I picked this book up at my local library mainly because I’ve read the book called THE RULES and this book very much pokes fun at the advice given in THE RULES.
The Jane Austen Rules – A Classic Guide to Modern Love is only 135 pages long and the writing style makes it both easy to read and easy to understand. It only has 11 chapters and you can easily read a chapter in under 30 min so even if you only read 2 chapters a day you’d be done in a week.
I’ll admit I’m not a big Jane Austen fan and have only ever actually read one of her books “Emma” and the only reason I read it was because of the name. I mean who is going to resist reading a book who’s title happens to be your name. Until reading this little gem I had actually managed to totally forget the characters and plot of Emma and considering I have a near photographic memory for me to forget everything other than the name of a book says a lot about what I thought of Jane Austen novels.
The Jane Austen Rules – A Classic Guide to Modern Love actually does a remarkably good job of pointing out how the main female characters in Jane Austen novels did not in fact follow the conventional “rules” which in Regency England 200 years ago where written in book with titles like The Lady’s Guide to Perfect Gentility (New York 1857).
Sinead Murphy (the author) makes an excellent point that the information provided in the etiquette and conduct books from Jane Austen’s time on how to attract a suitable husband isn’t a whole lot different to the books like The Rules written 200 years later but with the same purpose. Sadly she is correct I’ve actually read historical books on expected etiquette and conduct of young ladies who are to be presented to soicety and they have fascinating advice like
- you should appear to be interested in whatever your dancing partner is talking about
- don’t engage in conversation unless he initiates it,
- don’t appear to be to intelligent,
- always be perfectly presented
- when seated ensure you are sitting at the front of the chair to avoid the temptation of leaning on the back rest and ensure you sit upright at all times
- always smile and laugh at his jokes even if you are not amused or do not understand them
Sadly you can find nearly identical advice in just about every book, blog, YouTube or advice article available today (so much for progress!!)
The central theme of The Jane Austen Rules – A Classic Guide to Modern Love is simple be a real women with real interests, real hobbies, a real life and a real brain because that is what attracts real men.