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Posts Tagged ‘JASNA AGM 2012’

Inquiring readers: Susannah Fullerton and I met in Brooklyn at the annual JASNA meeting, where she was promoting two books and gave two workshop presentations.  Here, then, is our share of our ongoing conversation:

Susannah, it was such a pleasure meeting you at the AGM in Brooklyn. I felt as if we had known each other for years, so instant was our connection. As we talked, I came to realize that you lecture, travel, act as guide, write, and have two books coming out in a HALF year, AND you are a wife, mother, and president of JASA (Jane Austen Society of Australia). At the conference you had boundless energy. How and where do you find the time to do it all and look so fresh and enthusiastic? I am in awe.

There’s a lovely quote in Emma when Miss Bates says, ‘It is such a happiness when good people get together – and they always do.” Vic, that’s how I felt when I met you in Brooklyn – an instant recognition that we had masses in common and would get on really well. I do have an incredibly busy life and it has been especially busy these last 2 years with 2 books to write. However, I do find it hard to say ‘no’ to lovely literary projects. I have been President of JASA for 17 years (I’m wondering if that should put me in the Guinness Book of Records?) and I have a fabulous committee, so running the society is a joy. Of course we are all very excited about next year’s big P & P anniversary. My literary tours are great fun. When you yourself get an incredible thrill from walking down the Gravel Walk in the footsteps of Anne Elliot and Capt. Wentworth, or seeing the topaz crosses at Chawton, or actually standing in the room where Jane Austen died (which I did on 2 of my literary tours) then it’s fantastic to be able to take other people on tours where they can share that same excitement. My tours are with ‘Australians Studying Abroad’, and I don’t only take tours to England but to France, Scotland and the USA as well. It’s all such fun that somehow I find the energy to do it all.

In reference to your interview on Jane Austen in Vermont, you mentioned that the time for a book about dance in Jane Austen’s time was right. I agree with you. What were some of the facts you uncovered that surprised you and that you were anxious to share with the world?

What really surprised me was that no-one had written a book on Jane Austen and dancing before now! I think what you find when you focus on one particular aspect of Jane Austen’s fiction is an increased awareness of how utterly brilliant she was. When I wrote Jane Austen and Crime I found that the tiniest bit of information about something like poaching was used by Austen in a way that had so many wider implications if you knew about the laws and perceptions of poaching at that time. In Mansfield Park Mr Rushworth boasts about his “zeal after poachers”, yet completely fails to stop Henry Crawford from ‘poaching’ his wife – the ‘poaching’ undercurrents in the novel are so brilliantly done. I found the same with dancing – when you learned exactly what behaviour was expected in a ballroom, you became so much more aware of the subtler nuances of dialogue and action. For example, it was not proper etiquette to compliment your partner on their dress or looks, because it was taken for granted that everyone would be nicely dressed at a ball. You shouldn’t praise someone for doing what it was assumed they would do anyway – ie, dress nicely. This gives extra point to Mrs Elton’s behaviour at the Crown Inn ball – of course, no-one compliments her on her dress because they are behaving properly, but Mrs Elton is desperate for such attention so she takes on the task herself: “How do you like my gown? How do you like my trimming? How has Wright done my hair?” etc. The more you delve into any aspect of Austen’s world, the more you find and you come away with an even greater awe of her incredible achievement!

Was there any information in A Dance With Jane Austen that you wished you had expanded upon but simply could not due to lack of space and time?

It could have been nice to have included more particular information about steps for individual dances, but unless you are a Regency dancer yourself, that information might be rather dull on the page – more fun to ‘do’ than to read about, I think.

Authors Diana Birchall (l) and Susannah Fullerton (r) at the Brooklyn AGM

When we were at the AGM, you were promoting your next book as well, Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece. Other authors must be as curious as I am: How did you find the time to write TWO books with such close deadlines? Did you lock yourself in a closet and have food passed to you through a grate?

Just last week I received the most wonderful parcel in the post – two copies of Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and two copies of Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece. These are the UK and American editions of my new book. They are both gorgeous and I was so thrilled I danced round the kitchen with the copies in my arms! The book is dedicated to my daughter “my dearest loveliest Elinor Elizabeth” and she is really thrilled about that. Yes, it was quite a task to finish 2 books so close together. I was just finishing A Dance with Jane Austen when Frances Lincoln suddenly took up my suggestion that a book about 200 years of P & P would be a good idea. I must admit I lay awake most of that night, wondering if I could manage to do it given the tight time frame. But how could I resist? Spending 6 months with Elizabeth and Darcy was pure bliss and no book has given me so much pleasure to write. There were days when I was so involved I forgot to think about cooking dinner. Part of the joy was learning as I went along – discovering new depths and brilliancies in the novel. Just as an example – when I was writing my chapter on Elizabeth Bennet, I stopped to think about how she is first introduced to the reader. Most of us know her so well that it feels she has always been a part of our lives, but what are Elizabeth’s first words in the novel?? I had to go and check because I couldn’t actually remember the very first words she gets to speak in the text. And they are words that contradict her mother! In that age of conduct-book heroines, females who were expected to be obedient to parents, meek, silent and submissive, Elizabeth arrives on the literary scene with a contradiction!! Instantly we know that this woman is going to be different – unlike any heroine before (and of course since as well).

What should readers expect from Celebrating Pride and Prejudice that will make your book stand out from other publications about this novel?

I have tried in my book to give an all-round picture of why this novel has lasted 200 years and goes from strength to strength. I tell of its beginnings; Jane Austen’s struggles to get it out into the world; initial reactions to the book and then reactions as the 19thC continued and went into the 20thC; I have a chapter about the first sentence and why it has become so justly famous; I look at the use of letters in the text; I discuss the translations and how badly the novel fared for a long time in other languages and I look at the challenges faced by translators (would Mr and Mrs Bennet say ‘vous’ or ‘tu’ to each other? They have shared a bed and had 5 children, but still call each other Mr and Mrs – a translator has to make that sort of decision); I look at the extraordinary range of film versions (Dutch, Mormon, Spanish, Italian, Israeli etc); I look at the illustrations it has had foisted upon it over the years – some lovely and some truly terrible (and I include some fabulous pictures as examples) and the different sorts of covers it has been enclosed in; I look at P & P tourism which is now a big industry; I explore the amazing range of merchandise from baby’s nappies to skateboards, cosmetics to clothes pegs, china to jewellery etc. Some of the chapters I most enjoyed writing were about the characters of the novel – I have separate chapters on Darcy and Elizabeth, but then also include chapters on ‘her Relations’ and ‘his Relations’, and one on the ‘Other Characters’. I found that grouping them into ‘his’ and ‘her’ relatives made me think about them in a new way and helped make it clear why hero and heroine had become the sort of people they are.

Anything else you wish to add?

There is a T-shirt which has printed on it “What do you mean Mr Darcy isn’t real??” I think I need to buy that T-shirt! Elizabeth and Darcy, Mr and Mrs Bennet, Mr Collins and Lady Catherine, and all the characters of Pride and Prejudice are as real to me as the people I see every day. There is so much to celebrate about this utterly wonderful book by Jane Austen. My way of celebrating was to write a book about why it is so brilliant, and of course I very much hope that many readers will want to buy and read my book to discover just why, 200 years ago, the world became a far better place!

As always, Susannah, it is a pleasure chatting with you. I wish you nothing but the best and hope to see you during your spring tour in the U.S.! – Vic

NOTICE: CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations Monica! Dear readers: Susannah is graciously giving away a free copy of A Dance With Jane Austen. Please leave your comment stating which Jane Austen character you would most like to dance with and why! The contest is open to all and closes at midnight November 27th, US Eastern Standard Time.

Susannah’s Books:

Preorder Celebrating Pride and Prejudice at this link.

Order A Dance With Jane Austen at this link

Order Susannah’s first book, Jane Austen and Crime, at this link

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The two first dances, however, brought a return of distress; they were dances of mortification. Mr. Collins, awkward and solemn, apologizing instead of attending, and often moving wrong without being aware of it, gave her all the shame and misery which a disagreeable partner for a couple of dances can give. The moment of her release from him was ecstasy. – Elizabeth Bennet dancing with Mr. Collins at the Netherfield Ball

Mr. Collins could have used the services of the excellent caller at the Regency Ball at the JASNA AGM in Brooklyn. Had he been able to follow her direction (or had he learned his dance steps as a child, as did most well-bred Regency children), then he would not have made Elizabeth feel such shame about her partner. When I attended my first Regency ball, I felt as delighted as a child in a candy store at Christmas. The costumes and music lent authenticity to the event. Even those in modern dress (like myself) felt welcome.

As you can see from the clip, individuals with a wide range of dancing talent were present. The caller, or calling master, taught the steps, people practiced, and then they danced to the lovely music provided by the trio.

Caller at the Regency Ball

An important social element was the calling of the dance by the leading lady (a position of honor), who would determine the figures, steps, and music to be danced. The rest of the set would listen to the calling dancing master or pick up the dance by observing the leading couple. Austen mentions in her letters instances in which she and her partner called the dance. – Regency Dance, Wikipedia

I love the next clip, in which the caller sensed a lack of concentration on behalf of her audience. Listen to her final words!

With so many people in one room, and (in those days) the heat from the candles, ballrooms tended to become hot. Flimsy gowns provided little advantage for over-heated bodies restrained by corsets; time and again fans came to the rescue, as in this short scene. The poor men simply had to grin and bear it and sweat the night away, for, believe me, an evening of dance with two sets per dance partner, could be quite strenuous.

After learning the various moves, the group danced the set. The musicians (a trio in this instance) then struck up the music and the dancers progressed through the set, the movements beautiful to behold. My humble flip camera did not do much justice to the proceedings, and could capture only a few of the moments. If you have never attended a Regency ball and are a Jane Austen fan, I suggest that you find a group in your area.

This experience makes Austen’s ballroom scenes come alive as I reread the passages. One also experiences the social aspects of the dance – the dancers themselves, the people arranged on the sidelines watching, the musicians, and the outer rooms, where others assembled and talked  or sought refreshment. In former days, game rooms would be set up for those who opted not to dance.

More images below. If anyone knows the names of the people I captured, please send them on! Thank you.

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Lisa Brown. Image @Edward Voytovich. Click on image for a larger view.

Inquiring readers. My first JASNA AGM in Brooklyn started out with a bang. Not only did I room with the wonderful Deb Barnum (Jane Austen in Vermont), but the first workshop I attended was given by Lisa Brown, co-coordinator of the Rochester and Syracuse Regions of JASNA (and the official photographer at the AGM, it seems). She presented a fashion show and workshop demonstration of Regency fashions, including detailed instructions on how to rework 1970s and 1980s gowns into very creditable Regency costumes. A similar custom was studiously followed by Regency ladies, such as the Miss Bennets and Miss Austens, whose income precluded them from custom ordering as many handmade gowns as they liked. Two hundred years ago, cloth and trim were quite expensive, although changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution in weaving, dying cloth, and creating off the rack gowns would make clothes more affordable as the 19th century progressed. Jane Austen wrote frequently of refurbishing a new bonnet or reworking a gown to suit an occasion.

Lisa Brown stands in the center of her models

Lisa graciously gave me permission to use the videos I took of her fashion show and from my notes. The personal impressions are mine.

The back of Lisa’s gown with the drawstring details. Note the floral print.

The Layers of a Regency gown

In Regency fashion, it’s all about lift and undergarments. The distinctive Regency “shelf” was created with straps tied from the side (not center) and short stays with busks and wires. The stays were drawn from the bottom to the top, and as the stays tightened the bosom (shelf) rose. During the extended Regency era (1795-1820) women wore fewer clothes than their mothers and aunts. Sheer fabrics, exposed bosoms, and bare arms in the evening were the hallmarks of the Regency style.

This image of Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet shows her wearing a day gown with long sleeves. Note the gathering in the back and the silhouette of her Regency shelf bosom

The typical dress layers included (from skin side out): a simple shift made of sturdy cotton or linen that could withstand repeated laundering; short stays; a petticoat; and a gown. While women wore stocking and garters, under drawers were not generally worn until later in the 19th century. If a woman opted to wear them, they would be crotchless (mostly for convenience.)

Regency gown fashion show

In this video Sarah wears a 1970s dress found in a vintage shop and a period bonnet. The sleeves look modern, but the overall effect is very charming. Sarah is the author of the delightful post: I was a Model in a Regency Jane Austen Fashion Show.

Nadia wears a modern reworked holiday dress that converted nicely into a Regency style costume. I felt that the skirt lacked authenticity in that there was no gathering of the fabric in the back.

Julie wears a simple gray gown. To me the accessories turned this vintage dress into a Regency look, for the dress details were too sleek to be authentic.

Joyce in a green silk tafetta that could have used some trim or a shawl or something to turn this dress into a show stopper.

Jaclyn’s brown tafetta dress is one of my favorites. The gloves, bonnet, puffy sleeves, low scooped neck, and slight gathering in the back added realistic touches.

Jane wears a cotton dress with spencer jacket and long ties. I imagine Mrs. Austen might have looked much like her.

Meg looks like she is going to market. On stage she showed her reversible cape, which she took off for the runway. Her outfit is typical of a married lady who, after her marriage, begins to wear a cap. After turning 27,  unmarried women don caps as well, much like Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra. Meg also wears a delicate fichu, an item typically worn during the day. It can be tucked in or worn out. The fichu indicated casual day dress. If a lady with a limited wardrobe wished to dress up for the evening, she would take off her fichu and add dressier accessories to spruce up her look.

Aniela is also off to market. On stage she wore a spencer, a spinster’s cap, and a tucked-in fichu, a garment appropriate for all ages. Walking down the runway, you can see her fan on a little chain. Angela is a resourceful young woman, who found her short, form-fitting “spencer” at Forever 21. All she needed to do to turn this day gown into evening wear was to take off her cap and fichu, change from short gloves to long gloves, and change her jewelry. Voila! She is ready to visit neighbors for dinner and join in a dance! Notice the Van Dyke points on her sleeve.

Lynn Marie wears a spencer and parasol. Lisa cautioned that only umbrellas made in the 40s, 50s, or 60s would do as Regency parasols. Umbrellas from that time period were still made pagoda style, with the fabric coming up to the top of the frame. Notice how Lynn Marie’s dress has the gathered pleats in the back. If you choose to make a dress with a print pattern make sure that the prints are small and set far apart. Modern prints are often too large and set too closely together. In choosing cloth to make Regency gowns and for the sake of authenticity, Lisa also warned us to stay away from fabrics that are reminiscent of the two Lauras – Laura Ingalls Wilder and Laura Ashley. Hah!

Joyce wears a dark sleeveless pelisse with a long train. An elegant look that flows beautifully when she walks.

Nadia wears long sleeves during day and gloves. Dark fabric was chosen for daywear, since the color was easier to keep clean. Lighter colors, such as whites and pastels, were worn at night. White was a symbol of wealth since laundering took a great deal of time and effort. A white gown easily became soiled and required enormous maintenance to keep pristine (imagine how dirty those trains must have become even if the woman was confined to walking indoors.) Jane Austen’s audience knew exactly how pampered Eleanor Tilney was when her character was described as wearing only white.

In her second costume, Sarah wears a long sleeved dress and a quaint Amish straw bonnet with lining, flowers, and a ribbon. Trims were expensive and transferred from dress to dress, on the neck or sleeves, or at the bottom of a dress. Between 1805-1815, embellishments at the hem increased from 1″ of trim to 2″, to 3″ or more in 1817, the year Jane Austen died.

Jaclyn’s polyester pink 1970s gown turns into a pretty Regency ball gown. Today’s enterprising seamstress can order Indian muslin in specialty stores and find sheer netting overlays at curtain shops.

Julie’s pink gown is based on Empress Josephine’s coronation gown. The elaborate satin overdress is worn over a simpler dress underneath.

Aniela wears a pretty pale dress, very simple in design. Her day look includes short gloves and a basket.  This dress can easily be converted for a night time look by adding the right accessories.

Lynn Marie wears a dramatic ball dress from David’s Bridal. It was an age when showing one’s ankles was deemed scandalous, but showcasing one’s bosom was not. In fact, the Regency shelf was a display area on which a possible suitor could feast his eyes and the lady in question could show off her pretty necklace as well as her womanly assets.

Proper jewelry for that era consisted of small round shapes, such as seed pearls, small crosses, and delicate stones. To resemble a proper Regency miss, one should not wear posts or hoop earrings, long chains of pearls, or chokers, which were a Victorian affectation. Choose flat-heeled ballet style shoes or slippers, and half-boots with outer wear.

More on the topic:

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Inquiring readers, periodically Christine Stewart sends us her impressions in her quest to understand Jane Austen and study her novels and life in Embarking on a Course of Study. Here is her latest submission. Sandy Lerner, whose successful career as co-founder of Cisco Systems provided her with the fortune to renovate Chawton House, Edward Austen Knight’s  second grand house, and found Chawton House Library, spoke about Jane Austen’s concept of money and wealth in “Money Then and Now: Has Anything Changed?” at the JASNA AGM in NYC earlier this month. While I found her talk to be riveting (the salon was packed) and thought-provoking, some of us disagreed with a number of points she made. (More about that speech in a later post.) Christine also recently heard Sandy speak at Goucher College. Here are her impressions.

Sandy Lerner, savior of Chawton House, now Library, author of the P&P sequel, Second Impressions, visited Goucher last night to give a talk, a reading, and sign copies of her book.

Sandy Lerner at Goucher, image @Christine Stewart

About Sandy Lerner

If you’re not familiar with Lerner:  “Lerner in 1992 bought and restored an estate once owned by Jane Austen’s brother, called Chawton House, in Hampshire, England. She has transformed it into the Center for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing, and is currently underwriting the digitization of the works of female authors who lived in England between 1600 and 1830. The 10,000 volumes, not all of them novels, include works by Austen, Mary Shelley, Frances Sheridan and Maria Edgeworth, among many others, as well as a collection of cookbooks by Quakers.” (Piedmont Maverick by Suzanne Gannon). Lerner co-founded Cisco Systems with her (now ex) husband, and later a cosmetic company called Urban Decay, which sold unusual (at the time) nail colors like green and blue. Their slogan was ‘Does Pink Make You Puke?’ She once posed naked on horseback for Forbes Magazine. In short, she is an interesting, eccentric, wicked smart woman who owns a farm in Ayrshire, Virginia. She bought a 125 year lease on Chawton House in 1993.

My friend Clare and I went to the talk at Goucher College in the (still shiny and new!) Athenaeum. This is where Alberta Burke’s famous Jane Austen Collection  is housed. The Batza Room, where the Jane Austen Scholars talk every two years, was packed (50-75 people). So were the chairs. We were all pretty much sitting on top of each other, so that made it rather unpleasant when a man reeking of onions and gin sat down next to poor Clare. She bore it bravely, but we joked about how much we wished women still carried lavender scented handkerchiefs to bury their noses in.

Goucher’s president Sanford (Sandy) Ungar was there, which always signals that the visitor is a big deal, as if we didn’t know! Outside the door, the table was laden with the very prettily bound books (sort of blue and leathery looking) and elaborate bookmarks from Chawton Library, which you received when you bought the book. I couldn’t get a clear shot of the table because of the swarm of people.

Sandy Lerner at Goucher College

When Lerner took the podium, the first thing she said was that she had just decided what she was going to talk about, which might give you an indication of how well prepared she was. Clare and I enjoyed the talk, for what it was, a quick summary of her love of Austen and buying Chawton and what it is today, and a quick recap of writing the book, with some lamenting about not receiving the proper reviews, how agents and editors won’t talk to her, because she self-published. I think she spoke for, maybe 15 minutes?  (My notes on her talk will follow the post.) There was an awkward pause and she offered to read, but didn’t have a book (!). One was borrowed from the audience and she read for 10 minutes, a very quick scene between Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Read more for my notes about writing the book on my blog, Embarking on a Course of Studyhttp://www.embarkingonacourseofstudy.com/2012/10/sandy-lerner-visits-goucher-second-impressions.html

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The Emporium at JASNA’s 2012 AGM in NYC provided several delightful surprises, among which was meeting the staff of Jane Austen’s World Magazine and Chawton House Library a their respective booths. Jane Austen’s Regency World editor, Tim Bullamore, was selling a variety of magazines and books. The music you hear in the background of the first video is William Herschel’s Sonata in D Op4 No4, which came with the March/April 2010 edition of the magazine. Tim also spoke about Sex, Money and Power in Death Obituaries in the Time of Jane Austen, which I will discuss in more detail in a later post. (Music: With permission from Tim Bullamore, CD from Mar/Apr issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World.)

The staff of Chawton House Library, shown behind the second booth, were  the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Stephen Lawrence, Director of Research, Dr. Gillian Dow, and Director of Development, Ms. Eleanor Marsden (in the last scene with Mr. Lawrence) were also at their stations during various times throughout the conference. It was a pleasure to meet them. Janeites will know Dr. Dow, who also lectures at the University of Southampton in England, from her articles and books on Jane Austen and women’ studies. I have had the pleasure in the past to email Stephen Lawrence about permissions from Chawton House, most particularly in reproducing images of Edward Austen Knight’s suit, which required extensive restoration. Read my article here.

Edward Austen Knight’s Frock coat with lining. Image @Chawton House

Some of the items I purchased from both booths are shown in the video below. I was most particularly pleased to purchase The Compleat Housewife by Elizabeth Smith, reissued by Chawton House. I also purchased four back issues of Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine. You will also see the lovely Sense and Sensibility the Musical booklets, which I used to take notes, the Conference workshop guide, and a tin of tea distributed by the Minneapolis MN JASNA group, where the 2013 AGM meeting will be held. Topic? Pride and Prejudice, of course.

Sandy Lerner, shown left below, one of the keynote speakers, is the driving force behind the resurrection of Chawton House, Edward Austen Knight’s second grand house, and Chawton House library.

Sandy Lerner, author of Second Impressions, and Rachel Brownstein, author of Why Jane Austen? at the author’s book signing at JASNA AGM

Second Impressions is written by Ava Farmer, Sandra Lerner’s nome de plume. Profits from the sale of this book go to the Chawton House library.

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Dr. Syntax Visits a Boarding School for Young Ladies

One of the most unexpected (and wonderful) finds in the Emporium at the 2012 JASNA meeting in NYC were the four Rowlandson prints that I purchased. One, entitled “Dr. Syntax Visits a Boarding School for Young Ladies” is charming. I included a number of images I found online to accompany this post. Except for the composition, t is remarkable how strikingly different each looks. My print resembles none of the ones displayed here – it is slightly yellowed and delicately colored, but the colors are neither bright nor faded. I can’t wait to frame it.

Dr syntax visits a boarding school for young ladies,1821. This image from the Yale Center of British Art is much paler than mine, in which the headmistress’s skirt is colored red and the young ladies in the foreground wear colored dresses.

This 190+ year old hand-colored aquatint came from The Tour of Doctor Syntax, published by Ackermann’s Repository in London from 1812-1821. Dr. Syntax, a British clergyman, sits under a tree next to a stern looking Lady Governess, who addresses the young pupils arrayed around them. The scene accompanies text in The Second Tour of Dr. Syntax, In Search of Consolation. The illustration reveals how Rowlandson works, outlining the figures with a reed pen and then delicately washing certain areas of the print with color. His pen and inks were then etched by a professional engraver, an artist in his own right. The impressions were then hand colored.

Rowlandson’s Prints

Rowlandson was prolific. Art historians deem his earlier works to be more artistic and carefully observed. As his reputation spread, he began to produce his designs in haste and the quality of his art began to suffer. His caricatures became predictable and in some instances overly exaggerated, but he never lost the facility with which he handled his pen.

In this series, Rowlandson created the illustrations first. Writer James Combe then wrote the narrative that accompanies the images. “This series is one of the best parodies of the more traditional narratives on journeys to different parts of England featuring more “serious” landscape illustrations and prose.” ( Prints from The Tours of Dr. Syntax, Prints With a Past.)

This print is similar to the one I purchased, but slightly more colorful. Image from Dr. Syntax’s Three Tours at Internet Archive, Cornell University Library

Doctor Syntax talks to the Young Ladies at Boarding School

Below sits the text (in verse) that accompanied this image, in which Dr. Syntax expounds on his listeners’ youth and character, and how they can learn from good example:

In the following page, Dr. Syntax exhorts his young charges to never swerve from virtue’s path and to take care of their good looks, for “flowing looks display’d to view, of black or brown or auburn hue, and well combin’d in various ways, a certain admiration raise…”:

Dr. Syntax does not want for words. In fact, he is a bit of a windbag. How those girls could sit enraptured during this speech is a marvel to me. In this section the rich graces of the mind hold the beauty of the whole, the mortal form, th’ immortal soul.

I wonder if Dr. Syntax even drew breath! In this section the good doctor reinforces the concept that a woman’s place is in the home, overseeing the family and household.

The Doctor says his goodbye, admonishing the listeners to pay attention the kind preceptress, who “will explain what of this subject doth remain, and bring the whole before your view, to prove my solemn doctrine true.”

Sources: 

Books:

  • Dr. Syntax’s Three Tours Doctor Syntax’s three tours in search of the picturesque, consolation, and a wife. By William Combe. The original ed., complete and unabridged, with the life and adventures of the author, now first written, by John Camden Hotten. Eighty full page illustrations drawn and coloured after the originals by T. Rowlandson. Published 1868 by J. C. Hotten in London . Library of Congress, PR3359.C5 D6 1868

Other posts about the JASNA NYC 2012

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Shades from Jane Austen by Honoria Marsh was published in 1975-1976 in a series of limited editions. I saw this rare work at the silent auction table at the 2012 JASNA AGM meeting in NYC. There were many beautiful items, but this one was a standout with its colored illustrations, mostly silhouettes, and a few reproductions of Jane Austen’s writings. Bidding began at $50.00, but at the time I approached the table the price had gone up to $150.00, a bit beyond my price range but still less than the book attracts in online bookstores. The price reflects the book’s rarity, for only a few copies are available. I had seen a few illustrations before, but not the originals … until now.

The video shows a number of illustrations from the book not seen in this post. The portrayals of Jane Austen’s characters were painted by the author from life. Her sitters were either friends and acquaintances, or Jane Austen’s descendants or people associated with her! You can read their names below the title of the characters.

Part one of the book includes ‘Jane Austen’s Family in Silhouette’, a table showing Jane Austen’s Family and Chronology of Events During her Lifetime’ (written by Peggy Hickman), and Jane Austen’s family tree.

Part two includes an introduction and a discussion of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Silhouette of Mrs. Gardiner

Alas, I do not know who successfully bid for the book in the silent auction or what it went for. Does anyone know?

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