Program of Events

Meeting Registration is at 10:15 a.m. at St. Phillip’s Anglican Church Fireside Room, 3737 West 27th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. Meetings get underway at 10:30. Fee is $5.00 per person. All are welcome. First Meeting Fee waived.

 

No meeting in January

 

Feb. 15:  “She said ‘Yes'”

In a salute to Valentine’s Day, romance is on the menu for our first meeting of 2020 when a members’ panel discusses the merits of the marriages of two Austen characters, Charlotte Collins in “Pride and Prejudice” and Jane Fairfax in “Emma.”

John Mullan, Professor of Modern English at the University College, London, and author of “Courtship, Love and Marriage in Jane Austen’s Novels” (May, 2017) writes that Charlotte’s marriage to Mr. Collins was one of “the most tough-minded and unsentimental analysis” ever found in Austen’s writing. Though marriage in Austen’s period was considered a solemn religious duty, according to Professor Mullan, “the harsh economic reality of a young woman’s value in the marriage market is what preoccupies most (of Austen’s) characters.”

Although Charlotte’s opinion that “happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance” allows her to accept Mr. Collins, escape the parental home and have her own household, her friend Elizabeth Bennet considers the price of such respectability too high if there is no real love between partners. Romance versus practicality!

In “Emma” we see Jane Fairfax, a young lady possessed of charm and talent, secretly become engaged to a man whose character is often open to criticism. Jane, with no family income, faces a bleak future if she does not marry. Her feelings for Frank Churchill are obviously real and employment as a governess does not seem promising in spite of the repeated promises of Mrs. Eliot to provide her with a uniquely acceptable position. The struggle to wait until Frank can marry her or to launch out on her own turns into a source of great anguish.

Following the panel presentation, members are invited to weigh in on whether they agree with the characters’ decisions or disagree.

Don’t miss the spirited debate!

 

Next Meeting Dates: Program to be Announced soon

March 21

April 18

May 16

June 13