Jane Austen’s Christmas…and Birthday…and a Prize!!!

Jane Austen was born December 16, 1775. To commemorate her birthday, each year we devote the week to celebrating her life and the wonderful books that have endured and given us countless pleasure, much inspiration, and a love of the Regency.

This week, as we have done before, we are offering a prize to one lucky commenter, to be randomly selected from comments all week long. Comment every day! We’ll announce the winner by next Monday.
The winner will have the choice of either the annotated Pride and Prejudice or the new annotated Persuasion. These are beautiful editions!
Birthdays were not the grand occasions for celebration in Jane Austen’s time as in our own, but Christmas could very well be. Jane’s Christmases often meant having visitors, and, because travel was such a difficulty, guests stayed a long time.
Gifts at Christmas were often made by loving hands, things like monogramed handkerchiefs or needle cases. There were plenty of games, however. Cards and charades and games of chess.
There might also be theatricals. As a child, Jane Austen wrote a one-act play at Christmas, about a daughter traveling to get married.
Jane also attended balls at Christmastime and, in a letter to her sister Cassandra, wrote of one:

There were twenty dances, and I danced them all without any fatigue. I was glad to find myself capable of dancing so much, and with so much satisfaction as I did; from my slender enjoyment of the Ashford Balls (as assemblies for dancing) I had not thought myself equal to it, but in cold weather and with few couples I fancy I could just as well dance for a week together as for half an hour. My black cap was openly admired by Mrs Lefroy, and secretly, I imagine by everybody else in the room

I wonder if acknowledgement of her birthday became lost in all these festivities and visitors? If so, it is fitting that we stop and remember it here at Risky Regencies.
Do you, or anyone you know have a birthday close to Christmas? Is it celebrated as a birthday might be the rest of the year? Or are you or they short-changed?
Remember, one lucky commenter will be selected by next Monday for her choice of the annotated edition of Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion.
And don’t forget that the Harlequin Historical Authors Holiday contest is still going strong. See details here.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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