21-23 April 2017

Jane Austen Festival Australia is an annual celebration in Canberra where Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia come and indulge themselves in everything Regency - including dancing, music, food, games, archery, fencing, theatre, promenades, grand balls, talks, workshops, costumes and books. This festival is now a regular part of the ACT Heritage Festival, Australian Heritage Week and is supported by the ACT Government, the Australian Costumers Guild and the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy. Since its inception in 2008 this little festival has blossomed into one of the most delightful four days anyone could experience each April in an old and beautiful part of Canberra, the Federal capital of Australia.

August 04, 2016

Playing the Harp at Jane Austen Festival Australia

At JAFA 2016 the Regency Ladies School taught festival attendees how to play a little on the harp, how to stand at the harp to have your portrait painted or photo taken. In 2017 there are plans for even bigger and brighter things as we invite you to bring your own or borrow a harp to bring with you to Jane Austen Festival Australia in April 2017 for our largest gathering yet of harps and harp players. Jane Austen Festival Friends are invited to send their contact details to registration@janeaustenfestival.com.au if they would like to learn some of the tunes beforehand. Whilst harps are the main instrument with this project, you are welcome to join and play a different instrument.

What do you think Jane Austen was telling us when Mary Crawford played the harp? Jeffrey Nigro shares with us a wonderful article exploring the history of harp playing in relation to Jane Austen: "The Many Meanings of Mary Crawford’s Harp" http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol35no1/nigro.html

There is harp and pianoforte music in the Austen Family Collection available online at https://ia601308.us.archive.org/.../austen1677439-2001.pdf

Jane Austen may have played a lovely Scottish Aire Robin Adair, for there were several variations of the song in her folio collection of music and Jane Fairfax played this tune in Emma.

I found a copy of the original in the Internet Archive and was particularly excited to find it was arranged for harp or piano forte.
Robin Adair, The Much Admired Ballad Sung with enthusiastic applause by Mr. Braham at the Lyceum Theatre, The Symphony & Accompaniments, Composed & Arranged For The Harp Or Piano Forte By W. Reeve, London, Printed by Button & Whitaker, St. Paul's Church Yard, n. d. [1811/12]

Two young men singing Robin Adair at Chawton House in 2014.

April 19, 2016

Regency Bonnet Workshop - 24-26 September 2016

You are invited to join our 3-day Regency Bonnet Workshop this September in Canberra, Australia. Contact Jane Austen Festival Australia for more information.

Kits containing buckram, taping, wire and mull will be provided and a salad buffet lunch will be offered.

Please bring:
  • 1 metre of silk taffeta or dupion
  • 50cm of your underbrim fabric - white or cream silk
  • any ribbons, feathers and flowers you wish to decorate with
  • Sewing Kit with large sharp fabric scissors, seam ripper, seam gauge or tape measure, machine & hand needles, craft scissors (for cutting buckram and paper), straight pins, clear ruler, pencils, eraser, coordinating thread to match your fashion fabric.
Registration: $150 

If you are unable to attend and wish for Aylwen to visit you to teach a workshop to your local group, please contact Jane Austen Festival Australia to make arrangements. Generally the fee is $250 day per group (plus $50 materials per person), the cost of return Qantas airfare to Canberra, hire car if a distance from airline hub, accommodation and meals. Aylwen is happy to accept billet accommodation and share meals in a non-smoking household. A series of workshops organised with several groups might enable you to share around and reduce the travel price. 

Example of buckram bonnet we'll be making

We'll make a buckram base that looks exactly like this.

You get to cover it with silk and make it look like one of these.

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden