Jane Austen Festival

This page is being updated daily!


A blue and yellow J with a pattern sits below the words Race Power & The Arts in Jane Austen's World 2021 Festival July 9 - 11 Louisville KY surrounded by gold decorative elements

The 2021 Jane Austen Festival
July 9 – July 11, 2021

Announcing our theme for this year’s Festival…

Race, Power & The Arts in Jane Austen’s World

This year, we’ll explore the intersections between race and power in the realms of literature, theater, visual arts, fashion, and more.
How did the ideas of contemporary society influence Jane Austen’s work?
The Festival is scheduled for July 9 – 11, 2021. Registration for both the virtual and in-person Festival will open on Tuesday, June 8 at 12:00 pm.

After 13 years of wonderful leadership from the Jane Austen Society of North America—Greater Louisville, the lead sponsor for this event is now Historic Locust Grove.

Read a statement from the Executive Director of Locust Grove.

Please familiarize yourself with the Locust Grove Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion here and the Community Guidelines for the Jane Austen Festival

All staff members, volunteers, and attendees of the 2021 Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove are requested to follow the community guidelines set forth here: https://bit.ly/JAFcommunity

If you feel these guidelines have been violated, please use this link to bring it to the attention of Festival organizers and be addressed. All comments are anonymous.

We appreciate the guidance we received from Renata Dennis and Ayana Olatunji, among other members of our community, for insight into this statement and these guidelines.

Safe Spaces are moderated virtual or in-person rooms for Festival attendees to gather and process their thoughts about the topics surrounding Festival presentations.

The Virtual Safe Spaces on Saturday, July 10 will be open and moderated from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm and can be accessed here.

The Virtual Safe Space on Sunday, July 11 will be open and moderated from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm and can be accessed here.

An in-person Safe Space can be found at the Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove on Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at Booth 18 or in case of inclement weather, in the Museum Gallery. The in-person safe space will be moderated by Shannon Floyd, a mediator and mental health and wellness coordinator with the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development.

Please click here to leave your feedback on the 2021 Jane Austen Festival. 

If you have questions or encounter any difficulties with the links on this page, please email Hannah at marketing@locustgrove.org. Virtual Festival information has been emailed. If you signed up for the virtual Festival, and did not receive the link, please check your spam or junk folder, or email Hannah at marketing@locustgrove.org.


A program guide for the Festival can be found HERE.

In-Person Vendors

Blessed Bees Herbals – #5
Cassandra’s Closet – #20
Countess Parure – #9
Dancing Leaf Designs/Fig Leaf Patterns – #12
Faire Wynds — #6
Flying Heart Millinery – #3
Hellinger & Kurtz Kaffee Haus/Parley Parlez – #1
Jane Austen Books – #17
The Janeite Boutique —#7
JASNA-GL Welcome Tent — #2
Pelisse Me Regency — #8
Pickaway Plains Trading Co. – #4
The Ribbonry – #10
Shocking Bad Hats – #15
Simmon’s Sundries – #16
Timely Tresses – #11
Virginia’s Scarves – #13
William Booth Draper – #19



Festival registration is non-refundable. This is a rain or shine event.

The Virtual Jane Austen Festival | Pre-Registration for the Virtual Festival will end at 5:00 pm on July 5. Post Festival Virtual Access will be available for purchase beginning on July 12.
  • Virtual Two-Day | $18
  • Virtual Saturday | $10
  • Virtual Sunday | $10
The In-Person Jane Austen Festival | Pre-Registration for the In-Person Festival will end at 5:00 pm on July 8. After July 8, walk-in admission will be available all three days of the Festival.
  • In-Person Three-Day ($25)
  • In-Person Friday ($10)
  • In-Person Saturday ($10)
  • In-Person Sunday ($10)
In-Person + Virtual Jane Austen Festival
  • Access to three days of in-person plus all virtual content ($40)
    Access to Saturday OR Sunday in-person plus all virtual content ($25)

*Virtual content will be available after the Festival only to those who purchased virtual Festival access. Virtual Festival access will begin Tuesday, July 6 and run through Saturday, July 31.

Virtual Festival Access includes access to pre-recorded speakers and all Virtual Live Question and Answer sessions. A Saturday pass will only include the content scheduled for Saturday; a Sunday pass will only include the content scheduled for Sunday. Virtual content on Friday, July 9 will be available to anyone who purchases any day of virtual Festival access.

In-Person Festival

The in-person Festival includes access to our in-person vendors, performances by Faire Wynds, and self-guided tours of the historic house. The Festival is scaled back from previous years for a more intimate experience due to COVID-19 and ongoing construction at Locust Grove.
Friday 4:00 pm-9:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am-5:00 pm
Sunday 9:30 am-5:00 pm

Shuttle Hours:
Friday 3:30 pm-10:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am-6:00 pm

Self-Guided Historic House Tour Hours:
Friday 4:00 pm-6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am-4:00 pm


Parking at Locust Grove will be extremely limited and will be reserved for workshop participants. All other attendees should use the offsite parking available at Champions Park, conveniently located at the intersection of I-71 and River Road, with free shuttle service to and from Locust Grove. Shuttles are wheelchair accessible. We also encourage being dropped off or using ridesharing services like Lyft or Uber.  This limitation is due to ongoing construction at Locust Grove.

Become a sponsor of the Jane Austen Festival! 

Thank you to our sponsors: The Jane Austen Society of North America—Greater Louisville Region; Rob & Bonny Wise; Alana Gillet; Kathy Chopra; Lynn Slowden. 


In-Person Workshops DO NOT include access to the in-person Festival. In-Person Festival admission must be purchased separately from workshop admission. In-Person Workshops include parking at Historic Locust Grove.  In-Person Workshop admission is refundable up to ten days before the event.

Friday, July 9 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm | The Ribbonry, Camela Nitschke: Chawton Cottage “Old Fashioned Garden”
Cost: $60 for participant | Capacity: 18

Saturday, July 10 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm| Fig Leaf Patterns: Yellow Spencer 1798 – 1800
Cost: $70 | Capacity: 20

Saturday, July 10th | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm | Brian Allison: Secrets, Spies and Lovers: The Art of Discretion Correspondence
Cost $70.00 | Capacity: 25

Saturday, July 10, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm |Amanda Beverly: The Regency Book Club: Evelina: The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World by Fanny Burney Book Club Discussion
Suggested donation: $5 | Capacity: 20

Saturday, July 10, 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm | Virginia’s Scarves, Virginia Tucker: Block Printed Fan
Cost: $40 | Capacity: 30

Sunday, July 11, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm| Virginia’s Scarves, Virginia Tucker: Block Printed Scarves
Cost: $110 | Capacity: 20

Sunday, July 11, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm | Amanda Beverly: The Regency Book Club: Evelina: The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World by Fanny Burney Book Club Discussion
Suggested donation: $5 | Capacity: 20

Sunday, July 11, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm | Brian Allison | From Bath to Bridgeton: Correspondence in Regency Fiction and Reality
Cost: $70 | Capacity: 25

In-Person Vendors

Blessed Bees Herbals
Cassandra’s Closet
Countess Parure
Dancing Leaf Designs/Fig Leaf Patterns
Flying Heart Millinery
Hellinger & Kurtz Kafee Haus/Parley Parlez
Jane Austen Books
Pelisse Me Regency
Pickaway Plains Trading Co
The Ribbonry
Shocking Bad Hats
Simmon’s Sundries
Timely Tresses
Virginia’s Scarves
William Booth Draper

Virtual Vendors

Bingley’s Teas

Bohemian Belle

Custom Wig Company

Historical Designs

Matti’s Millinery & Costumes

JASNA members since 2010; sisters, Hannah and Matti, adore creating Regency Jane Austen Era inspired clothing and consider it a great privilege to outfit so many other Janeites especially at the annual Jane Austen Festival. Although we will not be physically present this year, we will offer a plethora of early 1800s attire from day gowns and evening gowns to petticoats, Spencer jackets and open robes ready to purchase. Alterations available as usual to get the best fit possible. Also, as a special bonus to our festival friends, use the coupon code JAFEST21FS to get free shipping on any order from our website. Looking for an ensemble or article of clothing not listed in our shop? Click the Contact Us link to inquire about creating a unique bespoke apparel made just for you with your taste and style in mind. We hope to continue to make your costume dreams come true!

Sycamore Spring Clothier

Entertainment for the In-Person Festival

Faire Wynds will provide 19th-century street entertainments and glass music continuously on Saturday and Sunday.

Self-Guided Tours of the Historic House


All speakers’ presentations will be virtual this year. Due to ongoing construction at Locust Grove, it will not be possible to live stream virtual speakers at the in-person Festival. Access to virtual Festival recordings will run through July 31.

Virtual Speakers for the Festival include:

Dr. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina: Sanditon, Bridgerton, and David Copperfield: Modernizing the Representation of Black People in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century England
A look at early 19th century novels, including those by Austen, containing black characters. Using texts and images, this talk contrasts fictional representations with the actual lives of persons of color in the history and culture of Regency and Victorian Britain.

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is the Paul Murray Kendall Chair in Biography, and Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Dr. Danielle Christmas: Lord Mansfield and the Slave Ship Zong
In a festival that allows us to broadly consider the meaning and magic of Jane Austen’s literary afterlife, this lecture turns to her third published novel Mansfield Park, and will consider how a story about the many travails of a meek young woman, composed against the Regency backdrop of Austen’s adulthood, might have something to do with a novel and infamous sociopolitical episode in the Georgian era of her youth.
Danielle Christmas is Assistant Professor of English & Comparative Literature and Endowed Delta Delta Delta Fellow in the Humanities at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Roxanne Eberle: Jane Austen and Amelia Opie: Keeping Company in The British Lady’s Magazine.
In 1816 The British Lady’s Magazine reviewed two new novels: one by a woman writer with an international reputation and the other by an author still publishing her novels anonymously. The woman writer with the international reputation was Amelia Alderson Opie (1769-1853), a well-known poet, tale writer, novelist, and abolitionist whose works had been appearing in print since the 1790s. The relatively unknown writer was Jane Austen, whose novels were only just receiving significant attention in London. Nonetheless, Jane Austen’s face appears on England’s £10 note, along with a quote from Pride and Prejudice, whereas even the most voracious readers would be hard pressed to identify Opie. How did their careers and reputations diverge so radically? Literary histories of women writers whose work endures at the margins are necessary to fully map the terrain of nineteenth-century authorship, subjectivity, and narrative. In this talk, Dr. Eberle explores the importance of recovering the voice of a woman writer whose biography and literary career are far different from that of her most famous contemporary.
Roxanne Eberle is an Associate Professor and Associate Head of English at the University of Georgia.

Candice Hern: Fashion for Ladies in the Time of Jane Austen
Using fashion prints from her collection, Candice will provide an overview of the types of clothing worn during the time of Jane Austen, c. 1790 – 1820. The presentation will explore fashion for various occasions or activities, including day wear, evening wear, and specialty fashions such as court dress, riding habit, and mourning dress. Terms used during the period — such as undress, half dress, full dress — will be explained and illustrated with prints. Popular types of outerwear will also be highlighted, including pelisses, spencers, mantles, and shawls. Though not the focus of the presentation, the general evolution of style will also be discussed, including changing waistlines, hemlines, and trimmings.
Candice Hern is the NY Times and USAToday bestselling author of historical romances set during the English Regency.

Caroline McGinn: A Walking Tour of Bath | Jane Austen: Her life in Bath and her family connections to the City
Take a virtual stroll through the fashionable spa town of Bath, seeing the sights through the eyes of Jane Austen and her characters from Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
A pre-recorded presentation, taking in as many of the places in Bath associated with Jane Austen as possible, and, hopefully, giving some lesser-known and obscure facts viewers will not have heard before.
Caroline McGinn assisted with setting up the the hugely successful Bath Film Office, and has worked at the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum, on the open-top bus tours and at the Jane Austen Centre, as well as setting up her own film location tours of Bath and surrounds.

Dr. Glynis Ridley: “How do you take your tea?” Or, why Jane Austen is suddenly in British news
On 20th April 2021, staff at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton felt obliged to declare that the Museum’s displays would never “interrogate Jane Austen, her characters or her readers for drinking tea.” The statement was in response to multiple articles in the British press protesting the Museum’s update of its displays to include explanations of the colonial context in which Regency staples such as tea, sugar, and cotton were produced and traded. This controversy is only the latest around ongoing questions in Britain about the way in which historic sites address former owners’ links to the slave trade. The talk will explore the background to the Jane Austen House Museum’s decision to update its displays and consider if there are any implications for the way we read Austen’s novels.
Glynis Ridley is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Alice Villaseñor: From Prada to Nada: The Dashwood Sisters in Los Angeles
From Prada to Nada (2011) is a version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811) set in Los Angeles. The talk will highlight how the film uses Austen’s story of the displacement of the Dashwood women to highlight the displacement of Latinx communities.
Alice Marie Villaseñor is Associate Professor of English at Medaille College in Buffalo, NY, where she earned the Brian R. Shero Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award.

2021 Jane Austen Festival Speaker Schedule

*All times Eastern. All Festival attendees who purchase virtual Festival access will receive a separate email with the links to the presentations and Q & A sessions. For the pre-recorded presentations, the times listed below are the suggested times to watch the presentation prior to the live Q &A.

Friday, July 9
5:30 pm The History and Interpretation of the Enslaved at Locust Grove
Locust Grove was the home and workplace of dozens of enslaved African Americans during the Croghan residency from 1790 to 1849. Some were born here, and others were purchased and brought here. Join a team of Locust Grove staff and volunteers as they discuss the lives of these enslaved individuals in Locust Grove’s history. In this program you will hear about the current genealogical research projects on the enslaved individuals, the role of our actors as they interpret the lives of the enslaved, and the continued initiatives that Locust Grove is making to educate our community on the history of slavery locally, regionally, and nationally. Our research into the lives of the enslaved at Locust Grove is ongoing, and we are committed to sharing their stories.
7:30 pm Chamber Music Concert: Music By Composers Born Into the Bonds of Slavery
Pre-recorded as part of the 2020-2021 Emilie Strong Smith Chamber Music Concert Series, this program features music by the following composers: Joseph Boulogne, Ignatius Sancho, Joseph Boulogne, and Gerasíme Derbanne.

*Virtual content on Friday, July 9 will be available to anyone who purchases any day of virtual Festival access.
Saturday, July 10

9:00 am Caroline McGinn Tour (pre-recorded) with concurrent live Q & A on Twitter

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Caroline McGinn’s pre-recorded presentation has been cancelled. We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

10:00 am Dr. Glynis Ridley Presentation (pre-recorded)
11:30 am Dr. Glynis Ridley Q & A (live)
1:00 pm Dr. Roxanne Eberle (live)
3:30 pm Dr. Danielle Christmas (live)
Sunday, July 11
10:00 am Dr. Gretchen Gerzina (live)
12:00 pm Dr. Candice Hern (live)
2:00 pm Dr. Alice Villaseñor Presentation (pre-recorded)
3:30 pm Dr. Alice Villaseñor Q & A (live)

*For the pre-recorded presentations, the times listed below are the suggested times to watch the presentation prior to the live Q &A.

Food at the Festival


Picnic baskets will be available for pick-up on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Visitors’ Center.

Pre-Ordered Lunch in a Box will be available for pick-up on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Visitors’ Center.

Picnic baskets or Lunch in a Box orders do not include in-person Festival admission. In-Person Festival admission must be purchased separately from picnic baskets or Lunch in a Box orders.

Kebab on Wheels food truck will provide Mediterranean fare on Saturday only.

The Pump Room concessions will sell sandwiches and snacks in the Visitors’ Center on Saturday and Sunday.

Hellringer and Kurtz will have charcuterie for sale.


The Ball on a Boat
Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Ball is back, with a twist! Join your fellow Janeites for an evening cruise on the Ohio River on the Mary M. Miller, a propeller-driven riverboat with old-fashioned charm and modern amenities.
Your ticket price will include dessert and dancing! The boat dock is located at 401 W. River Road; ample parking is nearby. The boat will begin boarding at 7:30 pm and will depart promptly at 8:00 pm. The boat will return to dock at 10:00 pm.

Cost: $40 | Capacity: 170

Tickets to Ball on a Boat are refundable through June 25 and are transferable through July 9. Contact Hannah at marketing@locustgrove.org for refund and transfer information.  

Virtual Fashion Challenge

The 2021 Jane Austen Fashion Challenge
Your Jane Austen Festival Committee would like to encourage to you to participate in a fun fashion challenge, from wherever you are in the world!
Have you admired an ensemble from one of the many Jane Austen adaptations? Have you been taken with the details of an extant fashion plate from the time period of one of Austen’s works? Now is the time to re-create it! That doesn’t mean an exact copy (or it can), but also be “inspired by” a creation worn. This may include a bonnet or reticule as well.
Find some inspiration in your favorite Austen work or adaptation or on this Pinterest board made especially for our Jane Austen Fashion Challenge: https://www.pinterest.com/bonlet/jane-austen-fashion-challenge/
The rules are simple:
• The creation must be made by you.
• Document the process to share with other enthusiasts (pattern used, fabrics, source material, fashion plate, etc.)
• Provide either a photo or a short video of you in the costume so we may share it on social media.
• Submissions to the Fashion Challenge must be received by June 18 by emailing Hannah at marketing@locustgrove.org.

Press inquiries for the 2021 Jane Austen Festival may be directed to Hannah Zimmerman at marketing@locustgrove.org.