Members Meeting - Sept 25 2010
The Mystique of the Pineapple: A Lure for General Tilney
Carrying the weight of international rivalry with the Dutch and the cachet of royal approval, the growing of pineapples in cool and cloudy England was an alluring challenge for many of the landed gentry during the Regency. Why did Jane Austen select the pinery as the appropriate part of the garden for General Tilney to highlight?
How else could he impress Catherine Morland and his wealthy neighbours except by cultivating the most expensive fad of his generation? First brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus, pineapples quickly became a symbol of wealth and trendiness.
Shannon Campbell of JASNA Edmonton, a botanist with an interest in the history of horticulture, agriculture, and climatology, is one of the few people who could address the rise of the pineapple. After her presentation to us on Apples and Apple-blossom Time (Wherein Jane Austen's Reputation for Meticulous Observation is Vindicated), we were full of expectations - all fulfilled and more! Shannon will be continuing her presentation at the Portland JASNA AGM.