The ninth annual Jane Austen Tea was celebrated on December 8, 2012 at W. Dale Clark (Main) Library, 215 S. 15th St. The event featured special teas and refreshments, a presentation by JASNA member Dr. Cheryl Craig, and of course, a legion of Jane Austen fans.
One table that stood out amongst the mostly-female crowd was a table spanning three generations and seating more children than adults. Millard Branch patron Julie Desrosiers attended the event with her four children: Elizabeth (8), James (6), Emma Grace (2) and Evelyn (almost 5 mo.); her sister, Stephanie Ashbee; and her mother, Caroline Weihrauch. It was a family affair, one now rooted in tradition.
This was the third Jane Austen Tea attended by the family. “The first one we attended in 2010, we braved the snow storm; but we made it and enjoyed ourselves!” Julie exclaimed. “Emma Grace was just a baby then, and this year, Evelyn came to her first tea party. James also attended for the first time and he just loved it! He was quite the gentleman, serving all the ladies. Elizabeth, our oldest, is thoroughly into tea parties, fashion and dancing. My sister brings her authentic china tea set every year for us as well, which has become a personal tradition. We plan on attending the party every year now.”
Julie and her sister’s love of Jane Austen began in high school. “The first Jane Austen book we read was Pride and Prejudice for our humanities class. I just fell in love with it! It is still my favorite Jane Austen book, but I also like Sense and Sensibility and Emma.” Her parents have also influenced her love of Jane Austen. “My dad, who earned his master’s degree in History from UNO, is a huge history buff. He has rubbed off on me, as I love historical fiction. My mom was born in England, so she has a natural love for English writers, tea parties and traditions.”
View all photos from the event on OPL’s Flickr site.
What’s your love? What hobbies do you enjoy? Chances are the Library has a program, book club, workshop or event that will help you begin your own tradition. View OPL’s schedule to see what’s happening at a library branch near you.
(Above) From left: Stephanie Ashbee, Emma Grace, James, Julie Desrosiers, Evelyn, Caroline Weihrauch and Elizabeth (not pictured).