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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

Jane Austen for Future Generations

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ October 5, 2018

I'll bet you thought I was going to write about all that the Jane Austen Society of North America does to promote an appreciation of and education about Jane Austen through our Essay Contest for high school, college and graduate student competitions. Or perhaps the work some chapters do through scholarships, book groups or work with libraries. All of which would be perfectly true. But actually, my topic today is much more frivolous--shopping.

Let me say clearly at the start. I don't like to shop. But I make an exception every year at the Jane Austen Annual General Meetings because the Emporiums are always just so much fun. A large room filled with period-clad shoppers, visiting booths that offer everything Anne Eliot could possibly have encountered on that rainy day on Milsom street in Bath is enough to inspire even such a non-shopper as myself to open her reticule.

In many of the past years I have been occupied at the emporium as a vendor, offering my two Austen-themed literary suspense novels. This year I took a different approach. I carried copies with me in my wonderful conference bag and gave them to readers who asked about my work or indicated an interest in reviewing them. It was great fun and much more relaxing. Plus it left me free to wander the Emporium at leisure. 

My first stop was at the "Jane Austen's Regency World" magazine to greet publisher and editor Tim Bullamore where I told him what a wonderful antidote I find his magazine to the darkness and angst that sometimes seems to be overwhelming from reading other periodicals. We also admired the new Jane Austen ten pound note--so perfectly period correct in that setting.

I said above that I don't like to shop, but I'm delighted to make an exception when I'm presented with the perfect gift for family members for Christmas and birthdays. My granddaughters have the Little Miss Austen books from previous AGMs, so this year the Pride and Prejudice board game was among the treasures I brought home.

And how is my campaign to promote Janeism "unto the third and fourth generation" progressing? Well, we don't have a fourth generation yet, but the third is coming along nicely. I mentioned yesterday my delight at seeing multi-generational family groups at the Jane Austen Society conference in Kansas City and that I hoped someday to do the same. I did have that pleasure some time ago at a Regency ball in Calgary with my daughter and her oldest daughter (complete with Bonnie Prince Charlie.)

And my daughter and son-in-law continue the process themselves as in this recent visit to Lyme Park (which served as Pemberley for Colin Firth's famous plunge into the lake).

Truly, Jane Austen is for sharing.

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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