A short note to wish readers Happy Holidays!
Deb and I went up to Montreal on December 16th for an Austen Birthday celebration with JASNA members of the Montreal/Quebec City chapter. We sure lucked out! Clear weather – whereas it’s been snowing and snowy off and on ever since. (Here in northern Vermont, we did not get some of the freezing rain mixture – so the weather could be oh-so-much worse!) The gathering was entertained by an informative talk by Prof. Peter Sabor (McGill University) on the various collections of Austen letters. So many editions that members brought in! I was especially captivated by the Jo Modert facsimile edition (but not a copy to be bought online….); and remind readers to visit janeausteninvermont so that editions of Chapman and Brabourne can be viewed online. Prof Sabor was especially taken with the index of Brabourne (though critical of a couple aspects of it!); thankfully, the text now fully-searchable, the index will be less needed for those online searchers.
Letters are a staple of research such as mine into the lives of Emma Smith and Mary Gosling – and collections such as that belonging to the Austen family are indeed treasured!