2009 AGM - Philadelphia - Friday and Saturday

Friday and Saturday were a blur of sales and breakout sessions! Beth and I were able to get away to see Juliette Wells' talk on "Imagining Jane and Cassandra." She compared modern interpretations of the relationship between Jane and her beloved older sister. Beth and I were sitting next to each other, as usual, scribbling notes to each other in the margins of our pads ("that was funny!" or "I wish that lady would move her head!"). But this made it very difficult to control our emotions when the speaker played clips from some of the movies that showed just how close the sisters were, and how devastated Cassandra was by the loss of her Dear Jane. We found ourselves silently sobbing, and then laughing at ourselves and each other for being such Mariannes!

So on Saturday we went to the sibling rivalry talk. There weren't any tears in that one! Sally Palmer discussed the rivalry between different sets of siblings in the novels, and expertly related it to the rivalry between the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. It was a fabulous talk, and the discussion afterward was informative and thought-provoking!


And now it's time for what Lydia and Kitty would consider the most important part of the AGM - the Ball! We assembled at 6:30 for dinner and conversation, and at 8:00 the men came down to escort us down the Promenade - which we never quite made it to, since we were immediately stopped for photos of our mini Mr Darcy. We couldn't walk more than a few steps without being bombarded with requests for photos! At this moment, our family is floating around cyberspace in the form of digital camera images!

After all the excitement of the Promenade, and the thorough examination of the Ladies' finery (including the lace!) we headed back to the ballroom for our dance. Although at first we were obliged to stand up with our sisters, our young men quickly stepped in and filled our dance cards!

We had a wonderful time this year in Philly - it was much less stressful than our bookstore debut at Chicago, and we were so glad to see so many friends and repeat customers. Now we are left with the task of unpacking our leftovers, and beginning preparations for next year's AGM in Portland, OR on the subject of Northanger Abbey. I do hope they're preparing something horrid for us!

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