12-14 April 2019

Jane Austen Festival Australia is an annual celebration in Canberra where Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia come and indulge themselves in everything Regency - including dancing, music, food, games, archery, fencing, theatre, promenades, grand balls, talks, workshops, costumes and books. This festival is now a regular part of the ACT Heritage Festival, Australian Heritage Week and is supported by the ACT Government, the Australian Costumers Guild and the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy. Since its inception in 2008 this little festival has blossomed into one of the most delightful four days anyone could experience each April in an old and beautiful part of Canberra, the Federal capital of Australia.

February 02, 2015

JAFA15 - Newsletter 3

Waterloo Symposium
As this years festival coincides with the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, a Waterloo symposium will be held on Saturday 11 April 2015 to examine the events of the day. Below is information on two of our speakers - more to come in future newsletters, including a Dutch perspective.

Keynote Speaker will be - Dr Gemma Betros - 'Jane Austen’s Waterloo'

Jane Austen lived with the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and their impact for over half of her forty-one years, yet her novels famously reflect little of this tense backdrop to their composition. With two brothers in the Royal Navy, the author had a particular interest in the wars between Britain and France, but, like the rest of the British population, she also experienced the ongoing conflict as part of her everyday life. In the year of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo we can, therefore, gain insight into how Jane Austen might have understood and responded to the battle and its aftermath by exploring accounts of the time, including newspaper reports, eyewitness accounts, and memoirs. The setting of Persuasion in 1814—during the brief period of calm between Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile to Elba and his dramatic escape—can moreover be reconsidered in light of the battle whose outcome was not only, as Wellington had it, ‘a damn near-run thing’, but which would determine the course of European history for the next century.

Dr Gemma Betros is Lecturer in European History at The Australian National University. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge and in 2012 was a Visiting Fellow at the Chawton House Library in the United Kingdom, former home of Jane Austen’s brother, Edward, and now Centre for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing, 1600-1830. She is currently writing a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Lieutenant Commander John Potter RAN

Personal perspectives on the battle of Waterloo"
Waterloo is one of the greatest battles in human history, and it is easy to forget that amidst the grand scale were numerous ordinary men and women for whom the battle was very local and personalised.
Fortunately this period is also the among the first in which personal accounts of ordinary soldiers and officers were written down or recorded by biographers and they have left a rich record of the campaign and their insights.
In this presentation, John will discuss the experiences of a number of individuals from both sides of this grand conflict and relate their personal perspectives on the fighting they witnessed and took part in."
Symposium Speakers
Want to be part of the festival ? Have something to present about the events of June 1815 ?  Why not consider presenting to the JAFA attendees ?
You can contact the presenter co-ordinator via email for details or to register your intention to speak


On Friday 10 April 2015 a Symposium on Jane Austen’s Men will be held at the Albert Hall.
1. ‘Oh What a Henry’: Jane Austen’s brothers
Presenter: Janet Lee is a doctoral candidate and the University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore. She is researching the relationship between Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra.

2. 'Friendliness, brotherliness, openness, uprightness: the naval men of Persuasion' 
Presenter: Katrina Clifford completed her PhD on sibling relationships in 18th century domestic fiction in 2014. She tutors English at the University of Sydney where she also runs Jane Austen courses with the Centre for Continuing Education. Katrina is a member of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, and has published articles in their journal, Sensibilities.

3. Knightley and Knightleiness
 Presenter: Will Christie is Professor of English Literature and Director of the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and President of the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia (RSAA). His publications include Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Literary Life (2006) – awarded the NSW Premier’s Biennial Prize for Literary Scholarship in 2008 – an edition of The Letters of Francis Jeffrey to Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (2008), The Edinburgh Review in the Literary Culture of Romantic Britain (2009), and Dylan Thomas: A Literary Life (2014).

4. Suitors in Emma and Persuasion
Presenter: Heather Neilson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UNSW, Canberra. Her principal area of research concerns representations of American politics in fiction and film, and her book Political Animal: Gore Vidal on Power was recently published by Monash University Publishing.

5. Regency blokes behaving badly: In defence of sensibility, pride, anger and persuasion in Austen's men
Presenter: Marcus Adamson is a psychotherapist and an ethics consultant with an interest in the history of ideas and the applications that philosophy has within psychology. He is currently working on a depth psychology analysis of the music of Gustav Mahler.       

6. Men and music in Jane Austen’s fiction
Presenter: Gillian Dooley has published and presented widely on various literary topics, including several essays and articles on Jane Austen, often with a particular emphasis on music. As a singer, she has been presenting performances of Jane Austen's music since 2007, and sang at both the Jane Austen Festival in Bath and the JA Conference in 2010 and 2012. In 2014 she presented a lecture on Mansfield Park in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, at the JA festival in Bath and at the JA conference in Northamptonshire.  She has been a regular at JAFA since 2008.

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If you wish to mention a service or a feature of JAFA 15, feel free to contact: editor@janeaustenfestival.com.au for a mention in the weekly newsletter.