For Jane Austen Day this year, our members got to enjoy a full program including two speakers, lunch and cake. What an enjoyable time we had! The theme of the day was “The Best-Chosen Language” and our guest speakers, Michelle Levy and Betty Schellenberg – both professors of English at SFU – gave thought-provoking presentations. Michelle presented her recent research on “The Watsons” as a fragment that Austen left “unfinished” and the idea of what it means to not finish or even to unfinish something, including reference to other unfinished writing (Lady Susan, Sanditon). Betty spoke about her research on the manuscript poetry books created by individuals in Jane Austen’s time, connecting these collections to Jane through relations of hers who created such books, and through her own practice of making manuscript books (e.g. The History of England).
A special thanks to the several members who worked to make the day a success by volunteering to help with all of the details such as coffee and tea service by Isabel Wilson and Barbara Phillips ; table cloths and memorabilia display provided by Pam; cake pick-up/delivery by Elspeth Flood; napkins, centerpiece lanterns and programs by Joan Reynolds; Sense & Sensibility reading by Lorraine Meltzer; equipment set-up and management for the Zoom component by Michelle Siu; and of course, coordination of the day’s program by our regional coordinator, Janice Mallison.