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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Day 4 Jane Austen's Prayers, John Wayne's Yacht

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ October 9, 2017

In the intense schedule of this conference our only chance for worship was 7:30 at St. Mary by the Sea, a lovely service. I was delighted to spot another Janeite sitting two pews ahead of us. We were able to give her a ride back to the conference where we arrived in time for Jane Austen Prayers set to music. Amanda Jacobs served as composer in residence while a JASNA International Visitor at Chawton. Amanda explained the process of distilling Jane Austen's three lengthy prayers and setting them to music. In England she performed them at Godmersham and St. Paul Covent Garden. A youth choir from Huntington Beach High School Academy of Performing Arts sang the choral settings.  

The concluding session of the conference was a brunch where our speaker was Richard Knight, the great, great, great grandnephew of Jane Austen, who owns Chawton House which Jane loved to visit whilst living at Chawton Cottage. Chawton House is now used as a library for  women writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Richard, The Austen Knight in Shining Armour, spoke about Chawton and its history with the Knight family since their ownership began in 1580. He has recently stepped down after 26 years as President of the UK Jane Austen Society. 

I was honoured to be able to give him copies of my two Jane Austen books, especially since in A Jane Austen Encounter the murder takes place at Chawton House Library and he is mentioned by name in the background.

I also said a special farewell to Dr. Gillian Dow, Executive Director of the Chawton House Library,  who gave the keynote address on Friday. After many years of support from a foundation, Chawton House Library must now become responsible for their own finances. The North American Friends of Chawton House Library has been formed to aid in supporting this.

Our concluding event was a sunset dinner cruise of Newport Harbor on the Wild Goose.

Wild Goose was built to serve as a minesweeper in World War II. After the war it was purchased by John Wayne and given luxurious fitting as his private yacht. It was like cruising in a museum.

A perfect ending to our Huntington beach experience. I hope Jane Austen's sailor brothers would have appreciated the fact that we we ended our time by going sailing.

 

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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What a wonderful end to a wonderful conference!
-Sheila Deeth, October 11, 2017

It was, Sheila. It was like sailing in a mansion from a past era.
-Donna, October 12, 2017

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