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Book Review: The Jane Austen Marriage Manual, Kim Izzo

“Doesn’t every girl wish she could find her Mr Darcy?” – Cover

This 2012 book jumped at me from the New Release shelf at Kinokuniya book shop in Sydney (also spotted in Dymocks, Castle Towers, Castle Hill) and I just couldn’t say no. At (AU)$26.99, it’s not necessarily the cheapest read in the world, but it stacks up fairly nicely when it comes to originality, with a title that stands out from the Austen fanfiction crowd.

Our main character, Kate, a freelance journalist, suddenly finds work is getting very tight (something that journalists in Australia are feeling, with Fairfax and News Limited cutting their numbers). Her Grandmother passes away, she is about to be evicted, and she realises she needs to get her finances under control. In pursuit of an article about how girls in the 21st century can bag a rich man, akin to our Elizabeth Bennet, and with the encouragement of her own grief and desperation, Kate decides to do it herself. ISBN: 978-1-444-74283-1

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Literary Criticism: “Austen didn’t need a Wonderbra™, was their argument …”

A little look at Dr. Olivia Murphy’s essay: “Books, Bras and Bridget Jones: reading adaptions of Pride and Prejudice

A lot of literary criticism is hard to get into.  From my highschool extension english days, and my university readings, I know that a lot of it can be plain painful.  However, occasionally I come across something that is so worth reading, and such a joy to read, that I want to share it.  And who better with, than other Pride and Prejudice fans?  Especially when the title of said essay is as enticing as it is.

This piece is mainly a critique on the 1995 adaptation (the Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle one) and sort of a personal interrogation over our own readings and obsessions with Pride and Prejudice, in sort of what was once referred to as a ‘head fake’ by the amazing legacy that is Randy Pausch.  One thing that most of us Janeites, and worshippers-at-the-altar-of-Colin-Firth know is that there is a lot of sex in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, even if there isn’t any actual… well… y’know… sex. That probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, but anyone who has seen the wet-shirt scene, or the ‘gazing adoringly as Lizzy plays on the piano’ scene knows the sort of sex I’m talking about.  It’s thick with it, but it’s the just out of reach sort that most of us Austen fans love so much. Continue reading

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