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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Drinking game

This fall and winter, every Janeite workweek starts with “Austen Monday”—the evening on which the Rosenbach, Philadelphia’s museum and rare-book library, airs the latest episode of its deep dive into Pride and Prejudice.

Each week of the six-month-long YouTube program, host Edward G. Pettit, the Rosenbach’s manager of public programs, will interview an Austen specialist of one kind or another and then discuss the week’s installment of P&P with a rotating cast of co-hosts. (Register for the program here, check out the Facebook group here, and catch up on missed episodes here.)

Pettit, who sports the kind of white beard usually seen in Renaissance portraits of Moses, is a genial presence, livestreaming from a book-lined office prominently adorned with a portrait of Charles Dickens and, less prominently, with a Jane Austen Action Figure and Jane Austen Secular Saint Candle.

In between questions, Pettit puffs on a pipe or sips the signature cocktail he’s created to accompany each week’s chapters--such beverages as “Mrs. Bennet’s Truth,” which combines gin, Campari, and elderflower liqueur.

The three episodes aired so far–a planned two more were canceled due to technical problems–have featured interviews with Austen scholars Janine Barchas and Devoney Looser, as well as novelist Natalie Jenner. My turn on the hot seat will come on Monday, starting at 7 pm (US Eastern). No word yet on the signature cocktail.*

* But wait! No sooner had this post appeared than I received the latest "Austen Mondays" email, complete with cocktail recipe! It's a Darcy-inspired Brandy Old-Fashioned named "His Good Opinion."


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