“I would not let Martha read “First Impressions” again upon any account, and am very glad that I did not leave it in your power.” – Jane Austen
I trekked from Sydney to Canberra a few weekends ago to see an original handwritten letter from Jane Austen to Cassandra that is housed in the National Library of Australia after my publishing editor told me that he had seen it there some weeks ago. Three hours, traffic stress and seventy dollars worth of petrol later and I had made it to Australia’s capital, ACT. Every moment was worth it, to see this:
(A big thanks to N for going back in to take the picture on her iPhone, how would I do without?)
“A heroine’s guide to Life and Love”
This gorgeous read by Patrice Hannon was given to me by Pauline (my bestie, and member of the frequently-mentioned Jane Austen book club) for Christmas. It’s an absolute delight, and a really nice concept. Written in epistolary style, it is a book of advice from Jane Austen to modern-day “heroines in training” as though Jane herself was writing it (with full knowledge of the 21st Century) in response to their desperate questions. Explaining her advice with references to her novels (there are plenty of Pride and Prejudice quotes and examples) and intersplayed with biographical details about Jane’s life and family, it is a remarkable read.
Potentially categorisable as a ‘self-help’ or Agony Aunt style book- there can be no possible better rules and etiquette guides than Austen herself. Patrice Hannon does an incredible job of speaking in Austen’s voice, and explains Elizabeth Bennet and all her heroine’s decisions in the process.