Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?**

My friend and I went to a festival put on by the Louisville chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America. It was held on the grounds of Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark:

We were expecting a little event, a handful of folks drinking tea, a smattering of cheap trinkets for sale. Instead, we were quite blown away by the smart planning and execution of the event.

There were several events planned for the day, including several Regency fashion shows (which I'll get to in a minute), that were excessively diverting. The Emporium was host to a treasure trove of genuinely interesting items, including 19th century inspired fabrics that Jenni and I plundered for our next set of dresses:

Several stations were scattered across the grounds, including a shoemaker, a milliner, a mantua-maker (dressmaker), and a showroom of exquisite outfits on the second floor of the Locust Grove home:
We had afternoon tea at 1 o'clock, where we were served a variety of small sandwiches, delectable scones with preserves, and lavender pound cake:

After tea, we went to the session "Dressing Mr. Darcy," where the host proceeded to undress down to his undershirt and pants, explaining each item of clothing that he was removing (hat, coat, vest, cravat):
Obviously meant to titillate the crowd. We couldn't stop snickering, and I couldn't keep a straight face when I danced a turn with him later that evening at the ball.

Yes, indeed, there was a ball and we suppressed our inner wallflowers to attend. My friend made our gowns. She wore an evening gown, and I wore an afternoon dress (hey, at least it was period appropriate):

Some scenes from the ball:

Here some folks are dancing "Mr Beveridge's Maggot (Favorite)", which some of you will appreciate knowing that this is the dance from the famous scene in Pride & Prejudice (1995) where Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth dance together for the first time:

Of course, the folks at this little ball weren't as graceful. There was lots of laughing and stumbling and wrong turns and bumps. It was all thoroughly fun.

More pictures over at my flickr.

**Jane Austen

No comments: