Members Meeting - Sept 24 2011
Cultivating Sense from the Cult of Sensibility:
The Influence of Frances Burney and Maria Edgeworth in Sense and Sensibility
Prior to our main speaker, Catherine Gardner, Regional Coordinator, recommended a new collection of essays from the U of A press entitled Jane Austen and Company by Bruce and Nora Stovel. Kathleen announced that Sprigged Muslin will start up again and welcomes new members to our dance group. Helen Gardner announced Jane Austen's Birthday tea on January 21. We will celebrate with a Murder Mystery Game, Murder of a Matchmaker, written by Samantha Adkins. Tickets are now on sale for $20 and are selling quickly.
After tea and refreshments and a chance to chat, Emma Spooner shared her work, Cultivating Sense from the Cult of Sensibility: The Influence of Frances Burney and Maria Edgeworth in Sense and Sensibility, which she will present at this year's AGM in Texas. Jane Austen was not the first female author to satirize social expectations for female behavior and exemplify rational thinking in women. Emma Spooner, who has a Master's degree in English from the University of Calgary, compared Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to Burney's Cecilia and Edgeworth's Belinda. Austen said of these books that "the greatest powers of the mind are displayed". She examined the way Burney's Cecilia and Edgeworth's Belinda deal with the feminine ideal of sensibility in the late eighteenth-century and how these works may have influenced Austen in her portrayals of Elinor and Marianne. All three women were pioneers of a more realistic fiction, in contrast to the popular sentimental fiction of their time.