Austen-tacious High Tea

jane austen

On Tuesday afternoon we had our special celebration of the 200th year since the publication of Pride and Prejudice, the Austen-tacious High Tea, at Springwood Library.

A genteel time was had by all with Fiona Garrood reading some letters that passed between Jane Austen and various members of her family.  Miss Austen wrote upwards of 3,000 letters during her lifetime although only a few hundred exist now. Some were destroyed by her niece, Fanny Knight, who thought them too acidic and naughty (descriptions of relatives and neighbours)!

Fiona was reading letters from Jane Austen’s Letters, edited by Deidre Le Faye and kept the audience engrossed for 45 minutes or so before we stopped and distributed some prizes.

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Nine correct entries were recieved for the Austen-tacious High Tea Quiz and the winning entry was by Mary Flinn of Blackheath.

How well do you know your Austen? (Click on the image to enlarge it)


We also had Lucky Door Prizes and a prize for Best Dressed. Staff had been told by one lady at least that she’d be coming in fancy dress. She didn’t so we scrambled about for a way to allot the prize. First, we asked if there was a Jane in the audience, then if anyone had the initials “JA” before resorting to “Who has been to Chawton?” This, to our relief because we were running out of potential questions, was the winning question.

All prizes having been distributed, we had our afternoon tea. Oh what a spread – yummy cucumber sandwiches, fairy cakes, muffns, biscuits and slices! And all those who attended stayed and chatted and mingled.

From the Love2Read Committee go thanks to Fiona Garrood who put a lot of work into choosing the letters and for reading them, to our lovely, enthusiastic audience and to staff at all the branches who supported the event by promoting it and encouraging people to attend.

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