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Absolutely Austen

Home > Gold Coast > Book Reviews | Books and Writing | Festivals | Free | Literary
by Susan Jackson (subscribe)
Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
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200 years of Pride & Prejudice

Join the 200th anniversary celebrations of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, at Gold Coast branch libraries. From Tuesday 29th January to Saturday 2nd February, 2013, there will be a literary feast of all things Austen. Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen's most popular novel and one of the most widely read books in the English language.

Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice
Image courtesy of Gold Coast Libraries website

So what do the celebrations offer? First up, there's a Literary Salon with the Ladies of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, on Tuesday 29th January featuring short talks about Pride & Prejudice and readings from the novel. The event program promises you will be "charmed, delighted and entertained". The morning session is at Runaway Bay Branch Library at 10am to 11.30am. The afternoon session is at 1pm – 2.30pm at Robina Branch Library. You do need to book so phone the library direct. (Runaway Bay 5581 7220 or Robina 5581 1600).

It's over to Hollywood, on Wednesday 30th January, for its interpretation of the novel, as you watch the 1940 movie starring Greer Garson & Laurence Olivier. Then it's discussion time of the classic, promoted as: "Five Gorgeous Beauties on a Mad-Cap Manhunt!" The venue this time is Elanora Branch Library, from 10am to 12.30pm. To book, phone 5581 1671.

Next up in this charming program, is an author encounter with Anna Campbell. Her historical romances are set in the Regency Era. If you are an aspiring writer you may be interested to read her journey to authorship here. The session is at Southport Branch Library on Thursday 31st January at 6pm – 7.30pm. Call 5581 7220 to book.

Also with Anna Campbell is a discussion with a panel of readers regarding "the appeal of the Regency era and the influence of Pride and Prejudice on contemporary romance". It takes place on Friday 1st February at Robina Branch Library at 12.30pm – 2pm. Ring 5581 1600 to book a place.

The program turns to the Soldiers of the Militia next. Nerang Branch Library will be commandeered by the members of Napoleonic era recreationist group "La Belle Alliance", for a military encampment, demonstrating drill and talking about life in the military, in the era of Pride & Prejudice. Sounds all very exciting. You don't need to book, just go along at 11am until 1pm.

When you are at your local library, look out for the Absolutely Austen-tatious quiz. Complete all 26 questions (one for each letter of the alphabet) and hand your entry in for a chance to win a "fabulously Austen-tatious" prize. The winner will be announced at the Meryton Assembly function.

Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice
Jane Austen Victorian Engraving
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
The Return to the Meryton Assembly is a real Regency era experience. The advertising states: "be delighted by Dance Kaleidoscope's performance of traditional country dances, and learn the steps to join in. All are welcome – debutantes, beaus, chaperones, rakes, tulips and wallflowers. Regency costume is encouraged, but not essential". The claiming date is Saturday 2nd February and the venue is Broadbeach Branch Library, from 3pm – 5pm. Phone 5581 1555 to book.

The Austen theme is just warming up, as a host of Regency themed craft sessions are next up on the calendar. First is Fashionable Reticules as "no Regency outfit is complete without an attractive and practical reticule to carry a lady's essentials". In this session at Southport Branch Library on Tuesday 29th January, participants will learn how to fashion a tassel and personalize the basic drawstring bag (provided). The time is 1 – 2pm and bookings are required, on: 5581 7200.

The same session is also on offer at Elanora Branch Library at 1.30pm – 2.30pm. (Bookings: 5581 7200) and at Broadbeach Branch Library from 2pm – 3pm (Bookings 5581 1555).

Continuing the craft theme, this time you can make a stylish, yet simple, piece of cameo jewellery. Your Jane Austen brooch or necklace can be made at:

Runaway Bay Branch Library on Thursday 31 January, at 10am – 11am.Book by phoning 5581 7220.

Robina Branch Library on Thursday 31 January, also at 10am – 11am. For bookings phone 5581 1600.

Southport Branch Library on Friday 1 February, this time at 10.30am – 11.30am. Book by calling 5581 7200.

If you look at fashion plates of the Regency era, or paintings, or prints, fans pop up everywhere, so it's no accident that the next craft gathering is to decorate a paper fan with a watercolour design. This is offered at:

Runaway Bay Branch Library, on Tuesday 29 January, at 
11.30am – 12.30pm. Bookings 5581 7220.

Elanora Branch Library on Thursday 31 January, 
at 10am – 11am. 
Bookings 5581 1671.

Robina Branch Library on Friday 1 February at 10am – 11am.
Bookings 5581 1600.

Quote from Jane Austen

Of course nothing quite frames a lady's features as a stylishly trimmed bonnet. So let your creative side blossom as you decorate your headwear with ribbon, flowers or lace. Make sure you book early for this one (on 5581 1600), as numbers are strictly limited. It takes place at Robina Branch Library on Tuesday 29 January
at 11am – 12.30pm.

Pride & Prejudice, 200 years old since its first publication but with themes which are still relevant today. If you have never read the novel or its been a while since you languished between the pages, then take the 200th year anniversary opportunity to reacquaint yourself with Austen's bright and sparkling wit.
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Why? Reacquaint yourself with Austen’s bright and sparkling wit
When: 29 Jan - 2 Feb 2013
Where: Gold Coast Branch libraries
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great to keep Jane alive. If only she knew of her future fame.
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (score: 3|5675) 2460 days ago
Such a lot happening but what a delightful trip back in time this will be.
by nanette (score: 2|119) 2475 days ago
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