Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jane Austen's Netherfield Ball comes to life

Country dance? Cotillion? Minuet? Boulanger? Why yes, thank you!
I almost fainted with excitement—quick, the smelling salts!—when I found out via our very own Daedalus Books Facebook page that the BBC aims to recreate and film the Netherfield Ball from Pride and Prejudice for the 200th anniversary of its publication (January 27). Be still my beating heart! Filmed on location at Chawton House, Hampshire, the 90-minute program will explore the dancing, the music, the food, and the fashion of the Regency period as the preparations are made for the ball, which will then be shown in its entirety. Left: Bingley, the giver of the ball. Below: it will take Darcy an entire novel to undo the bad impression he makes on Elizabeth by the supercilious comments she overhears at the Netherfield Ball.
Care to engage with other avid Janeites? We invite you to peruse A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen and/or Dancing with Mr. Darcy: Stories Inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House: The Best of the Jane Austen Short Story Competition.
"So, he enquired who she was, and got introduced, and asked her for the two next. Then, the two third he danced with Miss King, and the two fourth with Maria Lucas, and the two fifth with Jane again, and the two sixth with Lizzy, and the Boulanger."—Mrs Bennet about Mr. Bingley at The Netherfield Ball
The illustrated blog Jane Austen's World is a nexus of information about the etiquette and importance of balls in this period—especially as regards the all-important theme of matrimonial prospects.


  1. WILHELM THADDEUS FINKJanuary 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Wow!! I'd love to crash that party, though I'd likely be of the "downstairs" help... I've had oh so many seasons to marry. I must be a lost cause as well:)

    1. That depends on how you'd look in those tights!

  2. The Jane Austen blog describes quite a few of the dances were all the rage when she was around. I am a big fan of The Boulanger, which is a circular dance, it needs to be brought back to life!!!!

  3. Oh, no. I'd put on my fancies and my jade, and go as the Imperial Concubine (a distant ancestor).
    That'll get them yapping!

    I was surprised to read on Wiki that Ms. Austen had a chance to make a "fine match" by accepting the proposal of a man of sufficient means to keep her family well for life.
    She accepted, then refused, because she could not love him.
    The sensible Jane wanted to marry for love.
    In a time when there were no real career choices for genteel ladies, a marriage of convenience was comparable to a man taking a job he was not happy with, like Schubert teaching school.
    It took bravery and pride to hold out for a magic that might never come.

  4. I'd go to the ball for a dance with Janet Austen! see Labels ;-)

  5. I think you've got tons to brag concerning! and that i would not worry about being "overly boastful" as a result of you are tooting your own horn! i prefer to listen to the great stuff that folks do. It's far better than hearing the long list of crap and ailments they're experiencing over ... and over ... and once again. Hearing dangerous stuff all the time is simply not smart.