Deborah Yaffe


A Jane Austen year

By Deborah Yaffe, Jan 1 2015 02:00PM

Jane Austen isn't just everywhere; she's all the time.

After a busy year celebrating Mansfield Park's two hundredth anniversary, Janeites from Copenhagen to Canberra are gearing up for what some consider to be the bicentennial of Emma, which hit the streets in December 1815 but bears a title page announcing it as an 1816 publication.

It would be daunting, if not impossible, to list every Jane Austen ball, conference, summer course, festival and tea party scheduled worldwide for 2015. So herewith just a smattering--one for each month, to give you a taste of the riches this year will bring. Would that I could attend them all. . .

January: Jane Austen Evening

Sponsor: Society for Manners and Merriment

Date: January 31

Place: Pasadena, CA

Details: “An afternoon of tea, discourse, music and dance in the spirit of the estimable Miss Austen.”

February: Der Grosse Jane Austen Ball

Sponsor: Barocktanz

Date: February 28

Place: Erlangen, Germany

Details: Jane Austen-style ball, plus games, a buffet, and an Almack’s-like Pleasure Garden

March: Jane Austen Festival, “On the Road with Jane Austen: Travel, Translation and Transformation”

Sponsor: Jane Austen Society of North America–Pittsburgh Region

Date: March 20-21

Place: Pittsburgh, PA

Details: Speakers, Regency vendors, music and a ball

April: Jane Austen Festival Australia

Sponsor: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden, Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy

Date: April 10-12

Place: Canberra, Australia

Details: “Where Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia come and indulge themselves in everything Regency–including dancing, music, food, games, archery, fencing, theatre, promenades, grand balls, talks, workshops, costumes and books.”

May: Duchess of Richmond’s Ball

Sponsor: Jane Austen Dancers of Bath

Date: May 9

Place: Bath, England

Details: Marks the bicentennial of the ball held days before the Battle of Waterloo.

June: Jane Austen Summer Program, “Emma at 200"

Sponsor: University of North Carolina–Chapel Hil

Date: June 18-21

Place: Chapel Hill, NC

Details: Symposium featuring a mix of lectures, discussions and fun.

July: Weekend conference, “Emma: 200 Years of Perfection”

Sponsor: Jane Austen Society of Australia

Date: July 3-5

Place: Canberra, Australia

Details: To come

August: A Day with Jane Austen

Sponsor: University of Southern Queensland Artsworx

Date: August 15

Place: Toowoomba, Australia

Details: Literature workshop with a USQ professor

September: Jane Austen Festival

Sponsor: Jane Austen Centre

Date: September 11-20

Place: Bath, England:

Details: Extravaganza of Regency music, dance, costuming and more

October: Annual General Meeting, “Living in Jane Austen’s World”

Sponsor: Jane Austen Society of North America

Date: October 9-11

Place: Louisville, KY

Details: Lectures, breakout sessions and a Regency ball

November: All Danish Regency Event

Sponsor: Jane Austen Society of Denmark

Date: November 7-8

Place: Copenhagen, Denmark

Details: Inaugural event of the Danish Jane Austen society will feature a tour of royal palaces and a dinner-dance in honor of Beethoven

December: Celebration Tea in Honor of Jane’s Birthday

Sponsor: Belle Meade Plantation

Date: December 19

Place: Nashville, TN

Details: Regular meeting of the Austen book club held at this historic nineteenth-century estate.

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