April 2010 Meeting: Jane Austen’s letters, 1811-1814

The eight members present put aside the immediate concerns of Fanny Price and concentrated instead on Jane Austen’s correspondence during the time of her writing Mansfield Park.

Before we discussed the letters there was more news of the ACT group’s involvement in the September JASA Conference. The group has agreed to judge this year’s writing competition and to provide a quiz. We decided that the writing competition (for which we need to nominate a topic by the end of May) will be discussed at the May meeting (along with the Conference presentation). Note – emails have been circulating on the writing competition suggestions so please check your in-boxes for the latest news. The quiz is scheduled for discussion at the July meeting.

And so to the letters – another stimulating and wide ranging JASA discussion was the result. As part of the numerous subjects under discussion, some members highlighted examples of Jane’s attention to detail – the level of accuracy sought in the naming of ships for example. Others commented on the engaging and rich observations of characters to be found. Favourite passages were read aloud and everyone agreed that the letters had been pleasurable homework.

The meeting ended with another round of quotes and two quizzes (one on Austen heroines and another on Persuasion – thank you to the two members who prepared the quizzes).

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One Response to April 2010 Meeting: Jane Austen’s letters, 1811-1814

  1. Thanks bluepolonaise. Another thing I think we discussed in the letters were references to women’s lot – her support of the Princess of Wales simply because she was a woman, and a reference in another letter to the education of girls. Although these letters were a little overwhelming at times with the plethora of names and places mentioned, we could still glean a lot from them couldn’t we?

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