Last fall (2019), I gave a lecture at the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Annual General Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia. The theme of the year was Northanger Abbey, Austen’s parody of the Gothic novel. I talked about how the Gothic revival, and Romantic age more generally, made it into American culture. I looked at architecture, the decorative arts, schoolgirl needlework (mourning needleworks), and jewelry in the first half. Then I looked at two girls’ diaries’ responses to the Gothic novels they read, and put them in context by looking at booksellers’ ads and surviving catalogs of lending libraries of the day (which Gothic and other novels were widely available to the average American?). Here’s the link to the written version, which JASNA was kind enough to publish in their online journal, Persuasions Online.
The 2015 printed issue of Persuasions contains my article on how the Mr. Darcy and the Bingley party achieved the “air of decided fashion” described by Austen. What were the subtle markers in fashion which made the difference between the richer city people and the provincial gentry of Meryton? Unfortunately the article is not published online.
My paper on children’s clothing during Jane Austen’s childhood has been accepted for presentation at the 2020 Annual General Meeting in Cleveland, so I hope that that will be published one way or the other as well.
I have given quite a few lectures on the costumes in Austen adaptations over the years, updating my discussion with each new movie or series–quite a task!–but none of it has been properly published. I’ll revisit the topic in future movie costume posts.