Members Gala - May 14 2011
2011 Gala: Words, Wands and War
JASNA Calgary held its biannual gala on Saturday, May 14, 2011 from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The Sunalta Community Centre was prettily decorated and rang out with the sounds of tinkling teacups, laughter and good conversation.
After tea and dainties, and in honour of the 200th anniversary of Sense and Sensibility, the program began with the poem "Can you hear me, Jane Austen? This is me, Marianne Dashwood". Read by Kathleen Ryan, the poem was written by Esther Harris, who first fell in love with Jane Austen while playing Jane Bennet in a school production of Pride and Prejudice.
Next, University Professor Emeritus at U of A, Juliet McMaster, shared "The Genres of Talk in Sense & Sensibility". She pointed out that Jane Austen looks at speech rather than through it, in genres including real conversation, fatuitous fillers, specious arguments and shameless flattery. McMaster then spoke of her work with Juvenilia Press and read a small portion from The Beautifull Cassandra, which she has illustrated.
After a break of "ices", Mount Royal University Professor Diana Patterson took the stage to speak on "Harry Potter's Debt to Jane Austen". She began by noting that three Austen books are on J.K. Rowling's virtual bookshelf (click on the glasses). She also shared several of J.K. Rowling's own words about Jane Austen and pointed out that Mrs. Norris, the grief-causing cat in The Philospher's Stone, takes her name from Aunt Norris of Mansfield Park.
After Diana's talk, we were treated to a scrumptious lunch that included watermelon, coleslaw and snap pea salads, mango chicken skewers, and a delightful gooseberry-topped panacotta. Eight lucky attendees were awarded a door prize.
Finally, Professor Emeritus at U of A, Rowland McMaster spoke to us about "Women Aboard Men-of-war". His expertly researched talk on the experiences of women aboard ships in Regency times was framed around the discussion between Captain Wentworth and Admiral and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion. His lecture was peppered with multimedia treats, including dramatic readings by himself and Juliet, a slide presentation and Juliet's guitar and singing skills in the song "Jackaroe".