Saturday, November 4, was chosen to celebrate the author, Jane Austen, as 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of her death. The day saw the large "Commons" area in UW's Mary Gates Hall transformed into a Regency Festival with booths and activities, and later into a ballroom. ESU's Seattle Branch was listed prominently as one of the co-sponsors.
Activities during the festival included book discussions, a workshop on rare books, Regency letter writing, an Austen dress-up photo booth, Regency recipes and how to brew a proper cup of tea, card playing, a Regency fashion show, fabrics, sewing and embroidery, trivia quizzes, and a complete showing of the 1995 mold-episode version of "Pride and Prejudice" with Colin Firth. (The six-hour showing was off in a private room. I dropped in a few times and noted the presence of women who were reciting every line of the movie—now that's dedication!) A dance workshop helped attendees prepare for the ball that evening, which was splendid. I danced with a gentleman from Bainbridge Island who had ordered his outfit, complete with white breeches and high boots, waistcoat and blue tailcoat, from Sussex. Many of us were in beautiful costume, which lent to the ambiance.
During the evening, I also visited with Matthew Poland, who won an ESU Graduate Recruitment Scholarship two years ago and who was on the organizing committee for Jane Fest. He is progressing nicely in his research on British Victorian literature and expressed his thanks to the ESU for helping recruit him to the UW Our scholarship funds accomplish great things indeed!
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