Williamsburg Regional Library Celebrates Life and Works of Jane Austen in January

Williamsburg Regional Library will ring in the New Year with "JANEuary," a whole month dedicated to commemorating the life and works of Jane Austen. We're celebrating with a variety of programs about Austen's life, her novels, the films and books she inspired, and the Regency lifestyles captured in her work.

Every Thursday in January we will be screening a movie based on or inspired by Austen's books and her life, including Persuasion (Jan. 5), Love & Friendship (Jan. 12), Austenland (Jan. 19), and Sense & Sensibility (Jan. 26). All screenings are free and will take place at 2 p.m. at the Williamsburg Library Theatre. The screening of Persuasion will be followed by a lecture from Professor Kim Wheatley on the challenges of adapting Austen's works to film, and the Austenland screening will be followed by a talk from Sarah Glosson, an Austen scholar also based at William & Mary, on the modern-day fandom surrounding Austen's work. Both talks are also free and will begin at 4 p.m. on their respective days.

In addition to these weekly offerings, we will also be hosting an Austen-themed extravaganza (an Austravaganza, as we are fondly referring to it) on January 29, featuring a whole afternoon of Austen programs appropriate for anyone old enough to appreciate her work. The celebration will take place between 1-5 p.m. at the Williamsburg Library, and Austen fans are encouraged to drop in and peruse the many activities being offered throughout our meeting rooms, gallery, and theatre over the course of the afternoon.

Our Austravaganza will feature numerous informative lectures, including a presentation from Amy Stallings, a regional coordinator for the local chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America, on comparing the reality of Austen's life with its portrayal in movies; a talk from Colonial Williamsburg's Janea Whitacre on sewing and dressmaking in Austen's time; and a lecture on tea customs in Austen's world (including a complimentary cup of tea to enjoy for yourself once the lecture is over) from Kenneth Roberts of Discovery Teas.

Other highlights of our Austravaganza include an Austen trivia contest, a period dance demonstration and lesson led by Adult Services Librarian Anne Marie Weissert and musician Kaylan Stevenson, several Austen-themed crafts such as bookmarks, collages, silhouettes, lace cuffs, and reticules, and the chance to weigh in on our Austen fan survey.

All JANEuary events will be held at Williamsburg Library and are free and open to the public. A full schedule of events with detailed descriptions can be found at wrl.org/janeuary.

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