Jane In Paradise
Jane Austen's Regency World|89 - September/October 2017

The Jane Austen society of North America

Marsha Huff

Jane went to Paradise: That was only fair.

When Rudyard Kipling wrote these words he envisioned Jane Austen’s ascent into Heaven on the arm of her admirer Sir Walter Scott, taking her place in the pantheon of literary giants that includes Fielding, Smollett, Cervantes, and Shakespeare.

The Jane Austen Society of North America will celebrate Austen’s life and commemorate the bicentenary of her death at its 2017 AGM, where the theme is ‘Jane Austen in Paradise: Intimations of Immortality’. Paradise, in this case, is one of America’s most beautiful coastal cities, Huntington Beach, California, south of Los Angeles, where members will gather from October 6 to 8 to consider Austen’s afterlife in literature and popular culture.

The JASNA-Southwest Region, host of the conference, has planned an ambitious programme of lectures, excursions and special events. Before the AGM begins, members may attend a day-long pre-conference at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Offerings include a lecture on the political and social status of women in the 18th century; a tour of British paintings in the Huntington’s renowned collection, highlighting paintings that Austen saw exhibited in London in 1813; and strolls in any of the Huntington’s 16 distinct gardens, which include one of the world’s largest Chinese gardens.

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