Jane Austen loved to dance, and she included many dancing scenes in her novels. In which of her gatherings would you have liked to dance?
The Meryton Assembly: Lizzy's first impression of Darcy wasn't the best, but Jane fell in love with Bingley there and the Bennet ladies enjoyed themselves immensely in this relaxed and public gathering.
The Netherfield Ball: Lizzy finally danced with Darcy, but her family made fools of themselves. The private setting must have been splendid and the supper ball truly delicious.
The Ball at the Crown Inn: Emma and Frank Churchill arranged this ball, where Emma discovers just what a knight Mr. Knightley is when he comes to the rescue of her friend, Harriet. The Crown Inn offered a ball room for such assemblies, and I am sure that Emma spared no expense and overlooked no details to make the event a success.
Fanny's Coming Out Ball: Not only did Fanny price receive two necklaces for the amber cross that her brother William gave her, but she was the star of the night. Mansfield Park must have been a most beautiful setting for this special evening.
The Lower and Upper Assembly Rooms in Bath: After Catherine Morland is introduced to Henry Tilney, his sister Eleanor, and the Thorpes, she can dance to her heart's delight in impressive rooms designed for social gatherings.
(I have not included the dance at the Musgroves, where Anne Elliot played the pianoforte and watched her Captain Wentworth flirt with the Musgrove sisters, or the party the Dashwood sisters attended with Lady Middleton in London, where Marianne was snubbed by Willoughby. Both scenes were too painful for words.)
|Bingley and Jane at the Meryton Ball, P&P 2005|
|Netherfield Ball, P&P 1995|
|Emma having fun at the Crown Inn, Emma 2009|
|Fanny dances with Henry, Mansfield Park, 1999|
|Catherine speaks to Henry Tilney in the lower rooms|
|Dancers, Rowlandson. 1799|