Apr 162019

A Charming and Compact Compilation of Helpful Hints!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

There are have been many readers and writers who have turned to Jane Austen’s words for guidance. Through her characters, her quotes, and her letters Jane Austen has left us with a fair amount of wisdom mixed in with her satirical wit and depictions of Regency country life. Even though times have changed, and there are societal and cultural divides, Jane Austen’s words and gentle tutelage can be useful for modern-day heroines no matter what century they live in. I guess Jane Austen was quite proficient at sharing universal truths!

In this elegant and exquisitely handsome handbook, Sophie Andrews shares what lessons she has learned from Jane Austen – important lessons about being confident, having patience, and refraining from jealousy or impetuous behavior. The individual passages that highlight lessons of friendship, love, happiness, and the role of women are succinct and well-written. I really appreciated the concluding reminders at the end that truly helped the reader “Be More Jane.” While many of the lessons were not new for me, it was very satisfying to discover the ways I have already learned to be more Jane in my life. I firmly believe Jane Austen deserves large credit for shaping my behavior and outlook. 😉 Continue reading »

Jan 162019

Selfish Natures and Sharp Observations

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

I’ve finally made it…and it feels a long time coming! This is the sixth annotated edition I’ve read of a Jane Austen novel – a Christmas tradition I started back in December 2013! And this last one feels a significant triumph. One reason is because these last 3 weeks have been rather busy with holidays, travels, houseguests, and work obligations (not the best time to plan reading an 800+ page book!). Another reason is because Mansfield Park is the Jane Austen novel I’m least acquainted with – since I’ve only read it twice before and there has been a considerable amount of time since my last read… (over 10 years!). I’m happy to finally revisit with these old friends (not sure if the term ‘friends’ apply to to this group as many of them are insufferably selfish!) and read my sixth annotated edition! (For those who are interested in reading about my previous experiences reading an annotated Jane Austen work, see the bottom of this review.) Continue reading »

Dec 262018

An Informative Reference to Regency Christmastide Celebrations and Recipes

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift

Isn’t it wonderful when two things you love are combined? Like Jane Austen and Christmas? 🙂 I love reading Jane Austen-Inspired Christmas stories, and I am so happy that so many new ones are coming out each year! But in addition to decking the halls at Longbourn, sleigh riding at Pemberley, or seeing Mr. Darcy encounter the Ghost of Christmas Past, I love learning the real practices and traditions of how Christmas was celebrated during the Regency era. I’ve previously read two books that canvassed traditions of the Christmas season during Jane Austen’s time – Jane Austen’s Christmas: The Festive Season in Georgian England by Maria Hubert and A Jane Austen Christmas by Carlo DeVito, and both while enlightening in some aspects had a fair amount that disappointed or dissatisfied. Continue reading »