This announcement comes with a heavy heart. To prioritize the safety of participants, volunteers and speakers in light of global health concerns, we have made the difficult decision to reschedule our 2020 Jane Austen Summer Program to next year. Previously scheduled for this June, our program “Jane Austen’s World” will now take place June 17-20, 2021.
We have an exceptional lineup of speakers and events, and it is incredibly sad to have to make this hard decision. JASP brings together a vibrant community of scholars and non-scholars to celebrate Jane Austen, and we hope that this community can still come together and experience our program next year. Many of our speakers have already agreed to come next year instead.
If you registered for JASP 2020, you have the following options:
Receive a full refund of your registration and any add-ons.
— Apply your registration toward next year’s JASP. We will reserve your spot in next year’s program.
— Gift your registration to someone else to attend in 2021. We will send the recipient a gift certificate.
— Donate all or part of your registration to JASP. As many of you know, JASP is run by a small staff and a tireless group of hardworking graduate students and volunteers, but we could not make it such an unforgettable event without you. We aim to use the extra time to make our 2021 program even better, and we appreciate your support. Donations are tax-deductible.
Please fill out the form linked to below by APRIL 30 to allow us to begin processing your donation, refund or registration for next year. If you made a hotel reservation with the JASP group discount at the Hampton Inn, your reservation will be canceled automatically and with no penalty. You will receive an email notice directly from the Hampton Inn.
By Jennifer Abella, Robin K. Floyd, Brett Harrison and Zeina Makky
Chances are, you’re looking for something fun to do right now. We’ve rounded up some Jane Austen-related things to watch, read and do to while away the hours.
“Emma” on demand: If, like us, you’ve gotten a little tired of older Austen adaptations and want something with a little more … flair, then we have the solution for you: Autumn de Wilde’s “Emma” has recently been released for streaming on various platforms, including Youtube, ITunes and Amazon Prime. If you aren’t sure about the $20 rental fee and want more convincing, here’s our review of the film.
“Lovers’ Vows”: We Happy Few, a theater company in Washington, D.C., has made available its production of “Lovers’ Vows.” Does that title sound familiar? It’s best known as the play the Bertrams and company stage in “Mansfield Park.” This version, written in 1798 by Elizabeth Inchbald, was controversial back in its day, but it’s mostly obscure now. The Washington Post said of the production: “Dear Jane Austen fans: Run, don’t perambulate, to see “Lovers’ Vows.” This show will suit your sense and sensibility.” Stream it here.(Donations encouraged.)
JASP theatricals: Each year at JASP, our graduate students stage a theatrical based on Austen’s juvenilia. Find videos of past productions — as well as presentations from past JASPs — HERE.
More Austen adaptations: If you’ve already seen the latest version of “Emma” and feel like streaming other adaptations, here are a few and where they’re available (unless specified, the movies and shows come with your subscription to these streaming services). If you have trouble viewing the list below, click here.
“Miss Austen”: Scheduled for release April 7, this novel by Gill Hornby centers on Mary, the oft-overlooked middle child of the Bennet clan in “Pride and Prejudice.” Horby’s book tells Austen’s story from Mary’s point of view and then expands her story beyond the end of “P&P.” If you have a soft spot for Mary, this book might be for you.
And if you can wait just a bit longer: Two books of note will be out May 26: “Recipe for Persuasion,” by Sonali Dev: A follow-up to her “Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors,” Dev’s latest reunites a chef with her old flame, now a soccer star, in a retelling of Austen’s “Persuasion.” “The Jane Austen Society,” by Natalie Jenner: Set just after World War II, this novel centers on a group of residents who team up to save Austen’s cottage.
New audiobooks: Speaking of Stevenson (you may remember her as Mrs. Elton in the 1996 “Emma” with Gwyneth Paltrow), she narrates the Gill Hornby novel “Miss Austen.” And it was recently announced that Richard Armitage (from the 2005 TV adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North and South”) will narrate Natalie Jenner’s forthcoming “The Jane Austen Society.”
Host a virtual tea party: Decorate your table, put on a pretty dress and invite your friends to while you pour the tea. There are several easy recipes for scones and the like that will call for your basic ingredients, like flour and eggs. Little moments such as these will lift your spirits. (Check out video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, WebEx and Skype.)
Byron’s challenge: In 1816, when his party was forced to stay indoors during the “Year Without a Summer,” Lord Byron challenged his friends to a contest to see who could write the best scary story. He may have lost interest in the competition, but Mary Shelley kept working on her idea and wrote her master work, “Frankenstein.” Today, we can pretend Lord Byron gave us that same challenge: Write a story or a poem and share it with your friends and family to entertain them.
Jane Austen Knits: If you’re an avid knitter, you probably already have a stash of yarn waiting to be used. If you are looking for a project with a Jane Austen theme, check out a few patterns here.
Embroidery: If you’ve aspired to try a new craft, now’s the time. Earlier this year, we offered a tutorial on embroidery. And with a little practice and patience, you can try a pattern from the book “Jane Austen Embroidery,” by Jennie Batchelor and Alison Larkin.
Write a letter: Making connections with our loved ones will sustain them as well as ourselves. Consider putting your thoughts into words and writing to your friends. It can be a simple email or even a letter in the mail. (Use proper precautions when sending and receiving postal mail.) You can also send a digital copy of the letter to be enjoyed now and send the hard copy later.
Paint a picture: Elinor Dashwood and Emma Woodhouse both enjoy painting in their respective novels and you can, too. If you share your home with family or roommates, perhaps now would be a great time to draw their portraits. If you live alone, you can paint a still life portrait of the objects you see (perhaps a TV remote, a roll of toilet paper and some packs of ramen?) If you make several, you can decorate your walls with them and have your own private gallery to enjoy while all the museums are closed to the public. (Many museums have made their collections available online, however, if you need some more inspiration!)
Play the piano: Thanks to the marvels of digitization, you can now leaf through every page of the Austen family’s music collection. On the virtual shelves of the Internet Archive, images of folios held by Jane Austen’s House and other museums are waiting to be explored. Crack open the time-worn tomes, dust off the pianoforte (maybe it’s from your secret admirer?), and learn to play like Austen herself. Learn more about her music here.
Manuscript of Keyboard Music linked from the Internet Archive (Credit: Images reproduced courtesy of Jane Austen’s House, Chawton)
Though the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” might not be particularly memorable for its historical accuracy or costuming, Dario Marianelli and Jean Yves-Thibaudet’s tracks added nuance and layered emotion, and provided a spectacular sonic backdrop to Lizzie’s narrative.
That film and other adaptations also lead us to wonder: What songs comprised the soundtrack of Austen’s life? Did she spend her days plucking out the strains of somber hymnals, or did she have a rebellious phase of rock and reels?
From her letters, we can suss out that she enjoyed listening to the harp (from a letter to Cassandra, April 18, 1811) and that her soundscape was populated by szuch marvelous tracks as “Poike de Parp pirs praise pof Prapela,” “In peace love tunes,” “Rosabelle,” “The Red Cross Knight” and “Poor Insect” (in a letter to Cassandra, April 25, 1811). Likewise, a brief review of Marian Kimber’s article, “Jane Austen’s Playlist,” reveals that Austen was familiar with such composers as Beethoven and Haydn, and a great admirer of Ignaz Pleyel’s works, but such a search feels rather dissatisfying on the whole.
However, for those looking for a more substantive set of evidence, a trove of time-worn folios, with curling, marbled covers and faded ink might be just the thing. A tour guided by Professor Jeanice Brooks of the University of Southampton explores the music books of the Austen family, while placing them within the geopolitical context of the Regency Era.
And for anyone who is still curious— the rabbit-hole doesn’t stop here. Digitized by the University of Southampton, a collection of the Austen family’s music books and sheets — 21 works in total, and approximately 600 songs — brings Austen’s playlist to life. With the turn of each virtual page, musings on the margins, handwritten titles, and carefully drawn notes (some written by Austen herself!) are sure to excite and enchant.