A fan of all things Austen? See Colonial Williamsburg through her characters’ eyes.
Colonial Williamsburg and Austen novels have quite a few things in common. Both interpret overlapping time periods, namely the late 18th-century. And while Austen’s books examined British gentry, much of what we know about customs, trades, materials, and architecture in Colonial America comes from Britain, of course. Residents of Williamsburg took their fashion cues from England and surely the young ladies of Williamsburg fawned over Colonial officers in uniform just as young Kitty and Lydia Bennet do with the British militia Pride and Prejudice. So here’s how to build your Colonial Williamsburg visit to satisfy your craving to live inside an Austen novel.
EXPLORE REGENCY STYLE AND ARTIFACTS
Examine regency Art Museums objects through the lens of six Jane Austen quotes in the tour, FINDING JANE AUSTEN.
DRESS THE PART
Let’s face it, picturing Henry Tilney confess his love to Catherine Moreland in modern clothing wouldn’t quite the same. The period clothes add a level of romance you must long for no more. Don a frock through our costume rentals or treat yourself to a shopping trip at Tarpley, Thompson & Co. to dress the part.
EXPERIENCE GREAT HOUSES
A TAVERN SET FOR A BALL
Instead of begging the local gentry to host a ball (we see you, Lydia), Williamsburg residents could simply pay a small fee to colonial tavern keepers hosting subscription balls. Join Curators to See Wetherburn’s Tavern ready for the food and dancing this event entailed, and learn about this popular entertainment pastime.
MEN IN UNIFORM
Our military interpreters are much more honorable than Wickham, we promise. Learn about life in 18th-century Military from drill practice to recruiting.
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY
Some of the best Austen moments happen on the dance floor. Set to live music played on 18th-century instruments, watch our costumed dancers float across the floor, then learn a few steps for yourself on Friday Evenings at the Governor’s Palace.
Music: Fife & Drum
Watch and listen to the Fifes and Drums as they demonstrate the music and drill of various military ceremonies from an 18th-century soldier's working day.
Open to the Public
Presentation: The Necessity of Order in Battle
Witness a demonstration of tactics that are crucial to success in combat.
Performance: A Soldier's Christmas
Colonel James Innes returns home from the War filled with the haunting voices of his fallen comrades. Will he be able to recover from the War and find peace this Christmas?
Art Museums Admission