June 2024 News Extra

IGO June 24 News Extra

Hello everyone,

I hope you enjoy reading our June edition of News Extra in which we feature our Jane Austen Reading Group,  since the annual Jane Austen Regency Week is held 21-30 June. I couldn’t resist this study of a sleeping beauty, painted by Frederic Lord Leighton 1830-1896 – do you know its title?

There are four more brainteasers for you to pit your wits on later on in the issue.

Helen Titherington, Editor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

painting of woman sleeping in an orange dress
Painting by Frederic Lord Leighton from wiki commons in the public domain

New Groups

Spotlight on... The IGO Jane Austen Reading Group

The Jane Austen Reading Group is part of the offer from Interest Groups Online and is dedicated to deep/close reading of all six of her novels in the order in which they were written. This careful reading means that it takes a number of months to complete any one novel. Having a sturdy A4 notebook in which to write your own reflections on what you have read, makes this into a substantial endeavour, honouring, doing justice to, one of our greatest writers.

Group leader Michael's own interest in the novels is especially focused on the "moral psychology" of the characters and what we might learn from them. Through reflecting on their experiences and finding parallels in our own, the novels have the capacity to illuminate our experience in diverse ways. This is a rich and novel way to read a novel!

Words from Karen, group member

"It has been such a pleasure to belong to this stimulating group, not only for the joy of rediscovering these wonderful stories, but also participating in the lively discussions that take place every week around the themes that Jane Austen covers, themes that are as relevant today as they were two hundred years ago! We are currently reading Northanger Abbey which has been an enriching experience and a delight! I am looking forward to hearing my fellow group members take on my favourite Austen story, Emma, a feisty but flawed heroine, a series of misunderstandings and hopefully a happy ending. You will have to read it to find out!"

Photo from wiki commons in the public domain

Friday 21st - Sunday 30th June 2024

We also wanted to let you know about Jane Austen Regency Week. Events take place in and around Alton in Hampshire. There are workshops, craft events, guided walks, and a ball providing many opportunities to immerse yourself in the Regency period and the life and works of Jane Austen plus you can spend the whole time in period costume if you so wish – find out more from their website 

Read more from Jane Austen Book Group members about their group.

IGO Members can join the group via the Beacon members portal.

Book Group - Non Fiction on offer from Interest Groups Online

There’s a Monthly meeting (first Monday of the month at 10am) to discuss a nonfiction book -history, biography, current affairs, popular science and others. Each month, we will discuss the book chosen by the group at the last meeting. Though I find it enjoyable and enriching to read, in novels, about the lives of fictional characters, I find it even more rewarding to read of the lives of real people such as the truly amazing and virtually unknown Fanny Stevenson (wife of Robert Louis). Being prodded into reading about people and topics I had not previously known has expanded my knowledge and wonder at the world. You are welcome to come and join me in the exploration!

Frank, group leader

Photo from wiki commons in the public domain

"The great thing about the nonfiction book group is that I find myself reading books I would never have chosen for myself and so my horizon is expanded. Only very occasionally do I not enjoy the chosen book. I have been in the group since Covid times and have seen numbers rise and fall. At the moment we are a very small group and would welcome new members. Over the last year we have read a biography of Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft, a discussion of the ethics and politics of being an omnivore, a personal account of being in prison amongst others."

Words from Beth, group member

Find out more and join the group via the Beacon Members' Portal

Play Reading Group on offer from Interest Groups Online

The group reads a variety of plays. The duration of our session is approximately 2 hours, on the second Thursday of the month from 10am. I will send a reminder a few days before we meet.

Phyl, group leader

"Joining the Play Reading Group is a really enjoyable way to spend time in the company of some lovely friendly folk. Its great fun being able to ham it up as much as you like, gesticulating wildly in character whilst reading your part, and it’s also fun just to listen & follow the play as others read. It’s a warm and welcoming place to spend time without feeling judged or expected to “perform” – but you can perform to your heart’s content if you feel so inclined!"

Julie, group member

photo of a stage on a theatre
Photo from wiki commons in the public domain


Do you have any accessibility requirements as part of your Interest Groups Online membership? Whether you're hard of hearing and would benefit from closed captions in meetings, or there's anything else your group leader could do to accomodate your needs, please let us know. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.with any requirements and we will liaise with your group leaders to try and help.

June Through the Ages Quiz Questions

June through the ages – a few questions for you to solve – the following events all happened in June but in what year? They are in date order, the earliest first; The answers are at the end of this issue of News Extra.

What year...

1) did Francis Drake weigh anchor across the Atlantic claiming sovereignty over ‘New Albion’ - we now know as California?

2) was the first boat race between Oxford and Cambridge?

3) was the Coronation of Elizabeth 2nd?

4) were the first TV licenses issued – they cost £2?

pink and white flowers painting
Image created by AI

Are you a new or relatively new member?

We have introduced a welcome meeting for new members, the next of which will be held on Wednesday 24 July at 3pm. The agenda will be:

  • Welcome
  • An Introduction to IGO
  • The Beacon members portal – how to use as a member
  • Waiting lists – how do they work
  • An introduction to the IGO pages on our u3a website
  • Time for questions
  • How to contact us for more help and assistance

If you are a new member, we will email you with the zoom link closer to the time with details on how to join. 

Quiz Answers from the June Quiz

1) When did Francis Drake weigh anchor across the Atlantic claiming sovereignty over ‘New Albion’ - we now know as California? 1579

2) When was the first boat race between Oxford and Cambridge? 1829

3) When was the Coronation of Elizabeth 2nd? 1953

4) When were the first TV licenses issued – they cost £2? 1946

And the painting at the top of the News Extra is called 'Flaming June'. 

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