“Working on the Me before He”- tagline for www.nomrdarcy.com
On one of my internet trawls (I use this word, as it is very much me swimming head-first with my mind wide open, scraping for information) I stumbled on a blog entitled ‘No Mr Darcy’. Feeling very intrigued, I entered, only to fall down the rabbit hole yet again. 22 year old Sara, qualified in writing/literature/publishing from Emerson College, Boston, gave herself the challenge of not dating for a year. And then opened up the doorway for the rest of us to peer in curiously. It’s a treasure, and she spills all with astounding honesty on her blog. But why NO Mr. Darcy? And how can we use Austen to relate to our own lives? It’s all below in a Q&A.
Some books are a delight to read. Some make your insides mushy, and have you quoting paragraphs to your friends. This, The Jane Austen Handbook, is one such book. I received an advance copy two days ago for reviewing purposes from Quirk Books, based in the US (and publishers of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), and have stopped only for water and to pay my morning calls (as Sullivan tells us, “A formal morning call lasts from quarter of an hour to half an hour”).
A re-release of the 2007 “The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World”, “The Jane Austen Handbook: Proper Life Skills from Regency England” has a beautiful new cover that, along with the “new book” smell, would make me squeal had I not known to behave in a more elegant manner. The little step-by-step guide, in “how to” form, is an adorable Austen novel companion, available in mid-March 2011 for (US)$16.95.
“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.
Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Manners: Compliments, Charades & Horrible Blunders
Written by Josephine Ross, Illustrated by Henrietta Webb
This short but adorable little book set me back just $3.95 from Basement Books (Sydney, Central- my usual haunt) when it RRPs at about eight pounds. I couldn’t resist the little watercolour-esque illustration on the front- and while it was only around 130 pages long it kept me immersed for long enough and don’t be alarmed- the gorgeous images continue throughout, only getting more delightful.
I recently wrote a piece for Upstart, La Trobe University’s journalism online magazine, “for emerging journalists”. They have a new ‘blogger series’ section that talks about new blogs. And so, celebrating blog-dom, I have a Pride and Prejudice/Austen related challenge for those of you who Continue reading