Greetings from the Barbara Pym Society!
I am very happy to announce that registration for the Society's 14th annual North American Conference, focusing on Jane and Prudence, is now open. We will return to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, on 16-18 March 2012. The complete program and other details are available on our web site. Scheduled talks include
• Yvonne Cocking, BPS Archivist: Jane and Prudence: A Novel of Contrasts
• Charlotte Silver: Barbara Pym and the Comedy of Manners
• Linda McDougall: Jane and Prudence and Barbara and Hazel: The Women Friends of Barbara Pym and How They Influenced Her Work
• Perri Klass: “You Never Know When You May Need Whiskey”: Barbara Pym on Drinks and Drinking
• Isabel Stanley: Not Quite a Trollope Wife: Jane Cleveland’s Literary Expectations of Herself as a Clergy Wife
Yvonne promises to tell us what Barbara's journals in the Bodleian reveal about "The M&S Affair", Linda will show video clips from her recent interviews with Barbara's close friend, biographer, and literary executor Hazel Holt, and Perri's talk on Saturday afternoon will be followed by a drinks party where you can sample some of the beverages mentioned in the novels.
There are only a few changes since last year. We will return to the Church of the Advent in Boston for a lavish buffet dinner and hymn sing on Friday night, the conference will be held at Harvard's Barker Center, and we will conclude with lunch at Grafton Street Pub as before, but we have a new venue for our Saturday evening meal. John Harvard's Brew House in Harvard Square offers pub grub and a wide array of beers and ales (none of which taste like washing-up water), and we will have our own dining room. We have set the member's registration fee -- which includes lunch on Saturday and a light breakfast both days -- at $60, $5 more than last year but the same as in 2101, but the cost of the Saturday night meal has dropped by $10. We work hard to keep costs as low as possible while still providing a top-quality event with comfortable venues and great food.
The conference room holds a maximum of 95 people, and the dining room on Saturday night a maximum of 50, so early registration is recommended to avoid possible disappointment. Registration closes on Sunday March 11.
Now that the conference details are all sorted, I hope to make Pym ceramics available for purchase online in the next few days. I'll send another e-mail as soon as that happens -- there should be time to get your Pym mugs and teabag holders in time for Christmas.
Finally, you will notice some changes on the web site. The exciting new graphic on the entry page is the work of BPS member Lloyd Miller, a professional illustrator and graphic designer whose clients include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Esquire, Fortune --and now the Barbara Pym Society. We are very grateful for his generous contribution, and there will be more to come as we approach the Pym centenary in 2013.
Tom Sopko, North American Organizer
The Barbara Pym Society
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