Past Regular Meetings and Special Events

  • Saturday December 8, 2018
    Jane Austen Birthdy Tea
    The afternoon included a visual presenentation by Jennifer Le Blanc, actress and playwright, who adapted Jane Austen's Persuasion for stage. It was produced and performed by the San Jose Stage Company, Acacia Theatre Company, The Ross Valley Players, and Livermore Shakespeare Festival. This was followed by our very own, Rachel Dodge, where we learned more about her recently released book, Praying with Jane. During out tea harpist Alanna O'Neill performed Regency-era music.

  • Saturday October 6, 2018
    Rachel Dodge spoke about her new book, Praying with Jane, which gave us an in depth look at Jane's spiritual side, including her prayers, touching biographical anecdotes, intimate excerpts from family letters and illuminating scenes from her novels.

    Nina Edmondson
    , our Regional Coordinator, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Persuasion, gave us a presentation on "The Hidden Captain Wentworth". She showed how Jane Austen's knowledge of the British Navy through her brothers allowed her to create such a realistic character as Captain Wentworth.

  • Saturday June 23, 2018
    Claire Bellanti, president of the Jane Austen Society of North America, gave an illustrated talk, "You Can Get a Parasol at Whitby's:  Circulating Libraries in Jane Austen's time. References to Jane Austen's novels and letters showed how central circulating libraries were in the reading and sharing of books in Regency England.

  • Saturday, March 24, 2018
    We had an AGM review from members who were able to attend and by popular demand we played more parlor games.
  • Saturday, December 2, 2017
    Jane Austen Birthday Tea  ** Special Event  **
    Our birthday celebration included afternoon tea followed by an outstanding and lively talk by David Bell about music in Jane's life and novels. Soprano Sarah Messbauer accompanied by Carol Hess at the baby grand piano beautifully performed a selection of Jane's favorites. We were taken away by the music to the point where it seemed as if Jane were in the room with us.

  • Saturday, September 16, 2017
    Regency Card Party

    Parlor Pastimes were the focus of our September meeting. Members of the Reading Group presented on all of the references to games in Austen's novels, many more than most of us realized. This was followed with lessons in playing Whist, Loo and Speculation. We had so much fun we're going to play again in March!
  • Saturday, June 17, 2017
    A Box Hill Picnic at Alice Taylor's Lavender Farm in Escalon was a 2017 living reminder of Jane Austen's Box Hill Picnic in Emma, Volume III Chapter VII.
  • Saturday, March 4, 2017
    Corrie Jacobs, English literature graduate student, presented her 2015 JASNA Graduate Division winning essay, The "Great Talker": Spinster Sterotypes from Emma.  We learned what a pivotal role characters like Miss Bates play in eighteenth century novels. 
  • Saturday, December 3, 2016
    Jane Austen Birthday Tea  
     ** Special Event  ** 
    We had wonderful time celebrating the birth of Jane Austen 241 years ago.  Dr. Alessa Johns gave us a deeper insight in to Jane’s “elastic cheerful” qualities as described by her brother, Henry.  We also learned what characters in Austen’s novels showed “elastic cheerful” qualities.  Jane would have been delighted with the afternoon tea; the scones were perfect.  We had lots of fun with the quiz created by Louise and Megan O’Carroll.  
  • Saturday, September 10, 2016
    Diana King gave us an overview of medical practices in Jane Austen's day and shared her collection of medical instruments that would have been used at that time. We also had a lively discussion on whether Emma deserved Mr. Knightly.

  • Saturday, June 4, 2016
    Elizabeth Ware and Jim Rathesberger showed up pictures from the JASNA tour they took last summer. The tour included visits to houses, towns and cities that shaped Jane Austen's life and fiction, including Steventon, Chawton, Bath, Portsmout, Lyme Regis, and Winchester.

    Dr. David Bell, retired CSUS English professor and Rachel Dodge, Sierra College Engilish professor, discussed the provocative question, "What makes Jane Austen great?". Those in attendance interacted with the speakers enthusiastically. 

  • Saturday, March 19, 2016
    Anna Morton presented her winning essay for the Jackie Johnson Memorial AGM Scholarship. Anna’s essay included Austen's social commentary behind Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park and discussed whether or not she came to any conclusions on the social issues and morals prevalent in her day.

    Annual General Meeting Panel:  Members who attended the AGM in Louisville shared their experiences with those of us who were unable to attend.

  • Saturday, December 5, 2015:   Jane Austen's Birthday Celebration Afternoon Tea
    We had wonderful time celebrating the birth of Jane Austen 240 years ago.  Jane would have been delighted with the afternoon tea; the scones were perfect.  We had lots of fun with the quiz created by Louise and Megan O’Carroll.  Iris Lutz enlightened us with a visual tour of houses Jane Austen lived in or visited and went further by pairing pictures of real houses with descriptions in her novels.

  • Saturday, September 19, 2015:  "What if Dolley Madison had been a Janeite?"
    Linda Griffiths-Gish gave a presentation on what was going on in America during Jane Austen's life. Linda showed the similarities and differences of American and British cultures especial with religion, property ownership, class position and wealth.

  • Saturday, June 6, 2015: "Jane Austen, from Childhood to Daily Tea".
    Lisa Pliscou talked about her new book Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer, and we discussed what we can learn about her childhood from modern psychology and neurobiology.
    Lynn Ossolinski gave us insight into Jane's daily ritual of making tea and the role it plays in novels.
  • Saturday, March 7, 2015:  "Jane Austen and Slavery"
    Krisi Brown, Folsom Lake College English instructor, focused on what we can discern about Jane Austen's attitude toward slavery. This was based on the historical context in which she wrote, the biographical context of her life, and the textual evidence she left behind, particularly in Mansfield Park.
  • Saturday, December 6, 2014: "Jane Austen's Birthday Celebration Afternoon Tea"
    Kathryn Zupsic, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco docent, delighted everyone with her presentation on "The World of Jane Austen: Art and Culture in 18th and 19th Century Britain".
    Everyone enjoyed English afternoon tea prepared by Treasured Tea Time.
  • Saturday, September 13, 2014: "Waiting for the Post"
    Letters were essential in Jane Austen's novels and in her own life. Members learned how the Royal Mail operated and prepared their own letter suitable for mailing. A readers theater presentation, "In Her Own Words", was drawn from Austen's letters. 
  • Saturday, June 7, 2014: "Why Mansfield Park is better than Pride and Prejudice"
    Retired Sac State Professor David Bell and Community College Instructor Rachel Dodge made a compelling case of "Why Mansfield Park is better than Pride and Prejudice." P&P is a delightfully clever yarn written by a young woman. M.P. is the work of a mature woman at the height of her literary powers. P&P shows life as we'd like it, M.P. shows life as it is.