A Heroine’s Guide for Surviving Life in a Regency Novel
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Imagine that you were Amanda Price from Lost in Austen or Courtney Stone from Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and you found yourself inexplicably transported to the time period of Jane Austen’s novels. Would you be able to pass yourself off as a Regency heroine? Or would your ignorance of Regency manners and mores leave you to be a scorned and shunned outcast? Would you know the proper way to decline an unwanted marriage proposal or how to indicate interest in a gentleman without seeming forward?
Best to be prepared for these sorts of things, you never know when you might wake up and find yourself in the pages of an Austen novel!
Even if you are not anticipating an excursion to Regency England, you’ve probably come across a behavior or custom in Jane Austen’s novels that you’d like better explained. The answers to many of your queries can be found in The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret C. Sullivan. The Jane Austen Handbook is an inviting and enlightening handbook that includes gorgeous supplementary illustrations by Kathryn Rathke and an attractive burgundy-colored print and theme. In this volume, Ms. Sullivan expounds upon many aspects of Regency life, such as: transportation, servants, writing letters, card games, and types of dances. In addition, the organization and simplicity of this book makes it very accessible and user-friendly.If only Amanda Price or Courtney Stone had such a tool at their disposal!
What I enjoyed most about this delightful tome was Ms. Sullivan’s light-hearted and satiric tone. Ms. Sullivan pokes fun at her readers, often gives ironic advice, and cannot always be taken seriously. For instance, if the reader wants to know how to indicate their interest in a gentleman, the author recommends asking said gentleman to go “stargazing.” “Everyone knows what that means. If not, he must be rather clueless, and perhaps you should rethink your affection.” Another bit advice includes offering to perform little services for him. “Mending his pen might be one step from mending his stockings.” I loved finding tidbits like this one that reference characters or situations in Jane Austen’s novels! Some of my other favorite passages include “How to Avoid Dancing with an Undesirable Partner” and “How to Get an Invitation to a Country House Party.”
Sensible, witty, and accessible, this petite volume is perfect for newcomers to the world of Jane Austen, long-time admirers, and all heroines in training. I highly recommend!
Is your interest piqued? Would you like to read Ms. Sullivan’s guide for proper lifeskills in Regency England? Would you like to own a copy?
Thanks to the kind and generous people at Quirk Books I have two BRAND NEW COPIES of The Jane Austen Handbook to give away! Apologies to my international friends, this giveaway is available to US residents only. (Don’t worry, I’ll host an international giveaway soon, promise!)
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