Northanger Abbey)

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Recent Meeting

May 9 - Out of Doors

JASNA Calgary members were treated to new and exciting perspectives on the life and work of Jane Austen. Deirdre shared some new additions to the library including Young Jane Austen by Lisa Pliscou and Expectations, Suspiciously Reserved and Banff Springs Abbey by Samantha Adkins. We also learned that one of our long-time members, Judith Umbach, has had a library named after her. Congratulations Judith! They couldn't have chosen a more deserving person.
Dr. Leah Branneh, a fitness instructor for over twenty years, shed new light on the role of physicality and physical exercise in Jane Austen's novels. While many readers have noticed Austen's focus on the spiritual, social and emotional, Branneh explained that all of her novels reference the physical in some regard. In most of her novels, physicality is used to demonstrate character. In Sense and Sensibility, Marianne overdoes her walking and becomes gravely ill. In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy is a superior dancer while Mr. Collins dances awkwardly. Jane Fairfax uses walking to escape her confined existence in Emma. In Persuasion, exercise improves Anne Elliot's bloom. Branneh noted that the Regency era corset may be credited with women's ability to enjoy some exercise during this time. Branneh recommended the work of Oliver Pritchett and Mirabile Dictu for interesting reading on exercising like Jane.

After tea and good conversation, Shannon Campbell shared part of her paper to be presented at the upcoming JASNA AGM Louisville, Kentucky. Campbell's talk entitled Meet The Beast That Made Britain Strong was a fascinating look into the role of agriculture in Britain in Austen's time. Campbell, explained that Austen's father, Reverend George Austen, was descended from The Grey Coats of Kent, a family of clothiers whose family fortune was built on wool. Unfortunately for George, the fortune was mostly gone by the time he arrived.

In 1798, Jane Austen writes of her father selling sheep. Campbell's research revealed that these were Leicestershire sheep, which were a new breed which produced more meat than other sheep at the time. This demonstrates Rev. Austen's knowledge and interest in farming. Jane Austen mentions Leicestershire sheep in Emma. Robert Martin has a fine flock of this breed of sheep. Campbell also traced the importance of sheep and wool throughout history in England leading up to the Industrial Revolution.

Fun in Jane Austen's England

If you are visiting England this summer, consider attending the Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society annual summer school.

For those who will be in England in October, two special events are planned on the weekend of 2015 October 16 - 19.

  • Jaunt With Jane
    Events will help participants appreciate why Jane Austen liked the Lyme Regis seaside resort. Relive Persuasion while dreaming of Anne Elliot's encounter with Captain Wentworth.
  • Jane Austen Weekend
    This will be a full weekend of activities and exploration, in the company of like minded individuals, visiting the most significant places in Hampshire which formed an intrinsic part of Jane's life and times.

Regular Meetings

JasnaCalgary is a region of the Jane Austen Society of North America. We are all interested in everything Jane, from love of her novels to scholarly pursuits. Five times a year we meet to enjoy talks, workshops, teas, and galas. Attend a meeting and if you have fun, join in! Membership is $15.00 annually to cover our tea and cakes and other expenses.

Only a few special events require pre-paid tickets, such as the annual Tea celebrating Jane Austen's birthday and our bi-annual Gala.

On the Family page, members can access additional information with a password.

Site last updated on 2015 May 16

Highlights of May 9 meeting
New Library books introduced on Reading page
Celebration of our March meeting

Comments welcome

Or email jasnacalgary@jasnacalgary.ca JASNA Calgary