Books and more


Libraries were not always free.

In Jane Austen's time, readers could pay a subscription to circulating libraries. In effect they rented books. Erin Blakemore gives us insight into how such libraries worked in her online article How Lizzie Bennet Got Her Books.

Economics through Jane Austen's lens

The new science of economics, only a relatively short time after the death of Adam Smith, informs or at least flavours the writing of Jane Austen, according to The Economics of Jane Austen. The premise is that there is an interplay between the pursuit of wealth and one's moral integrity.

Youth and Experience: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion

Canadian scholar, Sarah Emsley, has been hosting a blog with many expert guest bloggers, exploring Youth and Experience: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Can I Just Say?

Can't get enough Sense and Sensibility? Can I Just Say? is a podcast book club about stories - characters and themes in movies, television and literature. Their first Jane Austen novel discussion was on Sense and Sensibility. They also have a podcast about the movie adaptation by Emma Thompson. They also have a recent discussion of Pride and Prejudice.

Recent Meeting 2018 May 12

Laurie, our Regional Coordinator, brought us up-to-date on JASNA happenings, local and international. May Lee, our Librarian, introduced five books new to our library. Most are good summer reads, and one challenges our recall of Jane Austen novels and trivia. We had two speakers for our final meeting on this sunny Saturday afternoon.

Property and Inheritance in Regency England

Lindsey drew upon her legal background to speak to us about property and inheritance laws in Regency England. The goal of the presentation was to help us understand why some of female characters in Austen's novels were heiresses to estates and others were precluded from any sharing of the land they grew up on.

The short explanation involves an understanding that an entailment was established at that time by the head of a family who could choose whether to allow females to participate, a "tail general", or whether only the eldest living male heir could inherit.

Lindsey then went through several of the characters throughout the novels and summarized what she believed the legal status of the estates of their parents to have been and how this may have worked. Our members were actively engaged in asking lots of questions and rumour has it, there will be a follow up discussion regarding this topic.

Jane's Juvenilia

After a short break for lovely cold tea punch, Amber regaled us with some of the history of Jane's earliest works, her Juvenilia.
As part of the talk, Amber briefly discussed Jane's "The History of England" and notably included some of its sketches which were painted by her sister, Cassandra. It is hard not to feel that Mrs. Austen would have been less than pleased with the 'portrait' of herself in the guise of Elizabeth I.
For those who have read through the Juvenilia, there are some quite shocking inclusions in the subject matter, as well as the purely ridiculous. It is surprising sometimes to understand the extent of Jane's knowledge and understanding of the world and even more so to consider that she was the daughter of a clergyman whose library was presumably the source of most of her reading.

Amber's collection of readings and her discussion of them were both entertaining and poignant.

We are all anxiously awaiting September and reuniting with our Calgary chapter of JASNA. Until then, happy summer!

New Books

At each meeting our library is open to members to borrow materials until the next meeting, with a small fee of 25 cents.
  • Mansfield Park Revisited: A Jane Austen Entertainment
    by Joan Aiken

    In Aiken's sequel, Fanny Price marries Edmund Bertram, they depart for the Caribbean, and Fanny's younger sister Susan moves to Mansfield Park as Lady Bertram's new companion. (Thanks, Jennifer, for your donation.)

  • Eliza's Daughter: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
    by Joan Aiken

    Because she's an illegitimate child, Eliza is raised in the rural backwater with very little supervision. She eventually travels the world, all the while seeking to solve the mystery of her parentage. (Thanks, Jennifer, for your donation.)

  • Jane Austen at Home: A Biography
    by Lucy Worsley

    Historian Lucy Worsley visits Jane Austen at home, exploring the author's life through the places which meant the most to her.

  • The Jane Austen Marriage Manual
    by Kim Izzo

    The premise: A single, 40-year-old woman goes on a mission to prove that she, and others like her, can "make a good marriage" in modern times. Love or money, that is the question.

  • So You Think You Know Jane Austen? A Literary Quizbook
    by John Sutherland and Deirdre Le Faye

    The questions are ingenious and fun, and the answers (at the back), in Sutherland's inimitable style, are fascinating. Completing the book guarantees a hugely improved knowledge and appreciation of Austen.

Regular Meetings

JasnaCalgary is a region of the Jane Austen Society of North America. We are all interested in everything Jane, from love of her novels to scholarly pursuits. Five times a year we meet to enjoy talks, workshops, teas, and galas. Attend a meeting and if you have fun, join in! Membership is $15.00 annually to cover our tea and cakes and other expenses.

Our meetings are 2:00 - 4:00, held at Sunalta Community Association, 1627 10 Ave SW, a location that is wheelchair accessible.
View map for meeting location

Only a few special events require pre-paid tickets, such as the annual Tea celebrating Jane Austen's birthday and our bi-annual Gala.

On the Family page, members can access additional information with a password.

Site last updated on 2018 July 21

Link to article on economics and Jane Austen
Youth and Experience: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion blog link
Can I Just Say? podcast links

Comments welcome

Or email JASNA Calgary