9th Annual Jane Austen Festival – Louisville

The Jane Austen Society of North America- Greater Louisville Region is already hard at work on the 9th Annual Jane Austen Festival, which will be held at 1790’s Locust Grove in Louisville, Kentucky.

This year, we will be celebrating “Jane Austen’s Legacy, 1775-1817,” and commemorating 200 years since her passing.  Join us on Friday, July 14th, Saturday, July 15th, and Sunday, July 16th!

On Friday, July 14th, the hours are 6-9 p.m. and we will have two special people in attendance: Emperor Napoleon and Admiral Lord Nelson! What will they say to each other? Watch our website for more details and scheduling.

How fortunate that July 14th is Bastille Day! Come dressed in your Costume Parisienne finery and enjoy foods from a food truck that makes crepes! All of our Vendor shoppes will be open for business for Twilight Shopping- come for early deals!

On Saturday & Sunday, July 15th & 16th, the hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. Our featured speaker is Dr. Cheryl Kinney and she will be presenting, “The Eulogy Jane Austen Should Have Had.” We will also have the ever popular Regency Style Show by Betsy Bashore, the Regency Fashion Display by Gayle Simmons, and a NEW Punch & Judy Show. The Acasta Naval Encampment will be back and more!

The Vendor shoppes will be open for business each day. We will have food available for purchase at the Earl of Sandwich Shoppe, which will be in a new location this year. Plus our Four-Course Afternoon Tea sittings with a special Children’s Tea on Sunday afternoon!

Our 2017 Workshops include making Tussie Mussies, String your own strand of Pearls, Regency Letter Writing, and Netting.

The Grand Ball will be on Saturday, July 15th, 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Spalding University.



On Saturday, July 15th, we will have a Regency Mourning Procession in honor of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s passing. More details on proper female and male dress to come later.  In the meantime, check out this Pinterest Board on Mourning Attire. 

Need a place to stay? Go to our website for information about hotels, B&B’s and more. There is a huge music festival the same weekend, we suggest making reservationssooner rather than later.


Online advance registration will begin on or about June 5th. Advance registration is highly recommended for the

Afternoon Tea, Workshops and the Grand Ball

as they sell-out before the festival opens.

Festival Admission is $6 per person for Friday Night-Twilight Shopping and $12 per person for one-day admission on Saturday or Sunday. Children under 12 admitted free with an adult.

NOTE: A two-day admission pass for $20 per person will be available ONLINE ONLY.

The Four-Course Afternoon Tea is $25 (plus Festival admission) per person and Children’s Tea is $20 per child (plus Festival admission if over 12 years of age). The Grand Ball is $25 per person. Workshop prices will be available April 2017.

We hope to see you at Locust Grove this July!

Seventh Annual Louisville Jane Austen Festival July 18–20

Tea, Workshops, a Regency Dress Record, and More Tea: A Delightful Weekend in Louisville

By Mayme Bolt, Metropolitan St. Louis Region

Despite a little drizzle on Friday night, July 18, there was Twilight Shopping, which proved a lot of fun. Traditional Kentucky food was served, and the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death was observed with the playing of music from the Regency period. The tea company, Bingley’s Tea, was there, and the first 25 people who bought tea received a free tote bag. Yes, I got my bag. I love their Jane Austen tea series.

On Saturday, the fun started early at Locust Grove: dueling, archery, shuttlecock, and other activities ran throughout the day, including a Navy Encampment. There were workshops, such as how to tie a cravat, and my favorite afternoon tea. Four different Bingley Teas were available to choose from, along with Mini Hot Browns (a Kentucky specialty), scones, egg-salad sandwiches, and Benedictine sandwiches (also a Kentucky favorite). For dessert, we were able to choose from blackberry jam cake, lavender rum cake (amazing), bread pudding, and of course, Mr. Darcy’s lemon pound cake. The authors John Mullen (What Matters in Jane Austen) and Jo Baker (Longbourn) were guest speakers on Saturday, followed by a book signing.

The highlight of Saturday was trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people in Regency dress. Bath, England, held the record—409 people. Despite our efforts last year, we missed the mark by 50-plus people. But I’m happy to say we beat the record this year with around 491 people, who also walked in the Promenade. All of us who walked donated a dollar to the Jane Austen House, and JASNA Louisville is matching the donation. The day ended with a ball on Saturday night, which I am sorry to say, I could not attend.

On Sunday my mother and I were volunteers in the morning: checking people in for their teas and workshops. The navy Chaplin held services that morning, and later my cousin joined us for another tea! I can’t say no to tea!

Throughout the weekend there was shopping at the “Shoppe of Meryton.” Inside, Lydia Fast was selling her beautiful hats. (Lauren, my niece, bought one for her birthday last year and was wearing it with the riding habit she wore this year). A wig maker and a bookseller were present also.

They are hoping to put on the festival again next year. Right now they are trying to balance having the AGM next October and the festival next July. It’s a lot of work for Bonny to organize.

Below is a link to events held at this year’s Louisville festival:


Also, here is a link to a blog that describes Lydia Fast’s beautiful hats:




The following pictures and legends from the Louisville Jane Austen Festival July 18-20 have been provided by JASNA StL member Mayme Bolt. Mayme attended the festival this year with her mother, Mary Raybourn, and her niece, Lauren Bolt. Thank you Mayme.  All photos copyright © Mayme Bolt.  All rights reserved.



Found: an 1831 Letter from John Murray to Cassandra Austen—Plus Other End-of-Year Items


Linda Dennery and Meg Levin, our New York Region colleagues, have passed along the following end-of-year tidbits. Of particular interest is the letter from publisher John Murray to Cassandra Austen.


As the centenary of Pride and Prejudice celebration ends, we offers a few items to round out the year:

1. An 1831 letter (long thought lost) to Cassandra Austen from John Murray, Jane Austen’s last publisher, has been found:
Murray’s letter

2. You may have missed New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s piece linking Jane Austen’s novels and professional football (!)
Dowd column

3. The British Library has uploaded over one million illustrations from its collections to the photo site Flickr, free for anyone to copy and reuse without charge. They range from the 17th to the 19th century. Here for example is Mr Wrench, a character in the “burletta” Tom and Jerry, or Life in London performed in London from 1821 to 1823:
Mr. Wrench

Unfortunately the archive has been dumped onto Flickr with not much in the way of captions and no easy way to search the site. As one blogger at the website Londonist has noted, “the search box is about as easy to handle as a wasp-drawn chariot.” This particular writer has selected two books about London and has posted illustrations on his website:
The Londonist

If you find any particularly good Regency illustrations please let us know!

Happy New Year from

NewsNotes Summer 2013: From Our Regional Coordinator


Happy summer! As I write this column in late April, it seems as though summer will never come. Our spring has been a wet and cold one, but that has not dampened our spirits. Much has been happening in the world of Jane Austen.

In February, members of our local region attended a dramatization of Sense and Sensibility at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis – and our reactions were mixed. As always, many of us were amazed that anyone could distill a full novel into Continue reading

Jane Austen on Parade: the 2012 Brooklyn AGM


When I asked Bettye Dew what the AGM was like, she told me it was hard to describe.  “You’ll see,” she said, mysteriously.  And I did:  the rousing plenary speakers, excellent breakout sessions, and dozens of women (plus a few men), dressed as Austen characters.  An Elizabeth Bennet lookalike sat next to me, and I admired her dress.  “I’ve got 34 more at home,” she confided.

The convention unfolded like clockwork.  At Brooklyn’s Marriott Hotel, meeting rooms hosted reticule workshops, quilling sessions (I took one, and it has nothing to do with quills), and the astonishing Emporium.  There, vendors from all over the world sold Austen-related fans, jewelry, books, clothing, tea sets, stationery, and fascinators.  One did a brisk business in baseball shirts with numbers on the back and names like Darcy or Knightley, instead of Jeter or Rodriguez.

My favorite moments?   I was enthralled by Cornel West’s high-energy riff on Jane Austen.  A Vassar College concert, held at Henry Ward Beecher’s historic Plymouth Church, was truly glorious, with some Austen-related poems set to music for the occasion.  I loved a walking tour of Brooklyn Heights, led by an architectural historian, on which we saw early 19th-century homes and some only-in-New York oddities, such as a group of Japanese tourists, dressed as wolves.

With such sights a part of their daily diet, jaded New Yorkers scarcely blinked at the lovely “promenade” of costumed Janeites.  Another highlight for me was a play — the “Austen Assizes,” written by Syrie James and Diana Birchall — in which a series of Austen defendants square off against their rivals in an 1816-era courtroom.  It was hilarious.  Mrs. Bennet accused Lady Catherine of defamation; Col. Brandon berated Willoughby for stalking his wife; Fanny insisted that Lucy Steele had entrapped her brothers – and then, in a surprise ending, Robert took the stand to accuse Lucy of attempted murder!

For this first-timer, the conference was a hoot, with lots of entertainment and dozens of friendly people.  Next year is Minneapolis!  I urge you to give it a try, costumed or not.  Believe me, you’ll see…


The 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held in Minneapolis, MN, September 27th-29th.  Please visit JASNA for further information.