Jane Austen Birthday Celebration and Book Pollyanna

As always we had a lovely tea and food spread. Our gracious host Deborah made these delicious scones.


After a business meeting we got down to our discussion of Lesley Castle. With the busy holiday season in full swing not everyone got a chance to finish reading the work, but we were still able to talk about the story.  It was noted that you can see the start of some plot lines, character development and Jane’s notable wit being formed in this work.  Written in her late teens, Lesley Castle, is a funny story filled with superficial characters and interweaving plot lines.

On Friday I shared on Facebook and Twitter some of my favorite lines from the novella. Here they are again!

“Louisa was naturally ill-tempered and Cunning; but she had been taught to disguise her real Disposition, under the appearance of insinuating Sweetness, by a father who but too well knew, that to be married, would be the only chance she would have of not being starved, and who flattered himself that with such an extroidinary share of personal beauty, joined to a gentleness of Manners, and an engaging address, she might stand a good chance of pleasing some young Man who might afford to marry a girl without a Shilling.” – Letter the Third (Lesley Castle)

“During our visit, the Weather being remarkably bad, and our party particularly stupid,…” Letter the Fourth (Lesley Castle)

“She has not a bad face, but there is something so extremely unmajestic in her little diminutive figure, as to render her in comparison with the elegant height of Matilda and Myself, an insignificant Dwarf.” – Letter the Fifth (Lesley Castle)

“But here again, I met with nothing but Disappointment and Surprise. Matilda and Margaret Lesley are two great, tall, out of the way, over-grown, girls, just of a proper size to inhabit a Castle almost as large in comparison as themselves. I wish my dear Charlotte that you could but behold these Scotch giants; I am sure they would frighten you out of your wits.” – Letter the Sixth (Lesley Castle)

After our discussion we made a sherry toast to Jane for her birthday (we also toasted our out going and in coming officers).

Then we got started on our Book Pollyanna.

  • The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories, by Henry James
  • Daisy Miller and Washington Square, by Henry James
  • Bleak House, by Charles Dickens
  • The Children’s Book by A. S. Byatt
  • A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz
  • The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
  • Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
  • Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope
  • Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by  Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
  •  Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton
  • All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
  • Dearest Cousin Jane  by Jill Pitkeathley
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • How it All Began by Penelope Lively
  • Jane-A-Day Journal

 All these books will be added to our LibraryThing list.

To see all the pictures from the event please see our Facebook Page.


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