Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region
Charles Lynn Batten
Lively Q&A sessions followed each presentation.
Throughout the day, attendees perused specially chosen selections from The Huntington’s archival collection.
Miss J. Austen of Steventon is listed among the subscribers in this edition of Fanny Burney’s Camilla; or, a Picture of Youth, from The Huntington’s collection.
Ted Scheinman signed copies of his book Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan.
Docent-led tours included a visit to the art collections, led by Jean Uffelman, including paintings Austen herself would have seen at an 1813 exhibition in London.
Attendees visited the bench JASNA Southwest and The Huntington dedicated to Austen in 2017.
In addition to scones and clotted cream, tea breads and other delicacies for breakfast, attendees enjoyed tea sandwiches, savories and treats during the buffet lunch.
The meeting was dedicated to the memory of longtime JASNA Southwest board member Jaye Scholl Bohlen.
Ted Scheinman and Deborah Knuth Klenck
It’s All Relative: Relationships in Austen
June 1, 2019
Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Deborah Knuth Klenck
Charles Lynn Batten
More than 180 members and guests attended “It’s All Relative: Relationships in Austen” on June 1 at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, making this one of the largest turnouts ever for a JASNA Southwest regional meeting!
The opening presentation by Austen scholar Deborah Knuth Klenck, a professor of English at Colgate University, and her son, Ted Scheinman, author of Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan, discussed “Those Who Chose to Be Idle Certainly Might: Mothers as Teachers in Jane Austen.”
Knuth Klenck jokingly remarked that a better title might have been “Maria Bertram’s Agreement,” referring to the Mansfield Park character who, when told by her aunt that there was a great deal more for her to learn, replied, “Yes, I know there is, till I am seventeen.” Such muddled thinking, Knuth Klenck said, marked most conversations in Austen’s works about what girls, in particular, should know as part of their preparation for adult life and the eventual acceptance of a proposal of marriage. It seems that education ended at marriage.
Scheinman charmed the audience with his amusing narrative rendition of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. This grand lady, noted his mother, was quite clear on what everybody else’s daughters needed to know, while her own daughter was exempted from learning of any kind. In short, mothers in Austen’s novels “did not have time for such cares” as the education of their daughters.
Deborah Knuth Klenck is Professor of English at Colgate University, where she has taught courses in the long 18th century (historians typically define this period as extending from the revolution of 1688 to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815) for 40 years. She has directed Colgate’s London Study Group program for seven semesters. Her original scholarly focus was on the satire of Alexander Pope, but she soon turned to Jane Austen, on whose work she has published more than 10 essays and book chapters.
JASNA Southwest members and guests wish JASNA and JASNA Southwest a happy 40th anniversary!