Jane Austen Day

Jane Austen Day 2018 Registration is Open!

The Power of Persuasion

Saturday, April 21, 2018
8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.

The Merion Cricket Club
325 Montgomery Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041

Join us for a very special day at a very special place to celebrate the bicentenary of the publication of Austen's masterpiece, Persuasion. Beloved since its posthumous publication in late 1817, Persuasion is the universal story of a second chance at love. Program includes outstanding speakers, light continental breakfast, a three-course luncheon with choice of entrée, an emporium of books and gifts, author book signings, door prizes and a full day of fun and enlightenment!

Our Speakers: We will have four outstanding speakers to delight us on Jane Austen Day with their insights into Austen's beloved Persuasion:

Lynn Festa

Lynn Festa Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, who specializes in 18th Century British and French literature. She is the author of Sentimental Figures of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France and the co-editor of The Postcolonial Enlightenment: Eighteenth-Century Colonialism and Postcolonial Theory.

Festa has written articles on an array of eighteenth-century topics, ranging from wig-wearing and the trade in human hair to the use of women's cosmetics to signify national differences, from the Parliamentary taxation of dogs to the history of human rights and the Enlightenment origins of humanitarian sensibility. She is currently writing a book about the relationships between persons and things, humans and animals, in eighteenth-century Britain. Festa was a plenary speaker at the 2014 JASNA AGM in Montreal where her topic was "The Noise in Mansfield Park," where she was quoted as noting that "through free indirect discourse, Fanny gets to eat her cake without having to acknowledge she has an appetite."

Susannah Fullerton

Susannah Fullerton is the president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and author of several books on Jane Austen including Jane Austen and Crime and A Dance with Jane Austen: Happily Ever After Celebrating Pride and Prejudice and her most recent book Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction, which tracks her love of Jane Austen's novels into a passionate addiction. Fullerton majored in English Literature at the University of Auckland and then completed a postgraduate degree in Victorian fiction and prose at the University of Edinburgh. A frequent speaker on Jane Austen and other literary figures, Fullerton also hosts a variety of tours of important sites related to famous literary figures. Her interest in literature is wide ranging. She is a member of the Dylan Thomas Society of Australia, the Australian Bronte Association, the NSW Dickens Society and she is Patron of the Kipling Society of Australia.

Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman is an Oscar nominated screenwriter for his original screenplay Metropolitan, released in 1989, and director and writer of the recent, much-admired film adaptation of Jane Austen's Lady Susan, Love and Friendship. Stillman has written and directed three other films: Barcelona; The Last Days of Disco and Damsels in Distress. His first novel - The Last Days of Disco, With Cocktails at Petrossian Afterwards - was awarded France's Prix Fitzgerald. His most recent novel - Love & Friendship: In which Jane Austen's Lady Susan is Entirely Vindicated - is a clever take on Austen's story narrated from the perspective of Lady Susan's nephew. He is reportedly working on a TV series, The Cosmopolitans for Amazon.

Juliette Wells

Juliette Wells is the Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and the author of the recently published Reading Austen in America. She also authored Everybody's Jane: Austen in Popular Imagination as well as serving as editor of Penguin Classics' 200th-anniversary deluxe editions of Austen's Persuasion and Emma. Wells was a plenary speaker at the JASNA AGM in Washington, DC in 2016. Beyond Austen, Wells' writings include a coedited book, The Brontes in the World of Arts and numerous articles on topics from George Eliot to chick lit. She also serves on the editorial board of JASNA's journal Persuasions.

Jane Austen Day 2018 Program*

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Registration -
Tea and Coffee and Light Continental Breakfast
  • Registrants will pick up their meeting packets
  • Emporium featuring Jane Austen Books and the Region's array of Austen gifts is open to enjoy
  • Take a chance on winning the gorgeous Austen inspired quilt to benefit the activities of the Region
9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Welcome -
Regional Coordinator's welcome and introduction to the day's events
9:45 - 11:00 a.m. Session One:
Finding Comfort in Persuasion
Lynn Festa
While many readers pick up Austen's novels to find refuge from the slings and arrows of the workaday world, characters in them also seek the alleviation of fear and the mitigation of suffering, consolation for loss and amends for past harms, relief from pain and succor in ill health. From Sir Walter's self-soothing recourse to the Baronetage at the opening of Austen's novel to its heroine's struggle to find peace of mind at the prospect of war at its very end, Persuasion depicts efforts to find and take comfort in the face of circumstances that fail to accommodate one's needs or desires. Focusing on the quest to fit one's self to an intractable world (or to fit that world to one's self), this paper addresses the forms of solace promised in - and by - Persuasion.
11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Break
11:30 - 12:45 p.m. Session Two:
Not Persuaded: Critiquing and Creating Screen Adaptations of Austen's Work
Whit Stillman and Juliette Wells in Conversation
A stimulating and lively conversation in which Whit and Juliette discuss successful and not so successful screen adaptations of Austen's works. Whit describes the process of making his film Love and Friendship and opines on how he might approach the filming of Persuasion. Prepare to defend your favorites!
12:45 - 2:00 p.m. Luncheon -
  • A three-course luncheon with choice of entrée prepared with create care and flair by the Cricket Club's chef
  • Cash Bar
  • Emporium open
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Session Three:
Sir Walter Elliot: The Constant Reader
Susannah Fullerton
Susannah will lead us in an examination of Sir Walter Elliot's obsession with the Baronetage and the whole issue of social status in the Persuasion.
3:30 - 3:45 p.m. Closing Words
3:45 - 4:30 p.m. Author Book Signings and Discussion
Emporium open

*Program subject to change

Location: The Merion Cricket Club is one of the oldest and finest of metropolitan Philadelphia's private clubs. Playing a central role in the social and sporting life of Philadelphia's Main Line since 1865, today Merion is known for both its traditions and progressiveness. Our meeting will be held in the main clubhouse, a gorgeous National Historic Trust landmark designed by renowned architect Frank Furness in 1896. Located just thirteen miles west of center city Philadelphia, the Cricket Club is easily accessible by car or train, with the Haverford train station a short walk away. (See Traveling to Jane Austen Day below.) Free valet parking is available at the Merion for all attendees.

Traveling to Jane Austen Day:

Merion Cricket Club
325 Montgomery Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041

By car from outside of metropolitan Philadelphia:

From New York City and northern New Jersey

Take the New Jersey Turnpike south to the Pennsylvania Turnpike west.
Exit at Rt. 476 toward Chester.
Travel approximately 6 miles on Rt. 476.
Exit at St. Davids/Villanova and turn right toward (east) toward Villanova.
Travel approximately 3.5 miles.
Turn left on Haverford Station Road.
Cross Montgomery Avenue to entrance to the Cricket Club.

From Wilmington, Baltimore and points south

Take Rt. 95 north to 476 toward Plymouth Meeting.
Travel approximately 11 miles on Rt. 476.
Exit at St. Davids/Villanova and turn right (east) toward Villanova.
Travel approximately 3.5 miles.
Turn left at Haverford Station Road.
Cross Montgomery Avenue to entrance to the Cricket Club.

From Philadelphia International Airport

After exiting airport, take Rt. 95 south
Exit at 476 toward Plymouth Meeting.
Travel approximately 11 miles on Rt. 476.
Exit at St. Davids/Villanova and turn right (east) toward Villanova.
Travel approximately 3.5 miles.
Turn left at Haverford Station Road.
Cross Montgomery Avenue to entrance to the Cricket Club.

By train:

Amtrak connects with the Philadelphia's regional train system (SEPTA) at 30th Street Station.

From 30th Street Station (or from Suburban Station if traveling locally only): Take the Paoli/Thorndale Line to Haverford Station (approximately 20 minutes from 30th Street Station)

Exit station and walk six minutes northeast on Haverford Station Road to entrance to Cricket Club

Lodging: The Merion Cricket Club does not offer overnight accommodations.

Hotels near the Cricket Club include:

The Radnor Hotel
591 Lancaster Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 688-5800
4.3 miles from the Cricket Club

Philadelphia Marriot West
111 Crawford Avenue
West Conshohocken, PA 19428
(610) 941-5600
4.7 miles from Cricket Club

Alternatively, you could stay in center city Philadelphia and take the train to the Merion Cricket Club via the Haverford Train Station (See Traveling to Jane Austen Day.)

Questions about Jane Austen Day 2018? Call 267-446-3237 or email Paul Savidge, the Regional Coordinator at jasnaeastpa@outlook.com

Jane Austen Day is supported in part from funds provided by the Eastern Pennsylvania Region of JASNA.

Past Events
Jane Austen Day 2012, Elizabeth Bennet: Delightful Creature
Jane Austen Day 2014, The Unfinished Jane Austen
Jane Austen Day 2016, Emma: 200 Years of Perfection