Thursday, August 6, 2020

Law of Inheritance in Jane Austen's Time by James Nagle

The Dashwoods Discuss Harry's Inheritance

"Well, then, let something be done for them; but that something need not be three thousand pounds. Consider," she added, "that when the money is once parted with, it never can return. Your sisters will marry, and it will be gone forever. If, indeed, it could be restored to our poor little boy-" Sense and Sensibility chapter 2

Event:    JASNA CWNY September Meeting

Topic:    Law and Inheritance in the Regency

                A talk by James Nagle of the Puget Sound Region

When:   Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm EDT


Where: Online via Zoom


Welcome to the 2020 edition of JASNA Central and Western New York’s programming. Due to the ongoing Covid crisis, we will be presenting our programs online via Zoom, and we have an exciting lineup of guest speakers and discussions. You can view our fall schedule on the Upcoming Events tab above.


In September, James Nagle will be joining us from the Puget Sound Region via the magic of the internet.


Speaker: James F. Nagle, a member of the Puget Sound Region, is a former secretary of JASNA. A semi-retired lawyer, Jim has spoken at numerous AGMs and to various Regions regarding various aspects of Jane’s life and times.


Topic:   Law of Inheritance in Jane Austen’s Time 

While Jane Austen’s novels revolve around love, the issues of money and inheritance always seem to be intertwined. A young woman, considering the economic rights and opportunities at the time, had to be especially concerned about marrying prudently in an age where there was no Social Security, Medicare, or pensions as we know them today. This talk will study the concepts of law, property rights, and inheritance, especially primogeniture and entailment, as they affect Jane’s novels. To make the talk even more current, examples will often be used from the hit BBC series, Downton Abbey.


Registration: Pre-registration is required. Limit 100 attendees.


In order to participate, you will need to register by submitting a Google form response. Instructions for this will be sent out shortly. Our Zoom account can only accommodate 100 guests. JASNA members from the Central and Western NY region will get preference for registering, but our region is not that big, so there should be space for JASNA members from other Regions.


If you are not familiar with Zoom, JASNA has provided a nice instruction document which can be found by clicking here.


The law of inheritance drives a large part of the plots in Jane Austen’s novels. It is responsible for the poor prospects of the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice, and it conspires with John and Fanny Dashwood to impoverish the Dashwood sisters in Sense and Sensibility. Please join us to hear James Nagle discuss this subject.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Jane Austen Bingo

Join us for Jane Austen Bingo
Central and Western New York

Sample Bingo Card
"Yes; these four evenings have enabled them to ascertain that they both like Vingt-un better than Commerce; but with respect to any other leading characteristic, I do not imagine that much has been unfolded." Pride and Prejudice chapter 6

Tired of card games? Had enough of Commerce and Vingt-un? How about some Jane Austen themed bingo? Lisa Brown is organizing an online Zoom-based Bingo event featuring your favorite author. Here are the details:

Event: Jane Austen Bingo
When: Saturday, April 25 at 1 pm
Registration: email Lisa Brown at 

After registering, Lisa will assign you a bingo card. Click here to access the cards. Download and print your assigned card.

Prior to the event, Lisa will email you a link to Zoom. Follow the directions to download Zoom and join the meeting with video and audio. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

A Little Coloring Fun

Genesee Country Village and Museum 1810
"...she very kindly took his part in hand, and curtailed every speech that admitted being shortened; besides pointing out the necessity of his being very much dressed, and chusing his colours." 
Maansfield Park chapter 15

An added note: Lisa Brown just supplied us with a few more pictures to color. So if you have already filled in all the lines there are a few more at the link below. Have fun!

Looking for an amusing activity while we weather the pandemic storm? Lisa Brown has sent along  some coloring pages of Regency fashions provided by Genesee Country Village and Museum. Along with the coloring pages there are pictures of the original outfits. There are also two views of Chawton Cottage that can be colored. These can all be found at:

You can watch Jennifer Ehle reading Pride and Prejudice on YouTube at Pride and Prejudice read by Jennifer Ehle

There will also be a livestream of a new musical called Pride and Prejudice a new Musical. Registration for this event is at Pride and Prejudice a new Musical

Hopefully our region will be able to gather again in the fall for more lively discussions of all things Austen. Time will tell.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Thanks to Lisa Brown for picture and quote

"Ah! there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. Nobody can be more devoted to home than I am." Emma, chapter 14

Following the guidance of JASNA we are cancelling our March, April, and May meetings.

Stay safe and healthy!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Please join us as JASNA CWNY
goes to the movies!

Saturday, March 7 movie at 1:50 pm please arrive about 1:30 pm 
Pittsford Cinema
located in Pittsford Plaza

Regency Era clothing admired but not required!

Discussion afterwards at Root 31 Cafe
located near the theatre in the Pittsford Plaza

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Jane Austen's Juvenilia (or maybe a surprise)

Rice Portrait
Said to be of Jane Austen when she was 15
However, This is highly debatable
“Never did I see such an affecting Scene as was the meeting of Edward and Augustus.

"My Life! my Soul!" (exclaimed the former) "My adorable angel!" (replied the latter) as they flew into each other's arms. It was too pathetic for the feelings of Sophia and myself--We fainted alternately on a sofa.” Love and Freindship, Letter the Eighth

Event:    JASNA CWNY February Meeting
Topic:    A Discussion of Jane Austen's Juvenilia
When:   Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 1 pm
Where:   Pittsford Barnes and Noble, Community Room
Note:      We are working on the possibility of a guest speaker. It may happen or it may not. Watch this space for the later updates.

In her teens, Jane Austen wrote a series of stories that have since become known as her Juvenilia. The works are full of murder, drunkenness and ladies who have nothing better to do that faint. The stories brim with humor and exuberance and, at times, show echoes of Jane Austen's later works.  Here is a selection from Lesley Castle:

“My Brother has just left us….Never was there a better young Man! Ah! how little did he deserve the misfortunes he has experienced in the Marriage state. So good a Husband to so bad a Wife! for you know my dear Charlotte that the Worthless Louisa left him, her Child and reputation a few weeks ago in company with Danvers and dishonour. …Lesley is at present but five and twenty, and has already given himself up to melancholy and Despair…. While our father is fluttering about the streets of London, gay, dissipated, and Thoughtless at the age of 57, Matilda and I continue secluded from Mankind in our old and Mouldering Castle, which is situated two miles from Perth on a bold projecting Rock, and commands an extensive veiw of the Town and its delightful Environs. But tho' retired from almost all the World, (for we visit no one but the M'Leods, The M'Kenzies, the M'Phersons, the M'Cartneys, the M'Donalds, The M'kinnons, the M'lellans, the M'kays, the Macbeths and the Macduffs) we are neither dull nor unhappy…”

Poor Lesley shows all the sensibility of Marianne Dashwood. Danvers and Louisa have run off like Henry Crawford and Maria Bertram. Northanger Abbey may have arisen from the ruins of mouldering Lesley Castle. Finally, with all those Scottish clans, I'm sure Matilda dined with at least four and twenty families.

As mentioned above, we may have the opportunity for an out of town guest speaker at this meeting, or we may not. I'll post something here as soon as we know. Meanwhile, pick your favorite bit from the Juvenilia and join us to talk about why it is your favorite.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Happy Birthday Jane and Cassandra

Please join the Central &Western NY Region of the
Jane Austen Society of North America
for our annual celebration of Jane Austen’s birthday

Saturday, January 18, 2020
10:30 am – 1:30 pm

Chatterbox Club
25 N Goodman St, Rochester, NY 14607

Registration is required by January 11, 2020

$30.00 JASNA members     $35.00 non-members

Quiche, popovers, cake and ice cream


David Cay Johnston speaking on
Jane Austen Economics: The Effects of Idle Riches

Our speaker, David Cay Johnston, is the 2001 Pulitzer Prize recipient for Beat Reporting. He is a columnist for The Daily Beast, Investopedia, USA Today,, Tax Analysts and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. He is a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Syracuse University's College of Law and Whitman School of Management.
Johnston is the author of best-selling books on tax and economic policy. Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With The Bill, is about hidden subsidies, rigged markets, and corporate socialism. It follows his earlier book Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich—and Cheat Everybody Else, a New York Times bestseller on the U.S. tax system that won the Investigative Reporters and Editors 2003 Book of the Year award.