In less than two weeks, I’ll be at the Jane Austen Evening. I can’t wait!

For those of you who don’t know, the Jane Austen Evening is an annual event held in the Los Angeles area every January. For quite a reasonable fee, you get all-you-can-eat afternoon tea, a period performance, and then hours of Regency-era dances, with the occasional card game thrown in.

And the costumes are fabulous.

Even if one doesn’t dance at all, one can be entertained for hours just watching the dancers carrying out the intricate steps of English Country Dances, many of these dancers in equally intricate costumes.

Last year, the California Automobile Club Magazine ran an article which talked about the Jane Austen Evening, which led to an influx of a whole lot of new people.

So last year, the Evening sold out early, and this year it did as well.

The waiting list, I hear, has seventy people on it. It would have more than that, except the organizers finally drew the line at seventy. (Few, if any, of those seventy will be able to attend, after all!)

I’ve already attended one practice session for the dances, and reviewed my knowledge of dances which include “Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot” and “Shrewsbury Lasses” (a.k.a. “Wrong Way, Mr. Collins!”), which were both featured in the 1995 Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice.

Here are some links, in case you want more info:

Jane Austen Evening. The Event of the Social Season.
Lively Arts History Association — which produces the Jane Austen Evening, and many other period events.
Links to Historical Dance Groups around the world
Previous Jane Austen Evening video on YouTube!

Have you done any English Country Dance, or other period dance? If so, how did you like it?

Have you ever attended any event which included Regency-era dance or cards? Do you wish you could?

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER, which contains no dancing, not even of any kind, but does have an awful lot of explicit card-playing