Mark Twain crashes it, digs up Jane Austen‘s body and beats her over the skull with her shinbone! No. I think it was more old timey dancing.
At least, that’s what happened according to The New York Times, who sent a reporter to cover the Jane Austen Society’s annual meeting:
The society took its annual meeting to the Marriott in Downtown Brooklyn last weekend for a kind of homecoming, things were rather different. Attendance was over 700, the event lasted three days, and the daytime dress code for many ran to pale Regency dresses, demure bonnets and straw baskets to hold anything that wouldn’t fit into a period-correct reticule…
At a well-attended workshop called “Dressing the Miss Bennets,” Lisa Brown, a proofreader and Royal Navy expert from Rochester, walked attendees through the basics of Regency attire.
“It’s all about the lift,” she said, pointing to a modern push-up bra on an inflatable dummy named Lydia, after the airhead of the Bennet family. “The most important thing to achieving this look is your undergarment.” Ms. Brown added that a proper Regency lady would have worn crotchless panties, if she wore them at all. (Pulling them down to use the toilet was too complicated.)
The notion of crotchless panties actually makes me like Jane Austen a little bit more. Not much more, though. I stand with Mark Twain over her graveside on that.
But! I’m going to start some societies, they’re going to have some parties, let me know which one you’re bringing crepes of wrath for (not the Steinbeck one, we’re mostly going to be wearing pearls and eating rabbits at that one).