Save the Date for the 9th Annual Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, Kentucky


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2016 Jane Austen Festival- NEW Pony Cart

Tall T’s Pony Farm – Greenfield, Indiana

Historical Background:

Our pony cart is similar to what was known as a “cheer” or “shay” in colonial times (see the following information on the “American Cheer or Shay”).  As Edwin Tunis states “it’s likely that cheers were the first passenger carriages in America” and “this (early colonial version) and the more finished later versions of the cheer were the most popular kind of vehicle in the country almost up to the time of the Civil War.”image1

Our pony cart is made of oak, with the wooden wheels and steel “tires” in keeping with the cart design of the colonial period.  The leather harness is typical of those used with such carts.  Note: pony carts would have been  a common site in colonial America as a pony would have been cheaper to purchase and maintain than a horse.


As you peruse the grounds throughout the day on Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, of the Festival, you will see Candace Trout in her pony cart. Make sure you say “hello”! Note: No pony cart rides will be given. 

Tickets for the Jane Austen Festival will go on sale online starting June 8th (a week away!) and will be available during the Jane Austen Festival. Advance online registration is highly recommended for the Afternoon Tea, Workshops and the Grand Ball as they sell-out before the festival opens.

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2016 Jane Austen Festival Scone Recipe Contest Winners

IMG_5009It was a tough job, but someone had to taste all those scone recipes!  57 entries from all over the US and one from England vied to be the OFFICIAL SCONE for the 8th Annual Jane Austen Festival, held July 15, 16 & 17 at Locust Grove and sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America- Greater Louisville Region.

Members of JASNA-GL volunteered to bake the recipes and two marathon tasting sessions took place in April and May.  It came down to two excellent recipes, so two winners were declared.

One scone, the Vanilla Orange with clotted cream and marmalade (seen in the photograph as the heart-shaped scone), will be the official scone for the four-course afternoon tea and the other, English Toffee with Walnuts (circular scone to the right of the heart-shaped scones), will be offered for sale in the Earl of Sandwich Shoppe during the Festival.

The Winners are Effie Sahihi (Orange Vanilla) of Hendersonville, TN and Linda Levengood (English Toffee with Walnuts) of Crystal Lake, IL.  Each will receive $100 for their winning scone recipes.

The 8th Annual Jane Austen Festival takes place 

July 15, 16 &17 at 1790s Locust Grove. 

The theme is “Eat, Drink, and be Merry in Jane Austen’s England.”

For more information, visit our website:

Advanced online registration begins June 8th.

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2016 Jane Austen Festival- Bare Knuckle Boxing Demonstration

Period Fisticuffs at the 8th Annual Jane Austen Festival!


MOVE OVER, Darcy and Wentworth! SCATTER, all you milksop parsons and do-good reformers!! The BRUMMAGEM TRUMP is returning to Locust Grove!!! The Trump has not fought since that awful contest with the Acasta BIG GUN in the summer of ‘13, when, in an EPIC AFFRAY, both bruisers were reduced to red ruin and the surgeon’s care. But a late incident at THE FIVE’S COURT has induced the Trump, as it would any true man of spirit, to sign the articles and resume tough training! To be brief, the Trump, having been called “a beaten dog, a shattered hulk,” and several other choice epithets by the IRISH CHAMPION, Jem Doggerty, will meet said Doggerty on the Grove grounds, in midsummer, determined to chastise the Hibernian in the approved English manner. Mark your calendars ladies and gentlemen of the Fancy, for what promises to be an exhibition of true manliness between two out-and-outers!

**To view part of the summer of ’13 fisticuffs contest, click HERE.**

Experience the Bare Knuckle Boxing Demonstration on Saturday, July 16th, from 4:00-4:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 17th, from 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. This demonstration is included in Admission cost. For more information about the 8th Annual Jane Austen Festival, please go to our website:


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2016 Jane Austen Festival- Bobbin Lacemaking Demonstration

By Norah Glickstein

“O yeah, my grandma used to do that — tatting, right?”

Rock Castle 2010 D

Sorry, no.  It’s a question I hear 3-10 times per hour as I sit working at my lacemaking demonstrations, such as the one scheduled in Louisville, KY, this year on July 17-19th as part of the Jane Austen Festival, hosted by the Greater Louisville Jane Austen Society.  Definite kudos to your grandmother for being a craftwise woman, and kudos to you for recognizing lacemaking, but tatting is about 180º from what I do, which is bobbin-lacemaking.

For one thing, I don’t hold a single strand of thread on a shuttle in my hand, knotting around itself…tatting is a nice, portable craft.  Bobbin lace, however, relies on multiple threads braiding or weaving together, each of which is controlled by its own bobbin “handle”.  Sure, some patterns are very simple and have fewer than 2 dozen bobbins.  These patterns were worked by children in the past.   Most of the patterns I work are upwards of 70 bobbins, and several have been over several hundred!

Rock Castle 2007 B

What 300+ bobbins looks like.

Another difference is the purpose of these methods in history.  Tatting was developed around 200 years ago as a home-made, hobby-level craft used to trim simple garments and household items.  Conversely, bobbin lace was developed as a trade more than 500 years ago.  Those fantastic collars and ruffs we see on the paintings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries?  Bobbin lace.  Sure, there’s some needle lace in there as well (an embroidery technique, really), but trust me, not a single line of tatting to be seen.

I am also frequently asked what I do with my lace.  After all, we don’t live in a lacy culture in 2016.  Most of what I produce is applied to my reproduction gowns; after all, they’re entirely hand-sewn, why not go for the next level of authenticity and adorn them with appropriate lace?  Some, I give away as gifts to treasured friends and family.  However, the end product is not the focus of my presentation.  What I aim to do is bring to visitors at these 18th and 19th-century events a taste of a textile trade which is not seen in modern times.  A little taste of social history is what I offer, placing a woman’s trade in the context of the time-period of the event, representing eras when there weren’t a lot of trades open to women.  And if I can bring a little art to someone’s day at the same time, well that’s a bonus.

Abby's handkerchief 1

Abby's handkerchief, sewn to silk, 14 10 25, trimmed

silk gown - blonde lace 03



1000 pins, approximately 140 bobbins – the project I’ll be working on at 

The 8th Annual Jane Austen Festival

Locust Grove

561 Blankenbaker Lane,

Louisville, KY 

July 15, 16 & 17, 2016

Norah will be working on her bobbin lacemaking project throughout the day on Saturday, July 16th, and Sunday, July 17th, on the First Floor of the Main House.


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2016 Jane Austen Festival- Archery Demonstration

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How the Louisville Jane Austen Festival began…

Submitted by Bonny Wise, Founding Member  of JASNA-Greater Louisville Region & the Jane Austen Festival

Mostly AGM 040

I came to Jane Austen via the movie,  Sense & Sensibility. It was featured in one of my favorite magazines, Victoria.  It was love at first sight! Of course I had to find other adaptations and this led to Pride & Prejudice and the others.

About the same time I began my position at Locust Grove in 2006, I discovered that JASNA had regional groups all across North America and there were none in Kentucky.  It seemed natural to me that Locust Grove should become the home of JASNA-Greater Louisville Region and it has worked out well.

My first JASNA AGM (Annual General Meeting) that I attended was 2007 Emma in Vancouver.  I came back enthused to do a large scale event and thus the Jane Austen Festival was born.

The very first year we had a few vendors, a tea room, and special speaker, Joan Ray, past president of JASNA. 660 people attended from several states. We knew we were on to something good and decided to continue!

The festival has grown throughout the years until 2014 we had 2000+ attend from 25 states and Canada.  It takes over 100 volunteers to produce the festival and for 2016 we have contracted with two interns who are interested in pursuing positions in history museums to help us.

In 2015 Greater Louisville held our own successful JASNA AGM, so the festival had to take a one-year hiatus. Now, we look forward to the 8th Annual Jane Austen Festival, July 15, 16 & 17 to be held at beautiful 1790s Locust Grove.

Please join us and watch our website and our Facebook page for details!

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