Sunday 27 June 2010

Journal of the Sixth Meeting - Persuasion

It has been great!
All well that ends well! But I should quote Jane Austen , not Will Shakespeare, since our reading club was dedicated to her. I have not a precise quotation in mind,  but since she’s a master in happy endings, maybe she  wanted to give us one of her best ones  today!

It has been magic!

(Valentina and Ludovica didn't want to read Emma last time, but they had read Persuasion this time: good girls!)

Especially because I have a fairy among my friends and she can do magic! She came to the meeting today and maybe she has played one of her tricks, she has cast one of her spells and this last JA  discussion was full of enthusiasm.

It has been colourful!

My Janeite friends from Rome joined us and their enthusiasm was contagious. Knowing they also were coming  all the readers did their best and …all  had read or re-read Persuasion! Valentina made coloured JA T-shirts for the 5 of us and brought me a JA sack with precious memorable quotes printed on it! Look at how proud we are! (on the right of our T-shirts there was JA's silhouette and her name printed in white)

It has been tasty!

(Simo and Anto having great fun with...children's books! We usually hold our meetings in the children's area of the public library! But I swear,  we  discussed Jane Austen most of the time! Sorry, no pictures of the cakes!)

I made an apple cake and Sig.ra Letizia brought a “crostata” so we started our meeting eating cakes and chatting about the whole experience of the meeting club, planning future possible meetings, commenting with pleasure the presence of our Roman guests.

It has been surprising!

(Thank you! I'm always so glad at receiving books as gifts! And what beatiful ones I got. How did they know I like everything Austen and Bronte? Look carefully behind me and Rosaria, on the desk ... there is one of the cakes!!!)

Rosaria, the lady librarian,  wanted to open the meeting this afternoon thanking me and all the present for the beautiful experience and she had an unexpected gift for me: two books I so wanted to read ! One is Bianca Pitzorno, “La bambinaia francese” , Jane Eyre’s story told from the point of view of a French nurse who reveals what we don’t know about Adele and her mother, the French dancer who met Mr Rochester; the other one is Syrie James , "Il Diario Perduto di Jane Austen"( "The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen"). Perfect summer reads, aren’t they?

It has been interesting and lively!

(Mara, Costanza, Maria Francesca and Marika discuss Jane Austen characters and their love stories but then started talking about ...real life ...stories!)
Since everybody knew Anne and Captain Wentworth’s story and had read the novel , the discussion was lively and even brilliant at times. Sig.ra Pina was less harsh to Jane than in other previous meetings: she said she had liked the beautiful descriptions of the settings,  especially Lyme Regis. She said she had even surfed the Net to see pictures of the place and had liked it a lot. She also loved Anne, because "she’s such a good girl"! Sig.ra Letizia was "a very self-controlled Miss Bates" today: she contributed to the discussion but was not that talkative. Young Valentina had read Persuasion - even the deleted chapter  which is not in the final draft! - and told me she had discussed Jane Austen a lot this month with Rosaria, the lady librarian (where has the critical, prejudiced young Valentina of the Emma meeting gone?!?) Valentina senior, attentive reader and good Janeite, contributed interesting analysis, and Antonella suggested stimulating questions that made the discussion livilier. However, today all had something to say. Much to say. Though I'm not mentioning them all.

It has been awwwww!

We watched bits of Persuasion 1995 and 2007 and we were divided into two halves: one side awwwwwwwwwwwing each time manly Ciaràn Hinds appeared on the screen and the other side swooooooooning when it was blue – eyed charming Rupert Penry – Jones’s turn.

Thanks to all the readers who joined our group at least once in this venture. It’s been a very nice new experience to me which I’d love to repeat. We (Rosaria and I) are already thinking about a new reading group and I’m supposed to propose the titles for next season. I have time, all the rest of the summer,  to choose and decide. We’d like to start again next autumn.

Thanks to all of you, too, who have followed this monthly journal of our meetings and supported me when… a bit disappointed. Love. MG.


lunarossa said...

I'm ever so happy that everything went so well this time, MG! All looks and sounds so good! And you deserve it after all the effort you've put into this great book club. I bet you got a bit of help from the lovely Rupert too....And what to say about those fantastic T-shirts? Absolutely wonderful? Is Valentina going to sell to other JA fans as well? If so, I'd be the first in line. Pls let me know. And the bag is great as well. I think she could start a good business with all this merchandise...What a great adventure you had. Congratulations. Ciao. A.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy everything went well today Maria! I hope you'll be able to take part in the book club again in autumn.

Maria Grazia said...

No, A. Valentina had the T-shirts and the bag done as gifts for us. She works as a librarian but I can suggest her to start a merchandise business together!
Thanks for commenting , for all your support and , especially for the lovely , generous parcel I received from York today! Hugs! Ciao, MG.

Maria Grazia said...

Yes, I hope so. We are not reading Jane Austen but ... a different book from a different writer each month. I'll have to think about a list and propose it to the library.
Everything went incredibly well, this afternoon, yes, and I was so happy!
Thanks for your support, Luciana!

Meredith said...

YAY! I'm so happy for you, Maria! What a great meeting for your favorite JA novel! I love the T-shirts and what fantastic books you received! I loved Syrie James's book, but I never heard of the other one, is it only in Italian?

Job well done, Maria, and happy reading!

Maria Grazia said...

Thanks a lot , Meredith.
As for "La Bambinaia Francese" by Bianca Pitzorno, I don't think it has never been translated but I've heard many positive comments about it.
I was very happy yesterday, can't you see it from the pics? Awful expressions, I know, but I was really happy!

Eliza said...

I am happy to read that! It sounds really like great fun. The bag and the T-shirts look gorgeous. Wish we had something like that here. :-D

DEZMOND said...

Ah, I love Rupert Penry – Jones. It seems you have a nice time with the ladies :)

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