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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Love letters and babies in bonnets

Okay, I admit I’m mostly linking this because I get a kick out of the baby-in-a-bonnet photo.

But it’s also true that this coming weekend’s Jane Austen Literary Festival in Mandeville, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, sounds like a lot of fun.

I’m especially drawn to the Regency hairstyling booth; the “Looking for Mr. Darcy” oratory competition, featuring read-alouds of passages from Mansfield Park; and the love-letter contest, which promotes the stated mission of the eight-year-old event: “To foster the fine art of letter-writing.” (Amen to that! Can’t anyone around here even write a literate email message? With correct punctuation, maybe?)

The festival is sponsored by something called the Jane Austen Foundation of Louisiana, which I take it is not affiliated with the better-known Jane Austen Society of North America. The weekend celebration is one of a number of local Jane Austen festivals that have sprung up across the globe in the past decade or so – further evidence, once again, that Janeites are all around us.

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