The Jane Austen Handbook

I recently won The Jane Austen Handbook, by Margaret C. Sullivan from a giveaway on Goodreads. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, entertaining and informative.

This is a must read for any young woman who reads Jane Austen and dreams of the times, vacations to Bath and the country, and of course, the men, or more specifically, Mr. Darcy. The handbook is very instructive concerning how to behave in different situations, how to dress, how to play whist, and even how to make sure a man knows you are interested while not saying or doing anything inappropriate or harmful to your reputation.

The book is divided into four sections, including “Jane Austen’s World and Welcome to It,” “A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings; or, Everyday Activities,” “Making Love,” (the definition of which I am sure is completely clear to all Janeites), and “The Best Company; or, Social Gatherings.” Information in each of these sections is a perfect reference while reading Austen’s novels to better understand the happenings of the time.

Also, the author explains such things that might be confusing or not obvious to the reader of Jane Austen’s novels today, but were completely clear to those reading them in Jane’s time. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and will have to continue reading Jane’s novels. (I’m ashamed to say that I have not yet read them all!)