On Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. HST (4 p.m. PST, 7 p.m. EST) we will discuss Ted Scheinman’s Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan via Zoom. Email JASNAHawaiiNei@gmail.com to receive the link. The book is available in ebook or paperback from Amazon (used copies available) or Barnes and Noble. Here’s what they have to say: “In a haze of morning crumpets and restrictive tights, Scheinman delivers a hilarious and poignant survey of one of the most enduring and passionate literary coteries in history. Combining clandestine journalism with frank memoir, academic savvy with insider knowledge, Camp Austen is perhaps the most comprehensive study of Austen that can also be read in a single sitting. Brimming with stockings, culinary etiquette, and scandalous dance partners, this is summer camp like you’ve never seen it before.”
Before Colin Firth there was Laurence Olivier. Like the 1995 mini-series, the 1940 black and white film spurred interest in Austen’s novels. Hawai‘i JASNA members were joined by fellow Janeites from as far as St. Louis and Montreal on Jan. 21 to discuss the merits of various screen adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and debate the best Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet. The group was united in one opinion: whatever one thinks of the opulent costuming and highly emotive acting in the 1940 MGM film, we might never have had the subsequent productions without it.
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Members Gretchen, Donna and Cheryl enjoyed front row seats for Koa Theater’s production of Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice in December. Directed by Kelsey Baehrens with intimate, minimalist staging, the “bold, surprising, boisterous and timely” comedic take offered a fun, fresh approach blending period-dress and traditional language with modern sensibilities and amazingly quick on-stage costume changes. We look forward to more “theater for community” at Koa Theater.
Although they live on different islands in Hawai‘i, Regional Coordinator Cheryl Ernst, far left, and member Margaret Gill, far right, were together on Canada’s Vancouver Island for the 2022 Annual General Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia. Theme for JASNA’s 2022 AGM was Sense and Sensibility in the City of Gardens. The nearly 700 attendees enjoyed 4 days of of talks, tours, workshops, lively discussions and a screening of Ang Lee/Emma Thompson’s version of the movie, capped by the banquet and ball.
The next AGM is Pride and Prejudice: A Rocky Romance, in Denver, Colorado, followed by gatherings in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2024 and Baltimore, Maryland, in 2025.
Hawai‘i Region founding coordinator Bob Newell answered questions about his first book, a time-travel romance titled Courting Jane during the Sept. 24, 2022 reading group discussion. Bob gamely accepted criticism, shared opinions about the characters, identified locations described in the book and explained some of his plot decisions (including the kissing and ambiguous ending).
Overall, the group gave the book a thumbs up as a good read. Bob doesn’t anticipate a sequel and agrees that a film version would be fun (if unlikely).
Our next Reading Group gathering is online Saturday, September 24 at 1 p.m., when we will discuss Courting Jane. Pay vicarious visits to Regency England and a fictional Annual General Meeting in Honolulu with this Jane Austen time travel romance.
Email JASNAHawaiinei@gmail.com to receive the Zoom link.
The book was penned by Hawai‘i Region founder, confirmed Austenite and frequent AGM attendee Bob Newell, who declares he is well acquainted with its flaws and will take no umbrage at a frank discussion of its merits.
If you wish to read the book before the discussion, Courting Jane is available in print or Kindle formats from Amazon, which writes: “Join Jonathan Kinsey as he crosses two oceans and two centuries in a desperate quest for the love of his life. From the alleys of Honolulu’s Chinatown to the beaches and cliffs of Sidmouth, Courting Jane takes you on an unforgettable journey of the heart and mind.” Also available from Barnes and Noble for $12.99 (eligible for free shipping).
Fully vaccinated O‘ahu-based members gathered in the garden at the Kailua home of new Regional Coordinator Cheryl Ernst for the annual tea belatedly celebrating Jane Austen’s birthday.
Decadent treats were served, and a Jeopardy-style game focused on Jane Austen tea references and related trivia (did you know there are just two mentions of tea in Persuasion compared to 12 to 15 in the other novels, the family drank Twinings, Jane Austen was in charge of the family tea service, and she favored camillia tea sans cream?).
But mostly people enjoyed each other’s company in our first in-person get-together since COVID 19 hit. A bubbly thank-you toast was raised to JASNA Hawai‘i founder Bob Newell, who recently stepped down after eight years as regional coordinator, and member Katharine Aus was congratulated (also belatedly) for completing her master’s in education from Chaminade University and contributing to the success of her elementary students (not to mention her own three children) during the pandemic.
From Maui to Washington, D.C., Reading Group participants joined our Aprll 9 Zoom discussion of The Jane Austen Project. After a brief digression to share thoughts on Masterpiece Theater’s Sanditon, Season 2, Gretchen Savage led a thought-provoking conversation on Kathleen Flynn’s story of a time traveling team who visit Jane Austen. We talked about motivation, morality and whether we would time travel if we could.
Unanimous in their enjoyment of the book, the group agreed to continue the time travel theme for our next read. We will discuss Courting Jane by our very own Bob Newell, who says he knows full well the novel’s defects and will take no umbrage at a frank discussion! The book is available on Amazon in print or Kindle versions.
Hawai‘i Region founder Bob Newell represented all of JASNA in Jane Austen’s House’s annual celebration of Pride and Prejudice Day. He was one of the readers from 13 nations spanning the globe from Argentina to Thailand who shared the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice. The novel was first published on January 28, 1813 and has delighted readers around the world ever since. Watch the video or visit the Jane Austen’s House site to take the which-P&P-character-are-you quiz.
Bob recently stepped down as Hawai‘i Regional Coordinator after eight years of tireless dedication. Use the comments option below to leave him a message.
Seven speakers from five countries spread across 12 time zones shared a wide-ranging discussion on Jane Austen in the Pan Pacific in a first-of-it’s kind conference Nov. 13, 2021. The ambitious undertaking was hosted by JASNA-Hawai‘i and JASNA-Southwest, with special greetings from JASNA President Liz Philosophos Cooper and welcomes from Hawai‘i Regional Coordinator Bob Newell and Southwest Regional Coordinator Susie Wampler.
Recorded videos of the various sessions are available on the JASNA-Southwest YouTube channel. They are:
Jane Austen in Translation, by Dr. Juliette Wells, professor of literary studies at Goucher College, Baltimore
Jane Austen in Australia and New Zealand, by Dr. Joanne Wilkes, professor of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand
Reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun as a Modern Interpretation of Mansfield Park, by Dr. Hatsuyo Shimazaki, founding member of the Jane Austen Society of Japan
Austen Passports: The Pacific and Beyond, by Ruth Williamson, New Zealand writer and editor
Jane Austen in the Philippines, by Dr. Maria Lorena Santos, assistant professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines
Your Ever Affectionate Sister: Rachel Henning’s Austenian Letters, by Judith Stove, writer, researcher and author of Jane Austen’s Inspiration: Beloved Friend Anne Lefroy
Jane Austen in Australia, by Susannah Fullerton, president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia