2023 Jane Austen Fest

Sarah Rose Kearns

One pivotal night in December 1802, Jane Austen faces a difficult choice around love, money, family, and art. Emilee Dupré directs this thirty-minute play by Sarah Rose Kearns, featuring the playwright as Cassandra and Trenell Mooring as Jane.

In Sense and Sensibility, when Lucy Steele interrogates Marianne Dashwood on her wardrobe, right down to the “colour of her shoes,” she is probably not the only Austen character with a keen interest in what other women are wearing on their feet. After all, many of Austen’s female characters have shoe issues, noticed by or made known to others—Elizabeth Bennet has been tromping through the mud, at the cost of a dirty petticoat and general disarray (no doubt including shoes) from the exertion; Charlotte Lucas Collins and Elizabeth Bennet are “prevented” from accompanying Mr. Collins through his two meadows ostensibly because they don’t have appropriate shoes, and Miss Bates is elated that her “quite thick shoes” have made it possible for her to come to the ball.

All Austen’s characters wear shoes, and for fancy occasions, for trousseaux, and for all the necessities of life, the right shoe needs its stamp of approval. In this discussion, we will take a look in our heroines’ closets to see just what footwear is needed to make our protagonists outstanding.

Presented by Dr. Ann Wass

Women in Jane Austen’s time generally had hand sewing (or “work”) to do. Some of it was portable. A woman could put it in her workbag with her sewing supplies and take it along on visits so her hands were busy as she chatted with her hostess. 

In this workshop, you will be provided with pre-cut fabric pieces in a variety of prints along with the notions and sewing supplies you will need to complete your bag. 

A basic knowledge of hand sewing stiches is required. 

Presented by Lee Kline

Before cameras, a single young lady or gentleman’s personal memories might have been recorded in a small sketchbook.  The medium was often pencil, pen and ink or watercolor.  He or she may have sketched members of his or her family, country scenes or perhaps a certain young woman or young man.
Lee Kline, a retired graphic designer, has kept a sketchbook for many years.  Please join him for a two-hour class in The Art of the Sketchbook.

Jane Austen’s letters and novels have numerous references to shopping. She wrote in her letters about shopping in London and Bath. She and her characters shopped not only in those cities, but also in smaller towns—Basingstoke and Overton the nearest towns to Jane’s girlhood home, and the fictional Meryton, Highbury, and Sanditon. These references span 1798 to 1815. This was a time of transition in fashion, and the choices of Jane and her characters serve as a guide for these changes. In my presentation I will supplement her references with contemporary newspaper advertisements, fashion illustrations, and other period sources to present a timeline of fashion for this period.

The Fashion of Female Characters in Austen's Novels

What is the relationship between outer and inner beauty in Austen’s novels? On the one hand, the author satirizes the preoccupation with self-display fueled by vanity and social maneuvering, but the good-natured Musgrove sisters “liv[e] to be fashionable, happy, and merry” and Austen herself shows a passion for fashion in her letters. Dr. Anderson will explore how the personal styles of Austen's female characters reflect their inward traits and motives, and whether their mode of “finery” ruptures or reinforces the social fabric. There will be a fashion survey with prizes and a lively discussion.

Using fashion prints from her collection, Candice will provide an overview of the types of clothing worn during the time of Jane Austen. Candice will explore fashions for various occasions or activities, including day wear and evening wear. Terms used during the period -- such as undress, half dress and full dress -- will be explained and illustrated with prints. Popular types of outerwear will also be showcased, including pelisses, spencers, and mantles. The general evolution of style will also be discussed, including changing waistlines, hemlines, and bonnets.

Candice's PowerPoint presentation uses lots and lots of beautiful images from ladies' magazines of the period. She will bring examples of individual issues of some of those magazines.


Candice Hern is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romances set during the English Regency, a period she knows well through years of collecting antiques, ladies' magazines, and fashion prints of the era. Her award-winning website is often cited for its Collections and its Regency era information. She lives in Minneapolis, and is on the board of directors of the Minnesota Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Saturday, February 11, 2023
1:00 PM
Free with registration

Community Building Auditorium

Presented by Kathryn Page

Presented by Katherine Page. Regency women always wore something on their head. Frequently in the late afternoon or evening they wore a turban. Create your own turban in our creative hands on workshop. Milliner Katherine Page will show you how to complete your Regency look and style your own turban with provided materials.

Presented by Maureen J. Patrick, M.L.A.

If you leapt out of a time machine into Bath or London in 1815, you’d want to be armed with a few things to help you navigate the ton. Chief among them would be the cut. Designed to show anything from disdain to grave insult, the cut was recognized in four major forms, though variations were legion. In Part One of this wholly for-fun and interactive workshop, attendees will take their places on a Regency sidewalk and enact the cuts until they are perfected!

This is a sequel to the 2022 Workshop. A small but select grammar of Regency Era verbal insults (none obscene or profane) will be shared so that the victim of the cut may respond – lustily and with any extemporaneous embellishments that spring to mind!

We are very excited to announce our second Regency Ball. In most of Jane Austen’s novels a Regency Ball appears. This was an event for most Regency era aristocrats to meet others, courting, and socializing. It was an activity in which all ages participated. Put on your finery and dancing shoes and come join us. Hors d'oeuvres and a glass of wine and a cash bar will be available.

Presented by Rosemary Brown

Each student will create a stained glass cactus that needs no water! No experience needed. Each person will solder the stained glass together, assemble and decorate it into a terra cotta pot. This is a 2 hour workshop. Materials included.

Presented by Randy Woods

Members of one of the oldest Lawn Bowling clubs in the country will teach the workshop. There is evidence that Lawn Bowling dates back 5000 years. Bowling was so well established in England by 1299 AD that a group of players organized the Southhampton Old Bowling Green Club and is the oldest established bowling club in the world that is still active. In the Regency era, Lawn Bowling was considered appropriate for Ladies, so join us Ladies for this active workshop and learn more. Wearing Flat Shoes are recommended.

Presented by Jennifer Stacey

Sense and Sensibility of Paper Quilling

Workshop 1 - This workshop will teach the the basic techniques of the wonderful art of paper quilling. Paper quilling uses paper strips that are cut, curled, and shaped to create designs. It’s origins can be traced back to the 15th Century; it was very popular in England during the 18th century and was considered a “proper pastime” for young women. It is mentioned in both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. It is easy to learn and you will create a beautiful Valentine card to take home.

Presented by Kathryn Page

No Regency woman left the house without a bonnet. Create your own silk Poke hat or Turban in our creative hands-on workshop.
Milliner Kathryn Page will show you how to complete your regency look and style your own hat with provided materials.

Price $59.00


Presented by Nikki Herbst

Have a ball as you watch and learn Regency dancing! Simple, Easy, Usually Elegant, & Always Fun.

Our caller, will show you how its done!  No dance experience or partners required. You may dress in regency or modern attire, just be comfortable.