Deborah Yaffe


By Deborah Yaffe, Jan 1 2018 02:00PM

Once upon a time, Jane Austen was a British writer. But today, she’s an international phenomenon, with fan societies on at least five continents. As 2018 dawns, herewith an entirely unscientific and incomplete sampling of a few of the places Austen will turn up this year, as fans mark the sort-of bicentennials of Austen’s last two published novels:

* In a bookstore in Islamabad, where members of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan will convene to discuss Austenistan, their newly released collection of Austen-inspired stories set in contemporary Pakistan.

January 11

* In a nineteenth-century town hall in Salem, Massachusetts, where Regency dance enthusiasts will celebrate at a Jane Austen Ball.

February 17

* In a Baroque palace in Ansbach, Germany, where yet more dancing will take place at Der Grosse Jane Austen Ball.

April 7

* In a building called “the Dutch Versailles,” where Austen’s fans in the Netherlands will celebrate the bicentenary of Persuasion with still another ball.

May 12

(Which should not be confused with the Gothic ball being held in a suburban London church a week later to celebrate the bicentenary of Northanger Abbey.

May 19)

* At a women’s university in Tokyo, where the Jane Austen Society of Japan will hold its twelfth annual convention.

June 30

* In the capital of Australia, Canberra, where the country’s Jane Austen Society will hold a weekend-long conference on the bicentenary of Persuasion.

July 6-8

* On streets where Austen herself once walked, as Georgian-costumed revelers parade through Bath, England, during the annual Jane Austen Festival.

September 14-23

Here's hoping that this year you find a dance, a tea, a conference, an exhibition, a festival -- or even just a conversation -- about Jane Austen somewhere near you.

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. . .

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