Monday, December 31, 2012

RE-ceiving Guests: Jane Austen 200 year Anniversary Dinner Party

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The dinner was exceedingly handsome, and there were all the servants, and all the articles of plate which Mr. Collins had promised; and, as he had likewise foretold, he took his seat at the bottom of the table, by her ladyship's desire, and looked as if he felt that life could furnish nothing greater. 

Pride and Prejudice

I don't want to say good-bye to 2012 without celebrating Jane Austen's breakout year: 1812.  Sense and Sensibiilty was published and Pride and Prejudice was sold to a publisher and would be printed the following year.  My sisters and I are Janeites.  We love all the Jane Austen novels.  And since the Pride and Prejudice miniseries on the  A & E network in 1996 there has been a resurgence in Jane Austen popularity.  There have been big- screen movie adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park and Emma.  PBS & the BBC recently adapted all the novels into movies. Plus there have been updated stories based on her novels such as Clueless and an Indian version called Bride and Prejudice.  There's been a popular novel making Elizabeth Bennet a vampire killer that I read which Keira Knightley has optioned to make into a movie.  Downton Abbey is a popular series on PBS (season 3 premieres January 6, 2013) and the Dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith is surely a descendant of Lady Catherine from Pride and Prejudice.

So, when One King's Lane had some Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy dinner plates and Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley salad plates on sale, how could I resist? 

Fitzwilliam Darcy dinner plate

Miss Elizabeth Bennet dinner plate
Mr. Charles Bingley salad plate

Miss Jane Bennet salad plate

For this table setting, nothing but the finest would do.  So the chargers and napkin rings are silver plate and the silverware is sterling.  The crystal goblets are Waterford Sheila.

For the centerpiece, I used Jane Austen novels as small pedestals and then I used sterling sugar bowls and small milk pitchers as the vases for the flowers from the garden.
The tablecloth is one I gave to my mother from Switzerland.  I love the delicate embroidery.  I think Miss Jane Austen would approve.

Written by Reba