Members Meeting - March 17 2018

Jane Austen (almost) in Halifax

Judith and Deirdre treated us to a discussion about influence of Halifax on Jane Austen. While Jane never visited Halifax, two of her brothers, Charles and Francis, were stationed in the City during their time in the Royal Navy. She followed their careers with great interest.


Property and Inheritance in Regency England

She drew on their experiences when she wrote her two naval novels, Mansfield Park (1814) and Persuasion (1818). Two of the more obvious influences are in Captain Wentworth's character in Persuasion and the amber cross given to Fanny by William in Mansfield Park, mirroring the topaz and amber crosses bought by Charles for Jane and Cassandra.

We were given a visual and audio sample of the tours during the Jane Austen Society's Conference in Halifax in June 2017. It was incredible to see the gorgeous architecture and furnishings in the buildings that Jane's brothers likely visited while in Halifax. Sarah Emsley, one of the conference presenters has designed a walking tour of Austen-related sites for visitors to the beautiful city of Halifax.

Following the presentation we were invited to divide into groups and debate several questions inspired by the conference presenter and popular Austen scholar, John Mullan. Greatly entertaining!

A massive thank you to Deirdre and Judith for their entertaining and interactive presentation.