Rochester New York Region

Pride and Prejudice Anniversary Events
February and March, 2013

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, the Rochester Region conducted a series of events at a Jane Austen era home near Rochester in Canandaigua.  The final event was a dance demonstration and announcement of the winner of our short story contest.

In February and March, the Janeiacs (rhymes with maniacs) of the Rochester Region, along with Granger Homestead and Wood Library joined forces to mark the anniversary.  The Janeiacs are JASNA Rochester’s version of JASNA New York Metro’s Juvenilia group, but without age restrictions; all ages are welcome.  They like to think of themselves as “Action Janeites.”  The series of events kicked off on Feburary 19th with a showing of the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and the start of a Student Short Story Contest at Wood Library.

The following Saturday, a group of Jane Austen enthusiasts gathered at Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum (circa 1816) to discuss Pride and Prejudice led by former Canandaigua Academy English teacher Kathy Nacca.  The discussions ranged from the effects of neglectful parents to the future happiness of Mrs. Charlotte Collins.  A tea of scones, fresh fruit, and cakes was served in the formal dining room.

Two weeks later on March 2nd, the group met again at Granger to discuss Pamela Aidan’s An Assembly Such as This, the first in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series.  Aniela Wolkonowski (JASNA Rochester Member) led the discussion on Darcy’s perspective of the early events in Pride and Prejudice.  The discussion grew heated as some members of the group tried to argue the books merits, while others said it wasn’t Jane enough and lacked her wit.  The argument ended with an authentic 1813 tea of English muffin, fresh fruit, and toast with jam served in the formal dining room.

The next day, Lisa Brown (Co-Coordinator of JASNA Rochester and proprietress of Regency Rentals) gave a presentation on the historical and social significance of the fashions for men and women of the late 18th and early 19th century at Wood Library.  Fourteen volunteer models and dressers helped show-off the fashions similar to those popular in Jane Austen’s life time.  Ms. Brown’s Fashion Show was the best attended event and was considered a great success by all involved.

An 1813 English Country Ball hosted at Granger Homestead was the Grand Finale to the Austen inspired events.  Miss Lydia Huth was announced as the first place winner of the Short Story Contest with her epistolary style entry entitled Ado.  She won a year membership to JASNA and a Jane Austen style makeover with gown and accessories supplied by Regency Rentals.  After she was awarded her prizes, a dance demonstration was given by the English Country Dancers of Rochester.  On-lookers enthusiastically joined in the dances after refreshments.  Click here to see a video.  Period style dancing in a period home certainly was a great way to end a celebration for the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice.

—Aniela Wolkonowski

JASNA Rochester members give a demonstration of English Country Dancing at the Granger Homestead.
Photo by Lisa Brown.