I am so much agitated
by delight that I can scarcely hold a pen ...
the enthusiastic Mrs. Vernon wrote to Lady De Courcy, and so are
we, the Toronto Region, as we announce our keynoter and plenary
Keynote Speaker : Maggie Lane
the JASNA AGM and Conference will look closely at the times in which
Jane Austen lived - a period of dramatic change, not only in Great
Britain, but throughout the world - it is only appropriate that
our keynote speaker be Maggie Lane, the noted Jane Austen scholar,
whose book Jane Austen's World: the life and times of England's
most popular author was selected to be the theme of our meeting.
Maggie will open the Conference on Friday, October 11th, with a
talk entitled "1802: Jane Austen and her world two hundred
years ago," which will supply an overview of the Conference's
focus. [Published in Persuasions 24 (2002).
“1802: Jane Austen and her World 200 years ago.”
Persuasions 24 (2002): 15-32.]
Maggie is an executive
member of the British Jane Austen Society, and resides in Bristol
with her family, and where she holds the position as librarian at
the Bristol Grammar School. She co-founded the Bath and Bristol
branches of the Jane Austen Society and, recently, has been involved
in two successful local Bath projects: one being the organization
of a plaque commemorating the Austens at St. Swithin's Church, and
the other being the new Jane Austen Visitor's Centre in Gay Street,
which many of our JASNA members have already visited and a must-see
for those travelling to Britain in the future.
Maggie Lane has written
several highly-acclaimed books on Jane Austen including Jane
Austen's Family through Five Generations (1984); Jane Austen's
England (1986); Literary Daughters (1989); A Charming
Place: Bath in the Life and Novels of Jane Austen (1989); Jane
Austen and Food (1994); and, finally, Jane Austen's World:
the life and times of England's most popular author (1996).
Further, Maggie has
published articles in the Annual Report of the Jane Austen Society
and in Persuasions, JASNA's own journal, and she appeared
as spokesperson for the Jane Austen Society on BBC Television's
Omnibus documentary about our beloved author. In a lighter
vein, Maggie is the author of a series of literary quiz and puzzle
books including The Brontë Sisters Quiz and Puzzle Book
and The Jane Austen Quiz and Puzzle Book. Her latest publication
is A City of Palaces: Bath through the Eyes of Fanny Burney
Not satisfied with all
those accomplishments, Maggie is the U.K. President of The Burney
Society and on the committee of The Barbara Pym Society. As well
as writing, she lectures extensively in Great Britain, and was a
guest speaker at the Jane Austen Society of Australia in 2000, and
spoke once before in Canada at the JASNA Conference in Quebec City,
We are greatly looking
forward to her return to Canada and to your attendance at the 2002
Annual General Meeting and Conference.
I dare say you will
spend a very pleasant three weeks in town. I hope you will see everything
worthy [of] notice, from the Opera House to ... from a letter
written to her sister Cassandra in 1801.
Jane was referring,
of course, to London and not to Toronto, unfortunately. But we would
love you to spend a very pleasant three weeks in Toronto.
Toronto Local Historian
& Conservationist : Dorothy Duncan
members have a treat in store for them when they hear Dorothy Duncan
speak on Toronto at the time of Jane Austen. Dorothy has just retired
as the Executive Director of The Ontario Historical Society, a non-profit
charitable group of about 4000 individual and institutional members,
all of whom want to preserve some aspect of Ontario's rich history.
Following on Maggie Lane's topic, Dorothy will discuss "What
Jane Austen would have seen in Toronto in 1802". Of course,
the city was not called Toronto then, but the town of York - in
fact, "Muddy York" as it came to be known!
Dorothy has served on
several Boards and Committees including the Association for the
Study of Food and Society (another of her passions); the Ontario
Advisory Committee for the Canadian Conservation Institute; the
American Association for State and Local History; La fondation heritage
Canada; The Ontario Museum Association; and the Minister's Advisory
Committee on New Heritage Legislation for the Province of Ontario.
1982 until December of 2000 Dorothy was the Country Fare editor
for Century Home magazine and has also been published in several
other magazines and edited several of The Ontario Historical Society
publications, including Deck the Halls!; Serve it Forth!; Consuming
Passions; 1837 Rebellion Remembered; and Celebrating One
Thousand Years of Ontario's History.
Dorothy has received
several awards including the Award of Merit from the Canadian Museums
Association, the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Ontario
Museum Association. the Distinguished Service Award from Interpretation
Canada, the Queen's Jubilee Medal, and the Certificate of Merit
from the North York Historical Society; and, in October of 1996,
Dorothy received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University
of Waterloo for her work on behalf of the heritage community throughout
An amusing speaker,
we know that you will enjoy Dorothy's talk on "Muddy York"
as it was in 1802.
now let us join the gentlemen ...
Jane writes from Bath
in 1801: The Pickfords are in Bath & have called here ...
He is as raffish in his appearance as I would wish every Disciple
of Godwin to be, so we can assume she was well aware of Godwin's
Dr. Kenneth Graham
Saturday, our opening plenary speaker will be Dr. Kenneth Graham,
who was the first person to have been designated the "JASNA
North American Scholar" by the Society when he addressed the
1998 AGM in Quebec City. He is Past President of the Canadian Society
for Eighteenth-Century Studies; Senior Member of Robinson College,
Cambridge; the holder of a teaching award from the University of
Guelph, Ontario, Canada; and, this year, is a guest professor at
the University of Konstanz in Germany.
Dr. Graham is an active
investigator into the Gothic novel and, especially, the eighteenth-century
writers William Godwin and William Beckford. He has published seven
scholarly books, written numerous articles and reviews, and has
produced six video lectures. His two most recent books are William
Godwin Reviewed, 1782-1834: a Reception History (2001) and an
edition of William Beckford's Vathek with The Episodes
of Vathek (2001). These provide the background to his plenary
paper at the 2002 meeting which is based on the political and social
unrest in Britain during Austen's time.
The title of Kenneth
Graham's paper will be "Between Two Abbeys: Jane Austen, Two
Williams and the Divisive 1790s."
[Published in Persuasions 24 (2002).
“Beckford, Godwin, Austen, and the Divisive 1790s.”
Persuasions 24 (2002): 33-46.]
It is certainly
not incumbent on you to dedicate your work now in the Press to His
Royal Highness: but if you wish to do the Regent that honour ...
I am happy to send you that permission ... from an 1815 letter
to Jane from J.S. Clarke, Librarian to the Prince Regent.
Historian: Dr. Steven Parissien
Steven Parissien, Assistant Director of Yale University's Paul Mellon
Centre for Studies in British Art located in London, England, obtained
his B.A. and doctorate from Oxford University. After working for
the Georgian Group and English Heritage, he joined the Paul Mellon
Centre in 1995, and lives in West London with his wife and daughter.
Dr. Parissien has written extensively on Georgian architecture,
society and building conservation, including Regency Style
(Phaidon Press, 1992), which examined the constituent parts of the
Regency House in England and America. His second book, Adam Style
(Phaidon Press, 1992), was voted Apollo Magazine's "Book of
the Year" for 1992 and the American Institute of Architecture's
"Book of the Year Choice" for 1993. To complete the trilogy,
Phaidon issued his Palladian Style in 1994. In 1995, Rizzoli
issued The Georgian House in Britain and America.
1996, Dr. Parissien changed his focus to the railway station with
Pennsylvania Station: McKim, Mead and White (Phaidon Press)
and, in 1997, with Station to Station, an architectural and
social history of the railway station, also published by Phaidon.
His most recent publication is a biography of the Prince Regent,
entitled George IV: The Grand Entertainment, published in
the Spring of 2001 by John Murray, Jane's old publishing house.
In April of this year,
Dr. Parissien was the keynote speaker at the Royal Ontario Museum's
symposium: Regency: the Age of Jane Austen. His JASNA topic
on Saturday afternoon will be "George IV as Patron of the Arts"
- for those of us Royal watchers, a must see!
last, but certainly not least,
our North American Scholar ...
closing speaker at the Sunday brunch is the immediate Past President
of JASNA, Elsa Solender. Elsa, an independent scholar, has worked
as a journalist (winning three prizes in journalism), film and drama
critic, editor, and has taught at the University of Chicago and
Goucher College. Although her specialties as a journalist were Middle
East affairs and the performing arts, she has, over the years, published
several articles on Jane Austen and JASNA in magazines and newspapers,
including an account, in the Baltimore Sun, of an imaginary encounter
between Austen and the journalist H.L. Mencken. As President of
JASNA from 1996 to 2000, she spoke on Jane Austen's life and work
at Regional meetings throughout the United States and Canada and
commented on "Austen Mania" and other issues in regular
columns in JASNA publications.
Elsa appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and NPR's
"Morning Edition," and was also invited to speak on Jane
Austen at various Barnes & Noble superstore programs, and for
library lecture series. Among the topics she addressed were: "Popping
the Question: Four Filmed Versions of Darcy's First Proposal in
P&P"; "Jane Austen's Characters: A Repertory Company";
"The Bridget Jones-Jane Austen Connection," and "The
Janeites: Kipling's story and three centuries of Austen fans and
foes." Since leaving office in October 2000, she has been invited
to speak on Austen at a conference on literature and film at the
University of Southampton, England, has reviewed several books for
JASNA News, and now serves on the boards of an off-Broadway theater
and two libraries. Her subject for the 2002 AGM in Toronto will
be: "Recreating Jane Austen's World on
Film," a critical
look at the three generations of filmed adaptations of Jane Austen's