Austen at Large: Virginia Claire returns home from the Jane Austen Centre

Virginia Claire, a modern day JaneBack In Jane Austen Mode

Hello There Again! It is wonderful to be writing again after Christmas break. I am back at school settling in to my routine of classes and being a normal college student. I can’t even begin to say how much I miss the Jane Austen Centre though. I miss it and the people in it every day. But I am back now and have been making the most of my time.

I started out getting home on December 13th, and the week after that hosted a JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) meeting at my house. It was a wonderful meeting with a FANTASTIC turn out. We had more than 16 people , which I was thrilled with because it was so close to Christmas and everyone is so busy at that time. It was wonderful to see everyone again and to be able to talk about Jane Austen with them. We had tea and scones my mother fixed thought it was not as good as having a Lady Catherine Cream Tea and Scone from the Jane Austen Centre tea room.

I did a slide show with most of my pictures and gave an overview of the Centre, Jane Austen in Bath, and my Jane Austen travels. It was wonderful to be able to tell so many people about my experience and for them to be so interested. One of the problems many students face in coming home from studying abroad is that it is hard to communicate their experiences with their friends and family. I didn’t have this problem in the least. I got to release everything at the meeting to an interested and engaged audience. I also brought back SO much Jane Austen stuff and got to give a lot of it away as door prizes and gift for the meeting. I think and hope everyone enjoyed the meeting as much as I enjoyed giving it. I knew that my JASNA group would love my pictures stories and gifts.

Being back at school is wonderful as well not just to see old friends again but also because I get to continue my Austen studies. I am taking a Jane Austen seminar this semester which I am so thrilled about because it is taught by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Sarah English. This week we talked about Jane Austen’s biography, A Memoir of Jane Austen, and her early writings particularly Love and Friendship and Catherine or the Bower. I was so excited to be back in Jane Austen class talking about her life and works. I have never studied her juvenilia so it was nice to look critically at those and to look at what she was making fun of. It is also striking because especially in Catherine I think we can really start to see and hear her narrative voice and style beginning to develop.  Next week I have a presentation on Jane Austen in Bath. A subject that I know a lot about!!  ; )

Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine issue-37 (2009)The biggest news from me this month is that I AM PUBLISHED now!! My article “My Jane Austen” came out in the current issue of Jane Austen Regency World Magazine and I can’t begin to say how excited it makes me. It is more of a question and answer section about what got me interested in Austen, what my favorite book is, and why. I mentioned my writing for Austenprose as well so everyone should check it out. It is very exciting to see my name in print and just to be in a Jane Austen publication. Interning at the Centre provided me with so many opportunities and wonderful experiences.

Coming back from Bath has had me with mixed emotions. I miss it every day. I miss the wonderful people at the Centre and my friends from ASE yet at the same time I am excited to be back at Meredith continuing my studies and moving one step to graduating (the only problem with that is then I have to decide what I am going to do, YIKES!).  But we will cross that bridge when we come to it but right now I just have to focus on picking a topic for my thesis, translating Chaucer for my next class and reading Jane Austen. Altogether not a bad life I don’t think : ).

Till next week! Cheerio from Merry ol’ North Carolina

Virginia Claire

5 thoughts on “Austen at Large: Virginia Claire returns home from the Jane Austen Centre

Add yours

  1. Welcome back! I’m so jealous, wished I lived there to see all your wonderful photos! I completely agree with you…. unless your a fan of something, others just don’t get it. :)


  2. Hi Virginia,
    I “interviewed” you at the Jane Austen centre for my studies a few months ago. Thanks once again for your help and good luck for the future! All the best Chloe.


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