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.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Edith Lank: 1926-2023 Founder of JASNACWNY

Edith Lank 1926-2023

Sad news. Edith will be missed by all.

In Memoriam

Edith Lank

Central and Western New York

Edith Lank died January 1, 2023. She was born Edith Handleman on February 27, 1926, in Chelsea, Mass., and graduated from Penn Yan Academy and Syracuse University (Phi Beta Kappa). In 1948, she wed Norman Lank—a loving partnership that lasted until his death in 2011. Having worked for newspapers since her high school years, she created an advice column on real estate in the 1970s that eventually was distributed to more than 100 newspapers. She wrote her last column in 2019. Edith also taught at St. John Fisher College in Rochester and lectured on real estate nationally, appearing frequently on television and radio. She wrote real estate licensing textbooks for New York and New Jersey. She was also an avid bird watcher and certified scuba diver.

For Janeites both in her own region and across North America, Edith was a guiding light for decades. Several years before attending her first AGM in Baltimore in 1980, she founded the Rochester Jane Austen group that later became JASNA Rochester (and that merged with JASNA Syracuse in 2015 to become JASNA CWNY). She also served on the JASNA North American board; was an enthusiastic mentor to younger Janeites; answered the JASNA toll-free hotline (when there was one) for several years; and enlivened countless Rochester meetings and several AGM breakout sessions with her trademark wit and verve. She was also always willing to share her remarkable collection of Austen-related books and ephemera—including a complete set of first editions, an original signature, and Lord Brabourne’s edition of Austen’s letters including family and other annotations—with JASNA members, as attendees at her Chicago 2008 breakout (see Persuasions 30: 76-87) can attest! Much of her JASNA ephemera collection, offering delightful documentation of early AGMs, is now in the JASNA archives at Goucher College.

Edith had several other articles published in Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line:

Annotations on the Bellas copy of the Letters: 

On Darcy Wentworth:

Who was Harriet's mother?:

On "lop't and crop't":

Edith is survived by her sons, Avrum (Dannette) of Milwaukee, WI, and Dov (Constance Smith) of Port Moody, BC, Canada; a daughter, Anna (Michael Mortenson), of Manhattan; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to JASNA, earmarked for the Edith Lank Fund, which was established in 2022 by Edith’s children and announced at the Victoria AGM by her son Dov (David). 


Monday, December 5, 2022

Watercolor by Cassandra Austen thought to be Jane
Why didn't you ask her to turn around?

"Imagine to yourself everything most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together." 
Letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra 9 January 1796. Jane Austen's Letters 4th ed. Deirdre Le Faye p. 1

 Event:    JASNA CWNY December Meeting
Topic:    "Cassandra at 250: An Appreciation"
               A talk by Marie Sprayberry, JASNA CWNY member
When:    Saturday, December 10, 2022 at 1 pm EDT (2nd Saturday)
Where:  Online through Zoom, pre-registration required

Registration: CLICK HERE

Cassandra Austen was Jane Austen's beloved sister. This month Marie Sprayberry will tell us more about Cassandra. Marie writes:

"Although we're all looking forward to Jane Austen's birthday on December 16, we have another Austen's milestone birthday coming up: Jane's beloved older sister, Cassandra, turns 250 on January 9. Unfortunately, Cassandra is often viewed these days only as the relative who burned many of Jane's letters. But, as usual, the truth is more interesting and more complicated. Join us on December 10 on Zoom at 1 pm to learn more!"

Marie is a life member of JASNA and has spoken at our regional meetings previously. Just a year ago she spoke to us about "Martha Lloyd and Cooking at Chawton Cottage"

Please join us as Marie Sprayberry tells us about someone who was a very important part of Jane Austen's life.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

A Tea Wreath Event

A cozy tea wreath made by you
to keep you warm the winter through

Event:    JASNA CWNY November Meeting
Topics:  Holiday Tea Wreath Workshop AND
              Discussion of the recent JASNA Conference in Victoria, BC
When:    Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 1 pm EDT 
Where:  IN PERSON at Pittsford Barnes & Noble Community Room

Please join us and make a Thanksgiving wreath, an Advent wreath, or an All Seasons wreath.

We'll supply the wreath frame, colorful clothespins, teabags, and a Jane Austen or teapot ornament! 

You bring a decorative bow and scissors.

You can also bring your own teabags in paper wrappers, extra teabags for others to use, or extra bows or ribbons.

After we get started on the wreaths, our members who attended the AGM in Victoria will share their favorite moments with us.

This one has a pretty bow
to brighten a day filled with snow

Monday, October 10, 2022

 October Meeting Cancelled

Our October meeting was going to be a review of the recent JASNA Annual Meeting in Victoria. However, several of our members who were at the AGM will be unable to attend our review.

Therefore, we have decided to combine the October topic with the November meeting. In November we will meet to make tea wreaths and discuss whatever we wish to discuss including the AGM. More about that later.

Thank you for your understanding. See you in November.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

AGM Sneak Peak


From Prada to Nada
By IMP Awards, Fair use,

Event:    JASNA CWNY September Meeting
Topic:    "From Prada to Nada: The Dashwood Sisters in Los Angeles"
               A talk by Alice Villaseňor, JASNA-CWNY Member and Associate 
               Director of the Civic and Community Engagement Office at Buffalo State 
When:    Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 1 pm EDT 
Where:  IN PERSON at Pittsford Barnes & Noble Community Room

The Annual General Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia is rapidly approaching. Alice Villaseñor and Celia Easton from our region will both be presenting at the conference. At our September meeting we are pleased to have Alice present the talk she will be giving at the AGM.

Here's the abstract of the talk:

From Prada to Nada: The Dashwood Sisters in Los Angeles

"This session examines the ways in which From Prada to Nada (2011) uses Sense and Sensibility to highlight issues facing Latinx communities in Los Angeles. We will delve closely into Austen’s first chapter in order to highlight how the film uses Austen’s story of displacement of the Dashwood women to highlight the displacement of Latinx communities. We will also discuss the film’s critique of Anglocentrism, including Olivia’s (Fanny Dashwood’s) overt racism; ignorance (in Nora’s case) or self-loathing (in Mary’s case) of one’s cultural roots; the othering of the Spanish language; and the illegal and disrespectful treatment of Latinx workers."

Alice is a recognized Jane Austen scholar and has contributed often to the Annual General Meeting. Here s a bit about her background from the AGM program:

"Alice Villaseñor is the Associate Director of the Civic and Community Engagement Office at Buffalo State College. She has published on the Austen family, Austen’s fiction, Austen film adaptations, and Austen societies. A lifetime JASNA member, she was the 2006 JASNA International Visitor and a past Board member of JASNA and the Southwest Region. She has served on the JASNA International Visitor Program Committee and is a current member of the JASNA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee."

Please join us for this meeting, which will be in person at Barnes and Noble.

Masks and full vaccination with booster are required for the meeting.

Sunday, May 15, 2022



Manydown 1833
By George Frederick Prosser (1805-1882)
Public Domain,

May Meeting

Event:    JASNA CWNY May Meeting
Topic:    Manydown, a new Jane Austen play
               Performed by Sarah Rose Kearns & Laura Rocklyn
When:    Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 1 pm EDT 
Where:   On Zoom
Registration: Click HERE to register and receive a link

Manydown Manor was well known to Jane Austen. She and Cassandra were friends with the Bigg sisters and it was the place where Jane received her only known marriage proposal, from Harris Bigg-Wither. After what must have been a difficult night, Jane finally turned down the proposal and went on to become one of the most well-loved authors in the English language.

In her play Manydown, Sarah Rose Kearns imagines what that night must have been like for Jane and Cassandra. At our May meeting, Sarah Rose Kearns and Laura Rocklyn will perform the play, and take us back 220 years to a night that may have been a turning point in English literature.

The performers are both very accomplished Jane Austen fans. Please read about their backgrounds below, and join us at our May meeting for their performance of Manydown.

Performer Backgrounds

Sarah Rose Kearns is a writer, performer, and lifelong Austen enthusiast. She studied acting with Dan Daily, Ragnar Freidank, Austin Pendleton, and many others; and she holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Columbia University. Her stage adaptation of Persuasion debuted off-Broadway in 2021, while her one-act play Manydown, which imagines one important night in the life of Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra, has recently been produced as a radio drama, available to purchase through Audible. Rose is the most recent recipient of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) International Visitor Program fellowship; she will travel to Chawton, UK, in the summer of 2022 to conduct research for another biographical play about the Austen sisters. She is a frequent speaker on Austen and the art of adaptation, and has discussed her work at such venues as The Peabody Institute in Baltimore, The Jane Austen Summer Program in Chapel Hill, HB Studio, and The New York Society Library. She serves as a member of the JASNA committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Laura Rocklyn (Jane) is an actress, writer, and Janeite based in Boston, MA.  Laura has performed with regional theaters across the country where favorite roles have included Lydia in Pride & Prejudice at Round House Theatre, Elinor (u/s) in Sense & Sensibility at The Folger Theatre, Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice and Marianne in Sense & Sensibility at The Classic Theatre of Maryland. Laura has performed her one-woman show on Jane Austen, Who Dares To Be an Authoress? for JASNA regions and educational groups across the country.  Her original short play Emma is Presented in Washington City premiered as the Curtain Raiser for the JASNA 2016 AGM in Washington, DC, with Laura in the role of Louisa Catherine Adams.  Laura presented her one-woman play about Charlotte Brontë, To Do More and Better Things, as a part of the North American Friends of Chawton House 2021 Speaker Subscription Series.  She holds an MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College.