Tag Archives: Allison Thompson

Jane Austen’s 235th Birthday

Happy Birthday Jane!

Jane Austen was born 235 years ago today. Given the emphasis of “the felicities of rapid motion” in her work, it’s an opportunity to introduce folks to English country dance, as they are doing in Frankfort, Kentucky, among other places. Or maybe just indulge in a little Colin Firth:

… and then learn it. Or analyze it.

Though you might be concerned about your health if there’s no dancing tonight, rest assured. It was Jane Austen, herself, who observed in Emma:

Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind….

Perhaps you could spend the day making arrangements for the Jane Austen Festival, which should have some nice dancing. Or reading a Jane Austen blog or two, where the dancing gets more than the passing mention.

Am I missing something? Share it in the comments.


Thanks to Allison Thompson for some fun and informational links. Read her enjoyable new paper, “The Rules of the Assembly: Dancing at Bath and Other Spas in the Eighteenth Century” which was just posted online. She also shared the very funny Jane Austen’s Fight Club youtube video.