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Jane Austen society holds yearly celebration in New York

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(Read caption) Jane Austen's most well-known novel, 'Pride and Prejudice,' was adapted for the screen in 2005, with actress Keira Knightley playing heroine Elizabeth Bennet.

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The Jane Austen Society of North America held its annual gathering in Brooklyn this past weekend, a meeting that included lectures by Austen scholars as well as activities like a traditional ball.

More than 700 people came to the event, which lasted three days at a Marriott hotel. One session included a lecture on how women would have dressed in Austen’s day, an appropriate topic considering many of the conference participants were dressed in Regency gowns and hats.

One attendee, Goucher College associate professor Juliette Wells, said the first time she came to the meeting she was taken aback by the level of fandom exhibited by the JASNA members.

“When I first came, as a graduate student, I was kind of freaked out by the level of ardor,” said Wells, who wrote a study of Austen in pop culture titled “Everybody’s Jane,” in an interview with The New York Times. “I wasn’t sure if I would come back.” But JASNA, she said, “has been very good to me.”


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