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The first rule about bare-knuckle fight club is you do not talk about bare-knuckle fight club…or do you?  Prepare to come to fisticuffs, gents.  The Greater Louisville Jane Austen Society will present IUS professor, Art Bilodeau, as part of their monthly meetings at Historic Locust Grove.  The topic for this program?  Welcome to the colorful world of 19th Century bare-knuckle boxing and its cultural place in English society.

During the reign of King George the first, fighting with fists made its way off the streets and morphed into a full blown spectator sport – taking the place of popular combative swordplay.  Accepting a few prescribed rules, participants were stripped of formal gloves and stepped into an arena of voracious betting and intermingled classes; the gentry and the commoner often rubbed shoulders – or traded blows.

Starting at 2pm, professor Bilodeau will speak on the culture, practice and impact of bare-knuckle boxing and its relation to the 19th Century English order.  Changing gears, afternoon tea will immediately follow the lecture as is custom for Jane Austen Society meetings.  Any and all interested in Jane Austen, her books or adapted films (and presumably fighting enthusiasts as well) are welcome to attend!

The Greater Louisville Jane Austen Society hosts monthly programs at Historic Locust Grove year-round, as well as the annual Jane Austen Festival held each July.  Programs focus on a specific book (2011 is Sense and Sensibility) and discussion topics range from “Regency Hair Fashions” to “Putrid Fevers and Such.”  Formed in July of 2007, the Jane Austen Society consists of approximately 100 enthusiastic members; interested parties are always encouraged and welcome to join (whalebone corset and cravats not required).

Historic Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane

For more information about the Jane Austen Society visit    

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

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About Erin Day

I currently spend most of my days sequestered in a dark and secret room projecting IMAX films for an adoring public. In my spare time I read books (a lot) and contemplate ever more devious ways to become a professional Blacksmith. I love words, paper, fashion, trees, Charlie Chaplin, useless knick-knacks and my beloved turquoise 1994 Ford Ranger - Daniel. I totally believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Books are culture; my goal is to tell you a story.

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