Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Trip to JASNA AGM 2016 : Day 2


A Trip to JASNA AGM 2016 : Day 2

Saturday October 22

JASNA North American Scholar Lecture: Dr. Susan Allen Ford "Not That You Would Think Anything Of" Robert Martin and Harriet Smith

This talk examined Emma's prejudice against Robert Martin as an appropriate husband for Harriet vs. the reality. After examining agricultural journals of the period, Dr. Ford discovered many subtle nuances in Emma that indicate Robert Martin is actually quite a well-to-do man and not a mere laborer! He was quite in love with Harriet. This was a really fascinating in-depth look at the things in Austen novels that have been lost to time. Certainly her readers would have known at least some of the subtle clues that give them a better idea of Robert Martin's character. 

Breakout Session C1: "So Prettily Done!" Illustrating Emma

Deborah Barnum, Regional Co-Coordinator, Vermont Region

From Bentley's 1833 edition to the latest Marvel comic, numerous illustrators have imagined the characters and settings of Emma. This visual journey takes listeners through the nearly 200 years of Emma's illustrated history, comparing the artists and their times, and discussing which of the many Mr. Knightley's works best.

I HAD to go to this session by my fellow New Englander and rare book collector. The various illustration styles and scenes illustrators have chosen to depict over time are quite interesting. Ms. Barnum invited the audience to interact by answering several questions:

  • What would you choose to illustrate?
  • How strictly do you need to stick to the text?
  • Do the illustrations give a true account of the times and setting of the story?
  • What of the illustration itself? Is the technique right for the action?
  • Does an illustration that does not agree with your subjective view ruin the reading of the book/or movie for you?
My personal answers are:
  • I'd have to read the book carefully. I would not have thought to include random scenes like the Perry children eating wedding cake. 
  • I'm a purist. If the text says Emma has brown hair and hazel eyes, the illustration/actress had better have brown hair and hazel eyes. For some reason Emma continues to be depicted as a blond. 
  • It depends on the illustration, obviously.
  • Yes! I can't stand it when illustrations and especially movies fail to get it right. 

The first illustrated Emma from 1833 by William Greenbatch after George Pickering.
Emma and Harriet look too much alike, the clothing styles are wrong. On the plus side, Mr. Elton is in the image.

Here we have two images from the 1870s. They are very nice for being black and white though once again the clothing styles are wrong. This Emma reminds me of Amy March in Little Women for some reason.

Now we have better clothing styles in this 1892 edition illustrated by Edmund H. Garrett. I like the action being outside and seeing the house in the background.

This is a great scene, illustrated by Hugh Thompson. It's not one I would have thought about including - Mr. Knightley tossing his nephew in the air - but it's sweet. It shows Mr. Knightley's character and Emma looking on. They could almost be a married couple with their own children. I like seeing Emma lounging and not posing stiff.

Emma and Knightley by C.E. and H.M. Brock. This is quite nice. It shows a sweet and tender scene - um is it still a spoiler of the book was written 200 years ago? The clothing looks right and the action is outside where it belongs. It looks very realistic-like the reader is right there at Hartfield with the characters.

This one by C.E. Brock from 1909 is beautiful! I love the soft colors. It's so romantic. As with the previous illustration, it's outside where it belongs and you can see Hartfield in the background. It's a little more romantic and dreamy than the previous image.

The first female illustrator, Christiana Hammond, did these drawings in 1898.
I think Emma looks rather older than her years here. It's a sweet scene but not one that I probably would have chosen to illustrate.

One more out of copyright image is from 1910 by William Sewall. I don't like this one at all. It's dark and the style is a little too modern for me. I do like the action being outside.
image from ebay
Fast forward to present day when illustrators are still giving us their own interpretation of Emma. From the super cute Cozy Classics (my personal favorite)
Emma Cozy Classics edition Jack and Holman Wang

to the bizarre Manga version
Manga Classics: Emma Softcover (Manga Classics, Jane Austen): Jane Austen, Stacy King, Crystal Chan, Po Tse

(Actually this image isn't that bad but the one shown in the presentation of Harriet Smith was strange).

Well, I like the modern sentiments expressed by Emma ...

Deborah Barnum invited people to e-mail her or comment on her blog weighing in  on their favorite illustrators and scenes. My favorite illustrator is H.M. Brock.

Breakout Session D8: One Very Superior Party: In Which Mrs. Elton Shews the Inhabitants of Highbury "How Everything Ought to be Arranged"  
Kim Wilson, Wisconsin region

What does Mrs. Elton mean when she criticizes the parties held at Highbury, and what sort of party should she give? Informative and amusing illustrations of Regency-era parties, games, foods and table settings will show participants what Mrs. Elton's evening party would have looked like and how they can easily recreate it.

Some of this was overlap from Joyce White's talk on desserts. Much of the information was known to me. What I liked was the hands-on experience of seeing, feeling and smelling things that were used at parties. We smelled orange flower water, which doesn't smell much like oranges; rosewater, which I have used before and don't like. It smells and tastes like soap. 

What I also really enjoyed was how to throw a Regency party cheaply. She threw a nice Regency party using mid-late-20th-century reproduction Regency/Victorian style table settings. Some were inherited from her mother-in-law and some were purchased at discount stores like Home Goods. Reproduction Spode can be found cheaply online too and blue and white transferware was popular in the mid-20th-century. 

Ms. Wilson also included a handout with many recipes. One side has recipes for rout cakes (little cookies or biscuits) from period cookbooks. The other side has recipes for water iceas. I want to try cinnamon ice

Recipe from The Professed Cook (1812)
Glace de Candle /Cinnamon Ice 
Infuse a proper quantity of cinnamon about an hour in hot water and boil it a moment. Add half a pound of fine sugar to a pint of water; sift it through a sieve and finish as others.

Modern interpretation:
4 3-inch cinnamon sticks
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
Bring cinnamon sticks and water to a boil, remove from heat and let sit an hour. Bring it back to a boil briefly, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Cool, chill until cold, then freeze. 
Kim Wilson gives further suggestion for what she calls the Lydia option: To a 1.5 litre carton of good vanilla ice cream mix 1-2 tablespoons of good ground cinnamon to taste, stir well and return to freezer.

You can see images of such ices on food historian Ivan Day's website

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