Portland Ho! Off to the Jane Austen (JASNA) Conference 2010

I am all anticipation! Tomorrow (now today) I will be on my way to the Jane Austen conference in Portland to celebrate three days of total Austen immersion. Jane Austen and the Abbey: Mystery, Mayhem and Muslin in Portland begins officially on Friday, October 29th and runs through Sunday, October 31th.

This is my first JASNA conference. After years of hearing it praised to the skies, I too will be one of the happy revelers, attending Plenary speakers and Break-out sessions on the most interesting of topics (Henry Tilney), shopping like Mrs. Allen on Milsom Street and meeting for the first time, many of my online Janeite friends who have until this opportunity, remained cybered.

My amiable roommate Janeite Deb of Jane Austen in Vermont is already in Oregon, having traveled in style with her husband and dog across country in their elegant equipage, the Airstream. I am so looking forward to meeting her. She is a JASNA conference veteran, and has graciously promised to show this rookie the ropes.

After registration, and unpacking by the maid of all work, Deb and I shall be hotfooting it to the Portland Public Library to see the exhibit (especially created for the descending Janeites) of Jane Austen first editions. Then it’s off to dinner with whoever will have me, followed by a Social Hour and a performance by actress Angela Barlow, “Jane Austen & Character: An Actor’s View.” Delightful. I love theatricals even though they make Fanny Price squeamish.

My trip by train journey tomorrow morning should be relaxing and I plan to listen to my Naxos Audiobooks recording of Northanger Abbey, read by the Incomparable Juliette Stevenson to put me in the mood. I have been frantically packing tonight, needing to use my largest piece of luggage to fit everything in. We do like to travel with all the comforts of home and a full wardrobe (not quite the Queen arriving for a state visit, but close). I was relieved after stepping on the scale that I have not exceeded weight limits. Oh joy! I actually have ten pounds to spare, and can make up the deficit with purchases.

I will be reporting in daily, so do check back for the latest news and hopefully some photos. I just received an email from Diana Birchall who reports that the weather is fair and warm and not raining at present.

‘She hoped to be more fortunate the next day; and when her wishes for fine weather were answered by seeing a beautiful morning, she hardly felt a doubt of it; for a fine Sunday in Bath empties every house of its inhabitants, and all the world appears on such an occasion to walk about and tell their acquaintance what a charming day it is.’ The Narrator on Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey Chapter 5


Laurel Ann

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20 thoughts on “Portland Ho! Off to the Jane Austen (JASNA) Conference 2010

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  1. I’m relieved to know I won’t be the only one attending for the first time. Isn’t it strange how we’re always certain that everyone else are experience veterans, when logically we know that can’t be the case?

    I’ll see you at the library tomorrow, though I won’t be there for the rest of the evening’s entertainment. I have things I need to finish at home before I throw myself wholly into the weekend.


  2. Oh, I’m as green as a pea! I’ll be living vicariously through you, Laurel Ann, so blog, blog, blog! And post, post, post!

    And perhaps meet a Mr. Tilney there? =)


  3. Oh I wish I were attending, too! I’ve always wanted to go to Portlland, and this would have been the perfect opportunity! Please tell us all about it. I’m already planning for NYC in 2012!


  4. Add me to those green with envy, though I’ve attended two RoP meetings (one the first in England), someday I would like to be in a JASNA AGM too.

    And after the Sutherland ‘revelation’s, I’m sure there will be a lot to comment even outside the official talks.


  5. Looking so forward to our sharing Austen together, Laurel Ann! Not sure what planet Diana Birchall is on, but it is POURING in my Portland!! – yesterday gorgeous and now rain, rain, rain until June 1st we are told! We, however, shall be immersed in the late 18th – early 19th century and shall not care one bit!

    Cheers one and all – between us, LA and I shall keep you apprised of every happening, and every [hopeful] encounter with Henry Himself…


  6. Laurel Ann, sending you wishes for a *wonderful* JASNA conference!! Wish I could be there with you all this year, but I’m excited to read your reports. Have a marvelous time! :)


  7. Laurel Ann (and Deb),
    I wish I could slip into either of your suitcases and pop out from time to time. Have a wonderful trip, and I await with bated breath your reports!
    Cathy Allen

    P.S. You’ll like Portland; it’s a “People Friendly” place, and quite beautiful, with all the roses growing wild!


  8. LA, ..In such fair weather, wonder if you’ll indulge in scenic walks about Portland, discussing horrid novels and the picturesque. :)
    Beware open gigs !
    Look forward to blogs and photos of everyone at the NA-themed JASNA AGM.
    Wishing you all a lovely ball !


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