Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Meet JASNA's President


Jane Austen Society of North America - Central & Western NY Region

After the meeting, join us for an informal meet & greet with tea and cookies at 3:30 pm.


Meet JASNA's President

at our September Meeting!

Saturday, September 16

1:00 pm EDT

Pittsford Barnes & Noble Community Room

Jane Austen’s Reputation: Highlights of Her First Century in American Periodicals.

A talk by Mary Mintz, JASNA President

Here's a short description of the talk from the speaker:

Jane Austen’s repeated appearance in the periodical literature throughout the nineteenth century indicates a strong interest in her biography and her novels.  The latter were interpreted through a nineteenth lens that was very different from own perspective, but nevertheless, we recognize the Jane Austen they describe—in mostly glowing terms.  Their appreciation and interest kept her before the reading audience.

And here is a short bio of the speaker:

Mary Mintz holds two master’s degrees, one in library science and one in English literature with a specialization in nineteenth century British literature.  She is the Associate Director for Outreach at the American University Library in Washington, D.C., as well as the Humanities and Honors Librarian   As a faculty member at the university, she works closely with history and literature students to support their original research.  She has served JASNA nationally as the chair of the Nominating Committee, an at-large-member of the Board of Directors, and vice-president/president-elect.  On December 16, 2023, she became the president of JASNA.  She says, however, that her most rewarding role in JASNA so far has been serving as Coordinator of DC Region.    

After the talk please join us at a reception to meet Mary Mintz

Meet & Greet address & location

The Hahnemann Club at the Highlands At Pittsford 

301 Stoutenburgh Lane, Pittsford, NY 14534


From Barnes and Noble, turn right onto NY-31 E/Monroe Ave.

Continue to follow NY-31 E. for 2.4 miles.

Turn left onto Hahnemann Trail (First light after going through Pittsford Village.)

Take the first left. 

Turn left at the stop sign.

Take the first right onto Stoutenburgh Lane.

The Hahnemann club will be on your right.

Parking is available in front of the club, and along Stoutenburgh Lane on the right.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Buffalo Area Janeites - Sense and Sensibility and Starbucks


Sense and Sensibility Title Page

"... and one subject only engaged the ladies till coffee came in, ..." Sense and Sensibility Vol. II ch 12 (34)

Event:    JASNA CWNY Buffalo Area Discussion Group
Topic:    A discussion of Sense and Sensibility Vol. 1 led by Susan Harris-Gamard 
When:    Saturday, September 9th from 1-3 pm
Where:  Starbucks on Main Street in Williamsville, Conference Room

JASNA Central and Western NY is delighted to present our first Buffalo area meeting. If you live in the Buffalo area and love Jane Austen's work, please join us for coffee and an engaging opportunity to talk about Sense and Sensibility. As Anne Elliot said in Persuasion"My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation..." All you need is an interest in Jane Austen's work, and you will find good company. The coffee is optional.

Susan Harris-Gamard is a writer and avid traveler living in Clarence, NY. A JASNA member since 2008, she has had the privilege to attend many AGMs, including last year’s in Victoria. Her love for Austen began at university in 1996 while taking a course called “Gothic Women’s Fiction” taught by Austen Scholar Deidre Shauna Lynch. After returning to graduate school, Susan decided to focus on Jane Austen and completed a Master’s thesis in 2013 entitled “Marianne’s Narrow Escape: Redeeming Female Ruin, Sensibility, and the English Landscape through the Picturesque.” As your new co-regional coordinator, she looks forward to future sojourns into Austen’s novels through a monthly book discussion group held in Buffalo and many future events yet to come.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Spruce Beer


Ian Ferguson

"You know of course that Martha comes to-day, yesterday brought us notice of it, and the spruce beer is brewed in consequence." Jane Austen letter to Cassandra, October 7, 1808

Event:    JASNA CWNY May Meeting
Topic:    Spruce Beer, a talk and tasting by Ian Ferguson 
When:    Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 1 pm EDT 
Where:  IN PERSON at the Stone-Tolan House. 
               Click HERE for information on the Stone-Tolan House

Registration Details:  Cost $10, space is limited
                                     Pre-registration and pre-payment required

                                     Please click HERE to register.

                                     The event includes a tour of the Stone-Tolan House
                                     Attendees must be over 21

There will also be a group lunch at 11:00 am at Olives in Schoen Place before the talk. Pay on your own. You will need to reserve a spot at lunch by emailing Lisa Brown at For information on Olives please click HERE
Jane Austen enjoyed spruce beer. She mentioned it in her letters. We also find spruce beer in Emma.

"...he wanted to make a memorandum in his pocket-book; it was about spruce-beer. Mr. Knightley had been telling him something about brewing spruce-beer, and he wanted to put it down..." Emma chapter 40

Please join us to find out more about spruce beer and enjoy a tasting. Our speaker is an expert on brewing spruce beer:

Speaker bio:
Ian Ferguson began brewing beer with a friend while living in South Korea back in 2011. After moving to Denver, Colorado, Ian found a home brewing shop just down the road from where he lived and continued brewing simple recipes to share with his friends. When he moved to Paulding, Ohio, in 2017, he began to learn of the county and the history of its founder John Paulding. Combining his love for brewing and history, Ian began brewing spruce beer (which John Paulding certainly drank) and sharing the story of John Paulding and his spruce beer with the community. History is most inviting when it is not only told, but experienced.

We certainly agree with Mr. Ferguson that "history is most inviting when it is not only told, but experienced". So please join us to experience the tale and taste of one of Jane Austen's favorite beverages.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

“Weave, Knit, Net, Knot – Textiles and the Regency Era


Woman Day Dress, Made in India 1796-1804

Event:    JASNA CWNY April Meeting
Topic:    "Weave, Knit, Net, Knot - Textiles in the Regency Era" 
               A talk by Kate Jorgensen, JASNA CWNY member
When:    Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 1 pm EDT 
Where:  IN PERSON at Pittsford Barnes & Noble Community Room

We are all familiar with Regency fashions. We have seen them in the adaptations and worn them ourselves to Regency balls. But what went into making those dresses and tailcoats? At our April meeting Kate Jorgensen of our region will tell us how those beautiful garments were made.

Kate writes:
Bombazine, muslin, gauze, crape, worsted.  Jane Austen’s books and other writings are full of textile terms but what is behind these terms?  What fibers were used, where did they come from and how were the items produced?  What textile production inventions shifted the British textile production landscape during the Regency Era?  Please join us as Kate Jorgensen provides an overview that touches on each of these questions. During our time together we will look at textiles, fibers, the impact of trade and British Imperialism on textile production and access. and the changing textile production landscape during the Regency Era.

Please join us at Barnes and Noble to learn more about the details of Regency fashion.

Kate is a member of our region, apparently she has worked on mummies:
Kate Jorgensen is a life-long learner, reader, and hand arts enthusiast with an interest in history and how it links to who we are today.  Kate has three bachelor’s degrees (English Education, Chemistry and Textiles and Clothing) from The Ohio State University, an M.B.A. from Capital University, and an M.L.I.S. from Drexel University.  She also holds certifications in project management, Agile product ownership and change management and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.  Kate’s senior thesis was on microscopic evaluation of fibers from wrappings retrieved from mummy bundles and she began her career working with textiles and other artifacts retrieved from trunks from an 1865 shipwreck. Today Kate works on sustainability initiatives, focusing on changing what we are doing today to preserve the planet for tomorrow.  Kate can be found at

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

March Meeting "The World of Jane Austen Soundtracks"


Jane Austen at the Movies
By MGM - source, Public Domain,

Event:    JASNA CWNY March Meeting
Topic:    "The World of Jane Austen Soundtracks" 
               A talk by Ruth Mudge
When:    Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 1 pm EDT 
Where:  On-line through Zoom, pre-registration required
Registration: Click HERE to register

Lights, Camera, Action! Movie adaptations of Jane Austen's novels have a long history. They have been at times well loved and at times controversial. In these adaptations, acting, dialog, scenery, costuming and many other things are important in determining the success of the movie. Also of importance is the soundtrack. Please join us as Ruth Mudge discuss "The World of Jane Austen Soundtracks" at our next meeting.

The speaker writes:
"Soundtracks are one of the many vehicles used to portray the emotions, tone, era, comedy and more within films. In listening to and comparing musical themes, particularly from adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, this session will uncover the variety of ways that soundtracks interpret Jane’s stories and explores how music powerfully impacts the telling of these beloved stories."

Speaker bio:
Ruth Mudge is a cello and piano instructor in the western suburbs of the Chicago area. She also freelances regularly with local orchestras and ensembles. Ruth has written and collaborated on several soundtrack analysis projects over the past few years, and more recently began teaching soundtrack classes on Zoom, ranging from Harry Potter to The Sound of Music to a series on Jane Austen adaptations.

Please join us online for this musical look at the world of Jane Austen movies.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Admiral Charles Austen

 Event:    JASNA CWNY February Meeting
Topic:    "Narratives of a Naval Wife: Fanny Austen in Fact and 
               Jane Austen in Fiction" 
               A talk by Sheila Johnson Kindred
When:    Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 1 pm EDT 
Where:  On-line through Zoom, pre-registration required
               To register click HERE

Please join us on February 18 for a special online meeting where Sheila Johnson Kindred will tell us about the life of Fanny Palmer, Charles Austen's wife. 

Sheila writes:"When Fanny Palmer married Jane Austen’s younger naval brother Charles in 1807, she was thrust into a demanding life within the wartime world of the British navy. This talk will provide a vividly personal account of what Fanny was able to share with Jane about her life as a naval wife, information that was arguably contextual and catalytic for Austen’s creation of the naval wives in Persuasion."

About the speaker:
Sheila Johnson Kindred taught for many years in the Philosophy Department of St Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She has lectured on aspects of Jane Austen’s family and fiction in Canada, United States, Bermuda, Australia and England, and published fifteen articles on Austen related topics. She is the author of the prize winning book, Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister: The Life and Letters of Fanny Palmer Austen (2017). (I read this book and found it fascinating).

Sheila blogs on her website Jane Austen’s Naval World at

So please join us to learn about someone whose information may have contributed to Jane Austen's work.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Birthday Luncheon


Colonel Brandon mets Marianne after her illness

"Marianne's illness, though weakening in its kind, had not been long enough to make her recovery slow; and with youth, natural strength, and her mother's presence in aid, it proceeded so smoothly as to enable her to remove, within four days after the arrival of the latter, into Mrs. Palmer's dressing-room. When there, at her own particular request, for she was impatient to pour forth her thanks to him for fetching her mother, Colonel Brandon was invited to visit her." Sense and Sensibility ch. 46

A Birthday Lunch, Popovers, Colonel Brandon and the Far East

You are invited to lunch with JASNA-Central & Western New York on  Saturday, January 21 2023 at 10:30 am at The Chatterbox Club, 25 Goodman St N, Rochester NY 14607.  Cost of the luncheon is $40.  Yes!  There will be popovers! 

The luncheon speaker is Celia Easton, who will share her AGM talk on Colonel Brandon and Military Service in India.  

This form allows you to pay online through PayPal.  After submitting the form, click the link to authorize PayPal payment.  You will receive a "PAID" receipt.

To register and pay please click HERE

Please register by January 14 so that we know how many are coming

Guests should have current boosters against COVID and should wear masks at the event, except while eating.