Persuasions #15, 1993                                                                                                                                                                 Pages 15




Message from the President


One thing leads to another.  An Anne Elliot and a Frederick Wentworth will meet, fall in love, and marry – well, eventually they marry.  A reader who chances upon one book by Jane Austen will read another, and another, then all.  Next this same reader very likely will turn to biographies of Austen …  British histories covering her era … other authors of the period … earlier writers who influenced her … later writers she influenced.  And, what with one thing leading to another, this reader may soon be speaking at a JASNA annual conference or writing for this very journal.

The reader need not be a college professor or even a college English major.  In fact, there are only three requirements: an abiding appreciation of the works of Jane Austen, intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to share one’s discoveries with others.  Fortunately, JASNA is blessed with many such readers.

One way this society stands apart from many literary groups is the easy footing on which academic and amateur enthusiasts mingle and exchange ideas.  Ornithology has been said to be the last science in which amateurs make significant contributions.  Perhaps Jane Austen is the ornithology of literary studies.  The analogy suits.  Birds – whisper light but capable of magical feats and thrilling songs.  Jane Austen – “light & bright & sparkling” but magical and thrilling enough to captivate audiences for 200 years.

As you read this 15th edition of Persuasions, you are certain to be captivated all over again.  Our editors have assembled a stunning collection of works by academics and amateurs who will share with you their insight, their imagination, and most of all, their joy in the words of Jane Austen.  And we do hope that one thing will lead to another, that within these pages you will find inspiration to contribute your own thoughts to future conferences and future publications.  In doing so, you will truly reflect the spirit of Jane Austen and of JASNA.




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