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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "PROPER LIFE SKILLS FROM REGENCY ENGLAND"
This lovely little book is a useful handbook for Jane Austen's novels and also a manual of etiquette for a respectable young woman in Regency England.

The book is separated into four sections; "Jane Austen's World & Welcome to it", "A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings, or Everyday Activities", "Making Love", and "The Best Company, or Social Gatherings". It also...
Published on 4 July 2012 by Eleni

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book to own
It's very difficult for me to review a non-fiction book. As fantastically interesting as I find them, I struggle to think of the right things to say, because rather than being written with a certain flow like a story would be, it is written in sections and blocks. How exactly do you review and critique fact?

For starters, if for no other reason, you should own...
Published on 19 Aug 2011 by Hannah


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book to own, 19 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Jane Austen Handbook (Hardcover)
It's very difficult for me to review a non-fiction book. As fantastically interesting as I find them, I struggle to think of the right things to say, because rather than being written with a certain flow like a story would be, it is written in sections and blocks. How exactly do you review and critique fact?

For starters, if for no other reason, you should own The Jane Austen Handbook because it's beautiful. From the very simple but lovely cover design1 to the lovingly drawn line drawings by Kathryn Rathke speckled throughout the book, its' design is a very subtle beauty. Along with these and the burgundy colours used, the style creates an elegant atmosphere which is reminiscent of the Regency era.

The book itself reads like a guidebook on life skills for the high class lady, with such guides as: how to become an accomplished lady, how to plan a dinner party, how to dress, how to attend a ball, how to elope to Scotland, and many many more valuable life lessons. Sullivan's writing style is so flawless that you sometimes forget that you aren't a member of the early 18th century gentry. The quotes included in every chapter from Austen's stories may helpfully remind you, however, and they also keep the book firmly as a handbook to Austen's world and not just any old Regency history book. As well as teaching you how to be a lady, there are interesting facts throughout about Austen's life, and the other kinds of people that lived through this period. There is also a mini-Austen biography at the back, as well as a very helpful glossary, information about her books, and the various contemporary adaptations and a brilliant list of resources.

The Jane Austen Handbook is a great book for new and old fans of Jane Austen alike, and even if you aren't much of an Austen fan, it is a very interesting book about the ways and customs of high society in Regency England. You will enjoy familiarising yourself with the time period, and if you're already familiar with it then it is still a good companion book to own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "PROPER LIFE SKILLS FROM REGENCY ENGLAND", 4 July 2012
By 
Eleni - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Jane Austen Handbook (Hardcover)
This lovely little book is a useful handbook for Jane Austen's novels and also a manual of etiquette for a respectable young woman in Regency England.

The book is separated into four sections; "Jane Austen's World & Welcome to it", "A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings, or Everyday Activities", "Making Love", and "The Best Company, or Social Gatherings". It also includes an Appendix with a short biography of Jane Austen, summaries of all her novels, a list of film adaptations, a list of resources and a selected bibliography.

As a handbook for her novels it is very interesting and useful. It provides valuable information for the better understanding of Austen's novels, like "Who Died & Made Mr. Collins the Heir of Longbourn?" which I have to admit reading "Pride and Prejudice", I could never understand, "Modern Money Equivalents", which calculates for instance that Mr. Darcy's ten thousand a year is something like three million a year, and "Marriage Over the Anvil", which explains the marriage laws of Regency England and Scotland, and many other fascinating facts.

Apart for the better understanding of her novels, the book is a brilliant survival guide for regency society. In case a lady -an accomplished proper lady- decides to pick a time machine and travel to Jane Austen's England, this is definitely the book to take with her. Where to "Spend Each Season", how to "Write a Letter", how to "Ride Sidesaddle", how to "Dress" and "Buy Clothing", how to "Pay a Morning Call", how a "Lady Might spend her Leisure Time" including instructions for crafts like fancy needlework and making filigree baskets, the rules of card games like "Whist" and "Piquet", how to "Attend a Ball" and dance most types of regency dances like "Minuet" and "Quadrille", and many other things someone travelling to Regency England needs to know.

If however you think that the existence of a time machine is pure science fiction and you probably won't be able to travel to Regency England any time soon, this elegant and beautifully illustrated little book is a nice and well written guide of etiquette for any modern accomplished lady; things like "Plan a Dinner Party", "Raise your Children", "Become Known as a Valuable Neighbor", "Get Rid of Unwanted Guests" or "Celebrate Christmas in a Country House", apply today as well.

The book is also published as "The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 15 Jun 2014
By 
Jennifer May (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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A fab read for anyone interested in what it was like living in Austen's time. Very informative and often hilarious, there's even a short biography of Austen and information on Austen societies and other publications.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for any Austen Addict, 11 July 2013
By 
Ms. LH Russell "bookish isn't a word I'd use ... (Hull, East Yorks, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jane Austen Handbook (Hardcover)
A great handbook for any Austen Addict like me. Some of the tips are useful even today. The etiquette is also good. May use it when I go to events and stuff.
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The Jane Austen Handbook
The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret Sullivan (Hardcover - 5 May 2011)
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