Annual Tea - Jan 18 2014
The JASNA Calgary Jane Austen Tea of 2014
The JASNA Calgary Jane Austen Tea of 2014 was both a culinary and literary feast. The tea, which was to celebrate what would be Jane Austen's 239th birthday, took place on January 18 at the Sunalta Community Centre. The hall was set with tables filled with "doyleys", china tea cups, paper fortune tellers, sandwiches, jelly and scones. The welcome table boasted a plethora of Jane Austen-themed door prizes, and a "Pleasant Diversion" acrostic puzzle beckoned from the wall.
For light readings, Amber selected literature mentioned in Austen's books and letters. Elizabeth Marshall read from Arabella by Rev. George Crabbe, whom Austen once fancied she might marry. The poem tells the story of Arabella, the only daughter of a town doctor and may have inspired parts of Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Judith Umbach recited "The Hare and Many Friends" which is mentioned in Northanger Abbey. Bob Scace orated "Highland Mary" by Robert Burns. Ann Craig delivered "The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk" by William Cowper. Finally Catherine Gardner read from Ann Radcliffe's gothic tale The Mysteries of Udolpho, which is frequently referred to in Northanger Abbey.
An array of generously donated door prizes were awarded to happy tea drinkers.
Between readings, we were treated to a variety of sandwiches, scones and tea. After a toast to Jane, we finished by indulging with a proper birthday cake. After tea, healthful dance instruction was offered by the Sprigged Muslin dance group, when a good number of those present learned two Regency dances with some success! After such an enjoyable afternoon, one is only left asking, how much longer until we do it all again?