Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Abolition and the Female Consumer


William Wilberforce
a leader in the movement to abolish the British slave trade
By Anton Hickel - Image: Bridgeman Art Gallery; Portrait: Wilberforce House, Hull Museum

"But I do talk to him more than I used. I am sure I do. Did not you hear me ask him about the slave-trade last night?" Mansfield Park chapter 21

With 2020 behind us we can hopefully look forward to better things in 2021. Here is JASNA's Central and Western New York region we will begin the year with our Jane and Cassandra Austen Birthday celebration. We will continue to be virtual for awhile yet, but, perhaps by the fall we will be able to gather in person again.

Please join us to hear Tricia Matthew, University of Buffalo Scholar in Residence seek on "I hope white hands": Abolition and the Female Consumer. From the speaker:

"Based on my research trip to seven cities in the United Kingdom, this talk focuses on abolition, Josiah Wedgwood, and women as consumers. When we pay attention to the ways that the three intersect, we can better understand Regency-era culture and the rituals it taught women to follow as they participated more fully in public debates."

Details below:

Event:   JASNA CWNY (Virtual) Jane and Cassandra Austen Birthday Celebration
Topic:    "I hope white hands": Abolition and the Female Consumer
               A talk by University of Buffalo Scholar in Residence Tricia Matthew
When:    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1 pm EST 
Where:   Online through Zoom, pre-registration required
Note:      Enjoy birthday cake and/or popovers at home.
               Don't forget to have a suitable beverage on hand for the birthday toast!
Registration: Use the link below to fill out the registration form:

Link to registration form


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Susan Allen Ford on Jane Austen and the Economies of Alteration


Jane Austen Watercolor by Cassandra Austen

"I shall want two new colored gowns for the summer, for my pink one will not do more than clear me from Steventon." 
Jane Austen Letter to Cassandra 25 January 1801

Event:   JASNA CWNY December Meeting
Topic:    "Just in a happy state of flounce": Jane Austen's Economies of 
                A talk by Susan Allen Ford, editor of Persuasions and
                Persuasions On-Line 
When:    Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 1 pm EST
Where:   Online through Zoom, pre-registration required
NOTE:   This meeting is on the second Saturday!
Registration RequiredRegistration Link

PLEASE NOTE: If you registered for this event on December 1 or 2 please re-register. The registration form did not obtain your email address which we need to send the link for the meeting. If you are registering on December 3 or later just click on the Registration Form link and fill in the form.

Thank you

Speaker: Susan Allen Ford is Editor of Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line and Professor of English Emerita at Delta State University. She has published essays on Jane Austen and her contemporaries, detective fiction, and the Gothic, and is slowly working on a book on what Austen’s characters are reading.

Topic: “Just in a happy state of flounce”: Jane Austen's economies of alteration. Susan examines Austen’s interest in clothing, particularly in terms of buying, making and altering it and also how clothing defines people, taking on almost human characteristics.

Here is the link to the registration form

Registration Form

Monday, November 2, 2020

Liz Cooper on "Jane Austen: Working Woman"

Jane Austen's Home Office (1)

Event:   JASNA CWNY November Meeting
Topic:    Jane Austen: Working Woman
               "I must keep to my own style & go on in my own way"
               A talk by JASNA President Liz Philosophos Cooper
When:    Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 1 pm EST
Where:   Online through Zoom
Registration Required: Registration Link

Jane Austen wrote primarily about England's leisure class, but working people are always present in supporting roles. In Emma, Mrs. Goddard runs a boarding school for young ladies and Mrs. Ford needs to deal with indecisive customers like Harriet. In studying Jane Austen's gentry we might forget that Jane Austen was, herself, a working woman. She fully desired to earn a living from her writing. 

However, it was not easy for Jane Austen to succeed as a professional writer. Like so many working people today, she worked from home where she had to share both space and domestic duties with others. At least she did not have to spend her days on Zoom.

To learn more about what is was like for Jane Austen as a working woman, please join us (virtually) for our November meeting. JASNA President Liz Philosophos Cooper will speak via Zoom  on "Jane Austen: Working Woman"

(1) Photo credit: Pierre Terre, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13637088

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Review of the Virtual AGM

"This is a day well spent"
The Beautiful Cassandra

Event:           JASNA CWNY October Meeting
Topic:            Discussion of the presentations at the Virtual AGM
When:           Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 1 pm EDT
Where:          Online through Zoom

The JASNA 2020 Virtual AGM is upon us. If you are participating, you have probably seen the platform. It looks like an awesome experience. Gathering together is very difficult in these pandemic times, but this event will give us a chance to get together and celebrate some of the charming works of a youthful author. 

Whether or not you are attending the Virtual AGM, you are invited to attend the Central and Western New York Region's October meeting where we will review the Virtual AGM, virtually, of course. Please join us as we discuss our favorite plenary and breakout sessions, revel in memories of the Social Hour in the (virtual) Assembly Rooms, and discuss the little known characters we learned about in Jane Austen Bingo. If you would like to attend, please click on the link above to register and receive the meeting information.

 Sooner or later this pandemic will end, at which time we look forward to seeing all our local members again in person. In the meantime, this is a great way to stay connected. We also welcome the opportunity to connect with members from other regions who would like to share their experiences at the Virtual AGM. Perhaps the only bright side of all this is the chance to share with members of the broader Jane Austen community.

Hope to see you there (virtually).

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 jasnacwny@gmail.com 

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.