Save the date (In Pencil)

My dear friends;

We are excited and encouraged regarding our first Jane Austen Fest in Mount Dora in February. Has it really been only 2 1/2 months since we were all together to celebrate Jane Austen's life? We are living in unprecedented times. What will happen in 10 months who knows? For Americans in the 21st Century death is hidden. So Covid-19 is shocking.

But in Jane Austen's life-time, death was a constant reminder of the fragility of life. Letters from the era frequently mention the writerʼs state of health. Cholera, Consumption (Tuberculosis), Diphtheria, Gout, Malaria, Pleurisy, Palsy, Pneumonia, Smallpox, Typhus, and Yellow Fever were just a few of the diseases known to have caused death in the Regency Era.

In some of Janeʼs novels she used illness to sometimes further her plot. In Northanger Abbey, Catherine goes to Bath because Mr. Allen has a “gouty constitution”. Later, she learns that Mrs. Tilney died of a “sudden and short” illness which causes her imagination to run wild. Later Mr. Tilney explains Mrs. Tilney had a long running condition that ended her life. In Sense and Sensibility, we remember Marianne taking a walk in the garden, ending up with pneumonia. And who could forget Mr. Woodhouse in Emma and his hypochondria?

And speaking of Emma, I hope you were all able to see the film before Covid 19 took over our lives.  It was very well done. It is a fine line in playing Emma as to whether the actor chooses to play her “snotty” or slightly naive as to her actions. Anya Taylor-Joy plays her just right.  Of course, the costumes are fabulous. If you would like to take a better look, check out the website Curatorʼs Curio, . Scroll down to  Movie Costumes: Emma 2020.