REGIONAL NEWS, 1981
Ellen Bernstein, Boston:
This is to tell you
about a performance which took place in Boston on the afternoon of
May 17lh. It was entitled “Written by a Lady” and
consisted of scenes of love and courtship from several of the novels
of Jane Austen linked by appropriate narration and music. The three
professional actors who performed in the play were all excellent.
They dressed in period costume and were lively and believable in a
number of different parts. John Adair’s Mr. Collins was a
masterpiece and Pat Dougan made a formidable Lady Catherine while
Linda Cameron captured Mrs. Elton to perfection. They were equally
good in their other parts and the 60 guests from the New England
Chapter were very pleased with the event. We had the additional good
fortune of being able to hold the performance in the British
consulate. The play was followed by tea.
Cappie McQuarrie, Chicago:
Last Saturday, May
30th, we had another interesting meeting of the Chicago area members
– again, at the Chicago Cultural Center. Maggie Cohn and Mary
Marshall arranged it.
Mary Marshall, a bibliographer and cataloguer for
a rare book dealer, spoke on book collecting in general and
specifically on collecting Jane Austen. She brought a number of
books from her own collection ranging from a first edition of
in its original boards to the most recent critical studies. It was a
fascinating afternoon for Jane Austen enthusiasts.
Shirley Bassett, Clayton, Missouri:
Our group now numbers
17, with possibilities of growth. Our June meeting was highlighted
by a slide presentation of the costumes of Jane Austen’s period
courtesy of Nancy Kaprelian and Cathy Reilly. In September we had a
reading of “Lovers’ Vows” which I directed. This
time there was a surplus of actors as opposed to the situation that
prevailed at Mansfield Park.
Joan Carr, Davis, California:
This past fall (1980) I would
join a couple of my friends (also Janeites) in avid and detailed
discussion of Masterpiece Theatre’s enchanting serialization of Pride and Prejudice.
We would all be very eager to read about the views of other members
concerning the series.
Eileen Morris, Toronto:
We had a meeting yesterday (June
21st) at Mary Millard’s home. She intends having a garden
party in June every year and promises the same ideal weather that we
enjoyed. Discussion centered on 1982 and Toronto as the location of
the AGM. This city has many congenial resources from a network of
antiquarian booksellers to points of historic interest to a Tourist
Board that is very co-operative.
J. David Grey, New York:
On April 25th, a cold and
gloomy Saturday afternoon, over 80 members from Metropolitan New York
gathered at the English Speaking Union. As the afternoon progressed,
tea and sandwiches were followed by sherry and biscuits and the
conversation was non-stop for four hours. The recent appearance of Sir Charles Grandison,
the playlet attributed by some to JA, served as the theme for the
occasion. Joe Costa inveigled me into delivering an impromptu
lecture on the book and the probability of JA’s authorship of
it. Fortunately, I had Harry Burke to assist me. Among the guests
was Dr. A. L. Rowse, the Shakespearean scholar. His interest in JA
prompted the English society to invite him to speak at its AGM in
Chawton a few years ago.
the last two weeks in November a film made for British television
premiered at The Art Theater in Greenwich Village. The improbable
title was “Jane Austen in Manhattan” and the plot,
coincidentally, involved the dispute between two rival theatrical
companies, one operatic the other avant-garde, over the production of
Sir Charles Grandison.
The producers, at this writing, have promised a special JA
afternoon, with refreshments, for the local membership. We shall,
therefore, be celebrating her birthday early.
Lorraine Hanaway, Philadelphia:
Members of the Philadelphia region
met on November 22, 1981 for dessert and coffee and to see Charlotte
Goodman’s film of the 1975 Jane Austen Bicentenary Festivities
in Hampshire. Charlotte graciously answered queries about the
celebrations. The next gathering will be the second annual spring
luncheon at the Faculty Club of the University of Pennsylvania on
April 14, 1982, at 12 noon. For more details, members should contact
Lorraine Hanaway, 19 Farm Road, Wayne, PA 19087.
Joan Austen-Leigh, British Columbia:
Wine and a light supper were served
to Vancouver members at the home of Freydis Welland in May. Nine
ladies attended, none of whom had ever met each other before. But
‘when nice people’ get together! At the end of ten
minutes, one would have thought they were old, old friends. As we
are going to press Eileen Sutherland plans a birthday party (December
16, naturally) at her home in North Vancouver.
JA and the Pleasures of
Winston Churchill, having heard that Quennell was
writing the biography of Ruskin, once mumbled, “Ah
Rushkin … Rushkin – a man
with a shingularly
much the same remark, though for different reasons, might be made of
Quennell himself, who seems to have regularly loved and lost. For a
while he had a liaison with a woman of remarkably literary tastes: “I
remember exchanging a complete Jane Austen, published by the Oxford
University Press with some admirable plates, for the hour or two of
warmth and happiness she might have otherwise refused me.”
Seldom are the pleasures of literature so tangible!
Washington Post, Book World, January 18, 1981
Eloise M. Bell, Arlington, VA