On Saturday, June 3, we will discuss Teenage Writing by Jane Austen, Katherine Sutherland and Freya Johnston, editors, via Zoom at 2 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. In these stories, written “to be shared and admired by a named audience of family and friends … devices and themes which appear subtly in Austen’s later fiction run riot openly and exuberantly across the teenage page. Drunkenness, brawling, sexual misbehavior, theft, and even murder prevail. It is as if Lydia Bennett is the narrator.”
Like the Steventon congregation, whose recognition of Jane Austen’s birth and baptism was delayed by a December snowstorm, we will celebrate Jane Austen Birthday in April. Join us for tea at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1 at Tea at 1024 in Honolulu.
Cost is $40 standard or $45 gluten free menu. RSVP by March 15 by email to JASNAHawaiinei@gmail.com and pay at the door with cash or check payable to JASNA Hawai‘i. The restaurant is located near Chinatown at 1024 Nuuanu Ave.
On Feb. 18, members and guests discussed Ted Scheinman’s Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan via Zoom. Reactions were mixed, with some wondering if the title was likely suggested by the marketing department and others noting that their expectations might have been different had they noticed the “Literary Criticism” designation on the back cover before they began reading.
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.
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.
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).
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.