Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Jane Austen Festival Day 2

The Jane Austen Festival Day 2

A Very Public Private Breakfast

On Sunday morning I attended a talk on Georgian breakfasts like the public breakfast Jane Austen once attended in Sydney Gardens. <!
Apparently, before Queen Anne (she preceded the Georges in the early 1700s) people ate beef and ale for breakfast. Queen Anne preferred toast and tea. The English apparently invented toast at this time. In the Georgian and Regency eras, breakfast was eaten by the ladies in their rooms and the gentlemen in the breakfast parlor. Before a big trip or for a special occasion everyone gathered to eat a big breakfast. It was very carb loaded: French rolls with butter if the butter “hadn’t gone off” (spoiled), cakes : seed cake, fruit cake, beetroot chocolate cake, pound cake and of course tea and toast. Marmalade wasn’t eaten yet. That came later. She quoted from a letter written by Mrs. Austen while visiting wealthy relatives. Mrs. Austen seemed impressed by the quantity of food served though she herself only took tea and toast.
Then we went downstairs to the dining room. We had first course rolls and butter, English muffins and butter and Jane Austen blend black tea. Then we had seed cake and raisin, walnut cake like a coffee cake.I love cake for breakfast and I don't like mornings so I would be happy attending a Georgian breakfast! The food was delicious and I liked the Jane Austen tea blend. 

Pride and Prejudice Readathon

In the afternoon, I attended a Pride and Prejudice Readathon at the public library. The even was kicked off by Adrian Lukis  aka Mr. Wickham and Caroline Langshrie who read the opening chapters of Pride and Prejudice. Other festival volunteers read other chapters. It was fun to hear the novel read out loud as the Austens would have done in the evenings.

An Evening With Mr. Wickham

Adrian Lukis and Caroline Lanshrie read Jane Austen’s most famous dialogues between the heroes and heroines. They ended with Persuasion the last novel and most romantic. They were very good, especially as Emma and Knightly and Anne and Wentworth. Again it was lovely to hear Jane Austen's words spoken aloud. The stories really come to life when stop to really listen.

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