Jane Austen and The Abbey: Mystery, Mayhem, and Muslin in Portland

Special Events

Angela Barlow
“Jane Austen & Character: An Actor’s View”
Ticketed event: $10

Thursday, October 28, 8:00 to 9:00 pm

Angela Barlow Angela Barlow

British actress Angela Barlow will be performing at our “Curtain Raiser” on Thursday evening before the official start of the AGM.  She will be talking on “Jane Austen & Character: An Actor’s View.”

She examines the methods Austen might have used to create her inspired range of complex characters, and draws intriguing parallels with the actor’s process of building a role.  Using lively characterizations from Austen’s novels to illustrate her points, Angela brings you Catherine Morland, Isabella Thorpe, Mr and Mrs Bennet, Emma and many other favourites.  Her engaging presentation combines two of Angela’s lifelong passions—Jane Austen and acting.

Ms. Barlow has been working in theatre, television and radio for over 30 years.  She has appeared in a variety of stage plays—classical, modern and experimental—with theatre companies all over the British Isles.  In addition she has been seen on film and in numerous television dramas.  For the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s move to Chawton, Ms. Barlow delivered a wonderful dramatised talk at Chawton House Library on “Jane Austen & Character” which vibrantly and successfully brought to life many individuals from the novels.

“This insightful commentary was … a delightful mixture of humour and pathos, wit and satire.”
             – Susannah Fullerton, President, Jane Austen Society of Australia

“Angela Barlow delivered a wonderful dramatised talk, which vibrantly and successfully brought to life many individuals from the novels.  As an accomplished actor with a wide range of TV, film and theatre credits to her name Angela explored, most effectively, the subtle ways in which Austen may have worked on her creations.  All in all it made for a terrific evening of entertainment which was enjoyed by a packed house and which I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in Jane Austen.”
             – Stephen Lawrence, Chief Executive, Chawton House Library

Regency Book & Cartoon Display
Multnomah County Library
Reception: Thursday, October 28
Exhibit open every day during AGM

Emma First Edition Emma First Edition

One of the highlights of the Portland AGM will be a Regency Book & Cartoon Display at the Multnomah County Library.&nbs;; Reception: Thursday, October 28 4.00-5.30pm. 

The exhibit, which will focus on social satire in writing and the graphic arts, is open every day during the AGM.  The exhibit will include a wide array of first editions by Jane Austen and her female predecessors and contemporaries, along with some manuscript letters.

Some of the highlights include a display of four Jane Austen first editions, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Emma and Mansfield Park, a first American collected edition of Jane Austen's novels, a first edition of James Edward Austen-Leigh’s Memoir and an autograph letter by R.A. Austen-Leigh.  First editions of the so-called Northanger novels, The Mysteries of Udolpho, Cecilia, Camilla and Belinda, will also be displayed.

In addition to Jane Austen, writers represented will include Frances Burney, Anne Radcliffe, Elizabeth Inchbald, Maria Edgeworth, Charlotte Smith, Sarah Harriet Burney, Jane West, Hester Thrale Piozzi, Sydney Owenson, Charlotte Lennox, Laetitia Matilda Hawkins, Anna Maria Porter, Hannah Cowley, Elizabeth Hamilton, Lady Caroline Lamb, Georgiana Devonshire, Mary Brunton, Amelia Opie, Hannah More, Mary Robinson, and Susan Ferrier.

Nothing like this has ever been seen at a JASNA meeting before!

There will also be about 18 caricatures by James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, focusing on matters of manners and dress in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

We are all immensely grateful to Paula Stepankowsky, Marian LaBeck and James Petts for showing their collection, and to the Multnomah County Library for giving us all the opportunity to view such wonders.

Multnomah County Library, 801 SW 10th (5 min. walk from Hilton)
Monday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: noon-5 p.m.

Team Tilney Explains It All
Friday, October 29, 10:00 to 11:00 am

Henry Dancing

Four very enthusiastic fans of Henry Tilney will present a lively panel discussion explaining why Henry is their favorite Austen hero.  As Jan Brady might say, “It’s always Darcy! Darcy, Darcy, Darcy!” but almost never about Henry Tilney.  In this panel, four dedicated fans—some might say fanatics—of Henry Tilney will explain why they think their hero is sometimes misunderstood by their fellow Janeites.  And what’s up with that muslin thing, anyway?

Margaret Sullivan (Eastern PA Region) will moderate the panel.  She is the Editrix of AustenBlog.com and the creator of Mollands.net, a resource and community website for fans of Jane Austen.  Maggie is the author of The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World.

Kelley Brown (North Carolina Region) is a Human Resources Manager with Ingersoll Rand.  She has spent the past five years researching the Gothic Literature of the day that inspired Austen’s first novel.

Heather Laurence (Puget sound Region) has a web site, Solitary Elegance that features image collections for all of Jane Austen’s novels and is a resource for all Northanger Abbey-related radio plays, stage plays, and screenplays.  Heather lives in Seattle with two cats, two sons and one husband.

Lynn Marie Macy is a playwright, director, actor and adventure junkie who is now living in the New York tri-state area.  She wrote a wonderful stage adaptation of Northanger Abbey that has been produced off-off-Broadway twice, in California, and published in an anthology called Playing With Canons by New York Theatre Experience.

Jeff Nigro
“Mystery Meets Muslin: Regency Gothic Dress in Art, Fashion and the Theater”
A Special Interest Slide/Lecture

Friday, October 29, 8:30 to 9:30 pm

Jeff Nigro Jeff Nigro

Flounces and lilac sarsenets.  Coloured petticoats with braces over the white spencers and enormous bonnets.  A new muslin gown.  In Northanger Abbey we learn that “Dress is at all times a frivolous distinction, and excessive solicitude about it often destroys its own aim.”  But how fun it is to be genuinely interested in Regency Gothic Dress.

Jeffrey Nigro is an independent art historian and lecturer, a member of JASNA Greater Chicago Region, and a favorite speaker on art and culture.

“Man only can be aware of the insensibility of man towards a new gown.”  Northanger Abbey in 1818.  In 2010 our esteemed speaker proves the opposite!

The Monster Mash
The Gothic in Northanger Abbey
Saturday, October 30, 8:30 to 11:00 pm (During the Bal Masqué)

Ghostbuster Catherine: Ghostbuster

Perhaps your feelings about the Saturday night Bal Masqué have been expressed in Emma: “It may be possible to do without dancing entirely.”  For those who do not wish to attend the Ball, across the foyer will be The Monster Mash—three speakers about the Gothic in Northanger Abbey.  The speakers will present consecutively in the same room so you will be able to hear one, two, or all three.

Liz McClurg is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska.  Her topic is: “Jane Austen, Monsters, and Other Things that Go Bump in the Night.”  She will explore what Jane Austen and her contemporaries may have actually thought or “known” about vampires and sea monsters as well as other monsters that were part of late 18th century folklore, fell out of favor, but are now back in vogue.

Elsie Holzwarth is a Chicago attorney.  Her topic is: “American Gothic: Edgar Allan Poe in the Shadows of Northanger Abbey.  She finds many parallels between Poe and Austen and will compare similar portions of Northanger Abbey and The Fall of the House of Usher, and explore similarities between Henry Tilney and Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin.

Amy Smith is an associate professor of English at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.  Her topic is: “Catherine Morland, Vampire Hunter.“  All right, Catherine wasn’t really a vampire hunter, but Amanda Grange’s Mr. Darcy, Vampyre is dedicated to her and Ms Smith believes Catherine would have loved it.  What can all this vampire activity mean?  Is it mere pandering to the commercial success of Twilight series, or does it somehow allow us to see Austen’s work in an informative new light?

Panel Discussion at Sunday Brunch
“Dispute without Mayhem”
Sunday, October 31

“Dispute Without Mayhem” will be a Panel Discussion on Northanger Abbey with William Phillips, Diana Birchall, and Joan Ray.  No mayhem we hope, but plenty of sparks no doubt…

Joan Ray

Diana Birchall

William Phillips