February 18, 2017

The Jane Austen Handbook: a Review

First of all, greetings from a very cheerful writer! It is unseasonably warm where I live right now: all of the snow is melting and it feels like spring, which I love. We usually don't get much spring around here; just a cold, slowly dying winter that goes straight to summer. After weeks of clouds, the sun is shining, and there's something about sunlight/sudden warm weather that makes one's house smell...like one's house. I'm not sure if it's the particular kind of dust in here or what, but the smell of "home" is strong today. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Anyone at all?

Williamsburg Virginia by Olahs Photography:
My guess is that we'll get a foot of snow after this week and we'll be cold through Easter. :( But my blog is changing to spring for March, no matter the weather!
I know this is the 4th post this week, and with everyone posting so much this time of year, it can seem like there's an information overload! But I am just too excited to share with you The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret Sullivan. This review is inspired by Hamlette's I Love Austen Week (which if you haven't heard about yet, you have some catching up to do!).

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I got this book for my 15th birthday, and I doubt that even the perils of weeding through/condensing my books for college will convince me to part with it. It is split into four sections that cover status, inheritance, everyday activities, romance, and social gatherings. There is quite a bit of regency history in this book, but it is presented in such a charming way, one has no idea how much one is learning until the end! 

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The writing is witty, and emulates Jane Austen's style without exactly copying her. The titles to each 1-5 page section are often funny, like "How to Marry Off Your Daughter" or "How to Elope to Scotland". There are plenty of references to Jane Austen's books throughout the piece, both obvious and sly. It was fun to catch all the references and match them to the right book.

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This is from a section titled "How to Attend a Ball"

There are dozens of cute pictures and diagrams throughout the book, adding to its plentiful charm. Overall, this is a great book for anyone interested in a light read, laughs, and learning all in one!

10 comments:

  1. OOOh this book is on my Amazon wishlist! Might have to get it now! :-D

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  2. Sounds like a fun read, a MUST for Austen fans. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

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    1. Yes, this is definitely a great book in between the "heavier" Austen classics! :)

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  3. YES! I think I do know what you mean. It's that smell in the air that makes you feel all nostalgic, and homey, and cozy, right? I get those feelings a lot when the seasons change (or like this week, when you get hit with Spring in February. Heehee.)

    About The Jane Austen Handbook. Eek! It looks really fascinating. I've wanted to find a book for awhile that would give a good picture of what living in that time period would be like. I'll have to look this one up. :)

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    1. Yes, you DO understand! I thought you would. :) And yes, that book is perfect for historical background without being a list of names and dates.

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  4. I so have to read this book now! Cool review, Abby :)

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  5. This looks super cute! I will have to see if my library has it. Thanks for reviewing it for I Love Austen Week!

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  6. Great review, Abby! "The Jane Austen Handbook" sounds like such a fun, interesting book, and the illustrations look so cute! I might just have to get this. :)

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  7. We have the same thing where we live! It's super warm today! I'm hoping it stays that way because our daffodils are up and everything... And yes, I know what you mean about the home smell. It's...that one smell. You know! :) Not really describable.

    OH, that book looks awesome!!! I want it!! Love it.

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