Saturday, October 30, 2010

Posting from Portland: Day 3

The greatest costume AGM ever!

Juliet McMaster and me (yes that's me!)

Had a horrible night, no sleep, tossing and turning with repining at not being as successful a writer as Stephanie, Syrie, and Laurie. But lo! a new day brings new feelings, and a cappuccino works miracles, as does a little top-up of a nap.  Got to the conference late, just in time to hear Juliet's beautiful talk, rich with her learning and love of Austen. From there it was straight to another excellent talk, Gillian Dow of Chawton House Library spoke on the French Gothic novels and what Jane Austen was satirizing in Northanger Abbey.  I'll summarize it elsewhere later, but she has a real gift for being able to present and synthesize complicated information in the most lucid, delightful, stimulating way.  Sailing on the wings of these talks I met up with Ellen, Isabel and Jane, and we found our way to the South Park seafood restaurant, for the lunch I organized of "online friends."  It's always enormous fun to be face to face with your favorite e-mail correspondents!  We sat in a lovely room at adjacent tables, ate good seafood, and I can't tell you what a jolly time "we 17" had! 

Me and Erika from the Dove Grey Books list, with her lovely son Kai

 Titans of the Janeites list, together at last!  Ellen, Arnie and me

Back at the conference, I split two talks, and heard half a presentation about Gothic architecture, and half a presentation about the cultivation of pineapples in Northanger Abbey.

A talk about pineapples in Northanger Abbey

After these talks, I had a meeting with the three others on the panel for tomorrow, Joan Ray, Kimberly Brangwin, William Phillips - all so funny, it will hardly matter if I can't rise to the occasion!  Then Ellen and Isobel and I took a cab to Powells, for a happy booky hour (I bought a biography of Lydia Lopakova, Keynes's Bloomsbury ballerina wife, and a Powells t-shirt), and some cappucino.  Then we had a brisk walk back to the hotel to change for the Banquet and Bal Masque.

To be continued tomorrow, with a costume extravaganza!

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