Connecticut Region
Jane Austen Summer Camp
July 26-28, 2013


For many of us, summer camp evokes a giddy feeling of spending time with friends, old and new, and of trying new things.  The Jane Austen Summer Camp event aims to recapture the joy in learning as we imagine Jane Austen’s world.  Whether you just read your first Jane Austen novel or have loved her for years, everyone is welcome.

Hear lectures, play games, try Regency pastimes, and discuss Jane Austen with her other biggest fans.  Night owls can join us the first evening for a rousing game of “Who Wants to be a Duchess?”  Participants use their knowledge of Jane Austen and 19th century England to answer trivia questions.  See if you have what it takes to rise to the highest rank in the ton.  Purchase Raffle tickets to win a basket of “naughty” (PG-rated!) regency period gifts.  What will we include?  Find out at the conference!  The winning ticket will be drawn at Sunday closing.  “Random Acts of Regency Naughtiness” emerged as the conference theme after your conference committee had one waffle too many at a planning meeting!  For us, it evokes Jane’s wit.  Jane saw the humor in every situation, and she certainly wouldn’t turn down an invitation to dance.  Just like her heroines, we hope you find a few moments to be silly, be brave, and be outrageous at our Summer Camp.

Dr. Mark Schenker, Associate Dean of Yale College, will present two original lectures on Jane Austen’s work and influence.  The first, to be delivered on Friday night is: “Sensibility and Sense: How the 18th Century Meets the 19th in Jane Austen’s Novels.”  The second, to be delivered on Sunday is: “The Richness of ‘Ordinary Life’ in Jane Austen’s Novels.”

Four workshops will be included with the price of registration.  “Penmanship” with Irene Urban: Irene will be teaching 19th century penmanship complete with ink and quills from her sister’s duck and goose flocks.  “Regency Hairstyles” with Kandie Carle: renowned as “The Victorian Lady,” Kandie brings her meticulous knowledge of historical fashion to this Regency hairstyle workshop.  Both men’s and ladies’ hairstyles will be discussed; a supply list for the hands-on portion will be sent to attendees.  “Reticule & Wallet Making” led by expert seamstress Stephani Miller, JASNA-CT member and associate editor for Threads magazine: attendees will learn how to create their own Regency accessories: reticules for ladies and wallets/pocketbooks for men.  Supplies provided.  “Regency Silhouettes” with artist Lisa Scroggins: both an artist and a teacher, Lisa will show attendees how to create those elegant Regency Silhouettes.  If time permits, watercolors may also be explored.

Regency dance instructor Susan de Guardiola will lead a dance workshop for attendees, and there will be a lecture on Regency Dining by Irene Urban.  The cash bar features drinks based on each of Austen’s 6 heroes.  (Will you be having the Wentworth or the Darcy?).  Dinner, including a special surprise dessert, will be followed by a Regency Dance with period music.  Dances will be “called” by Susan de Guardiola.  Beginners most welcome!

Regency costume is encouraged, but certainly not required.

The event will be held at the historic Inn at Middletown which is centrally located in Middletown, Connecticut.  Built in 1810, the Inn has a neoclassic style perfectly suited to a weekend with Jane.  The Inn is located at: 70 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.  Accommodation for attendees will be at the special rate of $149 a night.  (To reserve your hotel room, please contact the Inn directly at 800-637-9851 or visit our blog for the online reservation website.  Mention the Jane Austen Society of North America to receive the conference rate and be included in our room block.)

For more details, including the cost of the event and the daily schedule, please go to

—Stephani Miller