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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

A Jane Austen year

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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