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Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After Hardcover – 19 Apr 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (19 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596987847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596987845
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,097,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praise for "The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After"
"What a wonderful book! Elizabeth Kantor writes with immense sense and sensibility about how single young women in today's confusing world can find happiness by applying the principles of Jane Austen. I feel certain that Jane Austen would appreciate this witty and authentic take on her work, unlike so many wrong-headed pop interpretations one gets these days. I am heartily recommending this delightful and original book even to my more mature friends who are no longer looking for a single young man. Lovely writing."
--Charlotte Hays, senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum and bestselling co-author of "Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral" and "Somebody Is Going to Die if Lilly Beth Doesn't Catch That Bouquet: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Wedding"
"A thorough analysis of love and dating through the eyes of Jane Austen, sure to spark discussions and provide a lot of food for thought. If you need a fresh perspective on love, start here."
--Lori Smith, author of "A Walk with Jane Austen" and "The Jane Austen Guide to Life"
"In "The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After" Elizabeth Kantor asks, 'Can we have Jane Austen-style elegance, dignity, and happy love only at the cost of modern freedom and equality?' The answer is yes if, like Austen's heroines, we approach romance with a rational balance to sex and love and work hard on all our relationships, not just the romantic ones. "The Guide" is filled with information and advice gleaned from Jane Austen's novels. Case studies of major male characters examine their commitment phobias, and close scrutiny of Jane's clear-eyed heroines reveals how they get love exactly right. This book is packed with information that had me thinking about Jane Austen's novels in a new light. One thing is for certain: The reader will gain a new perspective on how to approa

About the Author

Elizabeth Kantor is author of The Politically Incorrect Guide(TM) to English and American Literature and an editor for Regnery Publishing. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in philosophy from Catholic University of America. Kantor has taught English literature and written for publications ranging from National Review Online to the Boston Globe. An avid Jane Austen fan, she is happily married and lives with her husband and son in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Oh dear.

I decided to take this book for review as Austen is by far my favourite novelist and I thought this sounded like an interesting concept - what makes the protagonists' matches so good. And there is always the sticky Charlotte Lucas question to ponder over. This isn't really what I got; I felt that this book couldn't decide if it wanted to be a work of literary criticism/analysis or a self help manual. I'm also not entirely sure who the target audience for this book are supposed to be. I got a very strong impression that it wasn't supposed to be me! References to 'we Americans' can be somewhat alienating to the rest of the world. Although the whole book seems to push Austen as a main selling point, it also seems to be aimed at people who don't really know the novels that well - too much of obvious plot details have to be explained and there is an over use of quotation, beyond what was needed to make the point.

The text of the book is only about 250 pages, but there must be at least another 100 pages of endnotes. This is an area of complete overkill, in my opinion. When a single endnote can go on for a couple of pages, by the time you get back to the main text, you've pretty much lost whatever plot there was. Endnotes; just too many and too long and in many cases just too unnecessary.

I was only reading from a proof copy, but there were textual errors - Maria Crawford, anyone?! Hopefully someone familiar with Austen can pick this up.

At the time of writing I see that only one other amazon.co.uk reviewer has come forth to note that they didn't like it much either, while the amazon.com reviews seem to be positive.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Happily Ever After is a tour de force of literary criticism, reading back into Jane Austen the problems that beset modern women of the Bridget Jones variety and deducing the true principles for happiness which Austen gives us. Elizabeth Kantor is gushingly brilliant in her enthusiasm for Austen and her enthusiasm for conservative cultural principles, and this is a great read even if you are i) not a woman and ii) not taken in.

The clue to this book is in the title, but if you missed it, Kantor hammers it out in the introduction and every subsequent chapter: we should be pursuing happiness, whereas what we generally do pursue are substitutes for happiness, such as stability, wealth, prestige, admiration, and so on. From this simple premise she explores where all but one of Austen's heroines go right, and where the Bridget Jones/Sex and the City modern woman goes wrong. On the way she trounces 'The Rules and other contemporary attempts to trick Mr Right into falling in love, as well as kicking the 'settlers' movement of people who are willing to take Mr Good Enough.

The book works itself on two underlying premises that it doesn't declare: that the reader likes Austen but doesn't know her writings anywhere near as well as Kantor does, and that the reader is willing to believe that all the answers for today's real life love problems were definitively answered in the Regency by a woman who turned down the only proposal of marriage she ever received.

As a British reader, the alarms started ringing in my head as soon as Kantor started talking about the pursuit of happiness.
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By Doha VINE VOICE on 16 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Elizabeth Kantor's book combines the warm voice of self-reflecting self-help unpatronisingly with the brilliance of Jane Austen, and it WORKS, as this kind of book so often does not. It reads like a fun and critical analysis of vignettes from the Austen opus.

This work is so content-rich that it is difficult to distill it for the purpose of this review. I'm flipping through the book, and each time, I get caught up in re-reading, with thumb in the endnotes at the back - the notes! I love thorough notes, and these aren't your merely academic list of references. These are digressions from or expansions on the main text that Kantor is generous enough (and maybe a little self-indulgent BUT I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND) to include for my(!) enjoyment.

I think it's fair to say that ever since I first read Austen in my early teens, I've seen her characters as role models - Jane Bennet in her kindness (she is the real hero of P&P) and Elinor Dashwood in her self-mastery and forbearance (my favourite fictional female), Fanny Price's staunch morality, Emma's sincerity and openness to criticism - they all have some defining character that makes their evolution so real. This is also in a time when character was valued over personality, and I doubly like that this is a theme underlying the whole premise of Kantor's book.

The book never gets too text-heavy or academic when Kantor offers a lot of extras, liberally sprinkled throughout each chapter: there are 'tips just for Janeites', which are short, snappy thoughts reminding you, in case you forgot, what the book is about. I.e. 'Waiting for a guy who's ready to commit is a much better bet than waiting for a guy to be ready to commit'. They're not killer, but they're not bad.
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