Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I had always been curious about the annual JASNA conventions, and the proximity of this meeting to my home town spurred me to attend. It was fortunate that I did, as it was an unmitigated delight! The convention focused on "Sense and Sensibility" (due to this being the 200th anniversary of its publication) and all the plenary speakers and sessions were both interesting and inspiring. (Andrew Davies, prominent author and screenwriter, was a particular highlight, and we were fortunate enough to have Louise West, Curator of Jane Austen's House Museum in Chawton, England with us as well.) The social gatherings were also exemplary; the banquet, Regency ball, and wedding brunch were beautifully done and allowed us to mingle with a myriad of other wonderful attendees (many of whom were in beautiful costumes). I went with friends, but didn't meet a stranger the entire time! Kudos to the special tours as well; I went to the Botanical gardens (which included a spectacular Japanese garden), but other tour options included a special tea, museums, and more. I highly recommend the JASNA convention to any Austen fan; there's something for everyone, ranging from her most casual readers to academics. Janeites, unite!