My Adventures at the JASNA AGM (Jane Austen Society Annual General Meeting) in Victoria
I had a fabulous time at the JASNA AGM (Jane Austen Society of North America Annual General Meeting) in Victoria, Canada two weeks ago. The weather was perfect, the company delightful, and the city beautiful and welcoming.
The theme of this year’s JASNA conference was Sense and Sensibility in the City of Gardens. There were excellent plenary speakers, breakout sessions on dozens of fascinating subjects, fun workshops, a banquet and Regency ball, and great tours of the city and beyond. I especially enjoyed my day at the world famous Butchart Gardens (pictured above).
My friend Diana Birchall and I wrote and performed an original comedic play, “What Did Lucy Steele?” I played Lucy to her Mrs. Ferrars—the two female villains in Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility. It was a hit, a battle of wits and cunning before an audience of over 350 people that ended with us furiously fencing with fans!
I walked my feet off sightseeing in the beautiful city of Victoria.
I enjoyed a spooky nighttime Ghost Tour, and a walking tour of the chocolatiers of Victoria, where we were treated to sinful handmade chocolate candies, cookies, macarons, drinking chocolate, and truffles.
I met with wonderful friends, old and new, from across the country and around the world.
I learned a lot! In one especially memorable session, fashion historian Ivan Sayers gave a lecture about the evolution of fashion changes during Jane Austen’s lifetime, displaying garments from his extensive collection of original period clothing.
I scored this gorgeous bonnet and Jane Austen pillow at the Soho Bazaar.
I danced the night away at the Regency ball.
The bookstore sold out all copies of my novels for the Author Book Signing!
This was my 10th AGM, having attended previous conferences in Chicago, Portland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Brooklyn, Minneapolis, Montreal, Louisville, Huntington Beach, and Williamsburg. Each one has been an unforgettable experience. Jane Austen has enriched my life in so many ways and I’m forever grateful!
If you are a Jane Austen fan, check out JASNA.org. It’s a wonderful organization, with people from all walks of life brought together by their love of Jane Austen, her novels and films, and the world she lived in. There may be a regional chapter near you!
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