Having a Ball with Jane Austen

If you’re a fellow Janeite (a fan of Jane Austen, for anyone who hasn’t read Persuasion too many times), you’ll be happy to know that this Friday 10th May, at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing Pride & Prejudice: Having a Ball. The programme will involve a team of experts staging an authentically Austen-esque ball, much like the one held at Netherfield Hall (scene of much flirting and love/hate dilemmas in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice).

It’s true that Austen’s novels contain very little description of the dresses, dances and dishes that might have been present, so I’ll be tuning in with interest to see what it all might have really looked like. Of course, most of us have probably gleaned some idea from one of the many film and TV adaptations – but this promises to be a more in-depth and less Hollywood approach, so I’m intrigued.

This all made me realise that, if magically given the chance, an Austen ball is probably one of the top literary scenes I’d choose to be a part of. What fictional world would you immerse yourself in, if you could? Aside from an Austen dance, I think I’d take a visit to Hogwarts…

Sara Magness, Editorial Administrator

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