Program of Events

A big Happy ‘Zooming’ New Year to all Jane Austen Vancouver Region members:


As always, to participate in our Zoom presentations, please email the Regional Coordinator at


Saturday, Feb. 13, 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time: Welcome to our first meeting of 2021 “virtually” of course!

Please join us for an exclusive video presentation of “Jane Austen, Netley Abbey and Gothic Tourism” by Dr. Cheryl Butler first offered at the JASNA 2019 AGM in Williamsburg.

At the age of seventeen Jane and her sister Cassandra left Steventon to visit the spa town of Southhampton, likely two girls in search of adventure. It was not the first time Jane had gone to the bathing resort, having been there some ten years earlier. During that earlier visit she and Cassandra, a cousin, and others in the family contracted typhus. They survived but an aunt succumbed. It was surely an ordeal!

Jane’s return visit at seventeen may have included a visit to Netley Abbey, a ruin and scenic spot nearby made popular by Horace Walpole after his visit in 1755. (Walpole was considered a “torch bearer” for the gothic). He later wrote “The Castle of Otranto” possibly based on Netley.

Dr. Butler will consider the influence this book had on writers and their novels, perhaps even Jane. Another author, George Keate, wrote an elegy to Netley Abbey and his mention of its “ghosts, romantic yet despoiled ruins, and sinister atmosphere” captured many an imagination. Was Jane’s own imagination fired by Walpole, Keate and others? Could their works have inspired  her to write the gothic novel “Northanger Abbey?”

Join us Feb. 13 and find out!