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Dear friends and readers (for those not with me on facebook),

As I wrote a close young friend of mine, I had a very good day yesterday. Quiet, not much different from usual days, but I was happy -- very like we managed Thanksgiving.

I'm taking on too much but starting in the spring it'll be good for me. A Burney scholar involved in the production and editing of the many volumed edition of Burney's journals ,has asked me to do what I did for the Cambridge edition of JA's Later Manuscripts  for one of the newly come out Burney court journals. Super-expensive books but she'll try to get me one. She wants me to review it as an edition in the way I did the Austen book and says she can help me along by sending stuff by attachments.

In the morning after chores and some shopping, I read Hodson's remarkable Acadian Diaspora, a remarkable retelling of the devastating "ethnic cleansing" of French Acadian groups of people by the British from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Island parts of Maine: these people were murdered, their homes and rich agricultural lands destroyed, they were hounded to places all over the globe (from the Falkland Islands to New Zealand, from mid-western France to Louisiana) to make them into indentured servants.

Then a bit of compulsive reading of the brilliant eloquent extraordinary The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed. On which much more eventually.

Afternoon. I read Pierre Goubert on Austen, then began reading a later 18th century French translation of Radcliffe's Romance of the Forest. I can compare it to Victorian de Chastenay's of Udolpho as enough is known about this translator to see how his outlook informs his translation. Then walk in the pretty fall.

High moment of Prudentia's journey

In the evening we saw/felt/interacted with (?) a remarkable play.  The Strange Undoing of Prudentia Hart. We went to a tavern in DC and had a pub dinner in one room -- cavernous, many nooks and crannies, filled with people eating and drinking. So jolly enough. Then deeper down into another large room and we participated in effect in a performance of the Strange Undoing of Prudentia Hart. It was performed by a Scots group who would stop now and again and play Scots folk tunes updated, sometimes with satiric lyrics. All around the tables and bars. I've never seen a full play done this way for it went on for 3 hours with intermission. Based on a folk tale, it's a story of a woman who tries to outwit the devil. Very funny partly because updated with lots of satiric comments on conferences (the idea is Prudentia has come to a conference). Among the things we were asked to do to participate was tear up all our napkins into little bits so as points in the narrative different tables heaped "snow" on the actors and actresses as it still snows a lot in Antipodean Scotland. It was in verse and reminded me of Tony Harrison's rendition of the Mysteries Plays so long ago. Too bad there was no dancing, but then the tavern room was too small.



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