“Jane tucked the letter into the folds of her cloak and looked at him, realizing that in the groom she had found an ally who would not betray her indiscretion.” – Prologue
I firstly must admit to liking this book against my better judgement. I found a paperback version of Sally Smith O’Rourke’s The Man Who Loved Jane Austen ISBN: 978-0758210371, along with six other Jane Austen-related reads, at my local library (Melton). The small paperback was the second I began reading out of the stack, and I was quickly hooked. Continue reading
Dear Mr. Darcy: A Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
I was contacted by Amanda Grange’s publicist with a review copy of Dear Mr Darcy early in late May. Leaping at the chance to have an early read of this book, and to provide readers of The Bennet Sisters with a Q&A from the writer herself, I downloaded my Kindle version and got to reading. Continue reading
A Jane Austen Education – How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, And The Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
“Like Elizabeth Bennet, I had found my freedom.” – William Deresiewicz
This book is the type of read that makes you go “Why didn’t I think of it like that?”. It is not only gorgeous on the cover (who doesn’t love paper dolls?) and offers plenty of new and personal insights into how you can interpret the works of Austen, but is gorgeous on the inside too. I found a slight battered hardback version for about $5 at my local haunt Basement Books in Central Station, Sydney. You can also pick it up from Amazon for under $20 (and get the wonderful sneak preview read).
Mixing academic writing, textual analysis and a lovely running commentary on Jane Austen set within an autobiographical framework this is a different take on being a Janeite. Deresiewicz, an Austen scholar, explains from the start that he was once a cynic of Austen’s work (and a bit of a self-admitted pretentious git) because of the ‘girly’ connotations surrounding books such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but after reading them and studying them – breaking through the tedium – it dawned on him just what it is that Jane is saying, and why she is as intelligent and interesting as the rest of us think. This book spans his life from student-hood onwards and ends like a Jane novel would.
“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.