Hello all!! My name is Cleia Peterson. I have been invited by Rita L. Watts to be the correspondent for her Facebook page “All Things Jane Austen” during the Jane Austen Festival in Bath.
This bio has been one of the most difficult things to write because I honestly hate to talk about myself. Rita has been a friend for a long time and she is just amazing, so I will write in her honor.
I was introduced to Jane Austen when I was 16 years old, Emma was my first book then Sense and Sensibility. I started to watch film adaptations and finally years later I was introduced to Persuasion, the book that changed my life completely. Anne Elliot is my heroine! It is all about second chances, right?!
I am originally from Brazil but attended college in the USA. That’s where I met my Mr. Peterson (aka Mr. Darcy most days). He will never admit it but he has listened to audio books and watched many adaptations of her work. He even memorized parts. I believe he is very jealous of Colin Firth but he will never admit it. We have four beautiful children who keep us busy. I have three daughters who have been introduced to Austen’s world since infancy. Yep!! And a little gentleman of seven years old who has been taught since infancy how to be a gentleman. It is never too early to know how a gentleman should behave. I am that kind of mom! They all have their favorite novel! They are all upset I am not taking them to the Jane Austen Festival this year. Plans are needed to go back as a family and enjoy the world of Jane together.
I have a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a minor in English. Of course, I must have a minor in English, right?! Reading is my passion! Writing is my other passion, which I have not had time to pursue, but one day friends, one day! Because of Mr. Peterson’s job, we have lived everywhere in the world. We have lived in Peru, Myanmar, Costa Rica, New York City, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and now Germany. In all those places, I could find a Jane Austen fan.
In Singapore, I found an amazing group called Jane Austen Circle of Singapore run by Amanda Ashton from Bath, England. She used this amazing group to raise money for many different orphanages in India. I also followed the Janeites in Brazil for many years. I met Rita while in the Jane Austen Society of Brazil. Even being so far away, Rita has been an amazing friend. Here in Germany, I have tried to form a small group. We celebrated Jane Austen Bicentennial by having a high tea with lots of Jane’s fans. We have been planning a ball, hopefully in the fall.
Living all over the world has taught me that Austen’s work has reached so many people everywhere. I am sure she did not envision this phenomenon. Jane Austen has been the strength I need when life gets hard and I believe many people feel like me. Next a few photos of me on my first ever Regency gown!
I will see you in Bath!!!