Deborah Yaffe

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By Deborah Yaffe, Sep 22 2014 01:00PM

Holy scheduling conflict, Batman!


Just a couple of short-ish train rides from my home, a delightful-sounding Janeite event will take place next month: a reading of a new one-act comedy by Lynn Marie Macy called “Carlton House, Jane Austen and the Prince Regent.”


Macy is a playwright, actor and director with a Janeite bent. At the 2010 JASNA AGM, during a panel on the glories of Henry Tilney, she read the Catherine Morland part in a scene or two from her Northanger Abbey adaptation. Macy has also adapted Lady Susan and written a Christmas play about Jane Austen’s family.


Macy’s new play will apparently take us to the well-documented day in 1815 when James Stanier Clark, the Prince Regent’s librarian, gave Austen a tour of Carlton House, the Prince’s London home.


That visit gave rise to a short, hilarious correspondence between the pompous, self-satisfied librarian and the slyly witty novelist, who soon after accepted Clark’s offer-you-can’t-refuse suggestion that she dedicate Emma to his royal employer.


It’s great material for a play, and I’m crushed that this performance is being held precisely when I can’t attend: the same weekend as this year’s JASNA AGM in Montreal. I’ll just have to cross my fingers for a future off-off-Broadway production. Meanwhile, if you’re a New York-area Janeite who makes it to the show, do post a review in the Comments!


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