Jane Austen is everywhere. Despite the fact that she died nearly 200 years ago and only has 6 completed novels to her name, she is a brand unto herself.
It’s not difficult to peruse a bookstore or library and find many titles relating to Jane and and her characters.
One of the newest additions this ever growing Jane Austen library is The Jane Austen Rules: A Classic Guide To Modern Love.
Scholar Sinead Murphy combines the lessons learned from Austen’s female characters with The Rules, a Georgian era book that informed women on how to behave and present themselves to the world. Using characters such as Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse and Catherine Moreland as examples, Ms. Murphy guides her readers through the often rocky path of finding the right person, while finding happiness as a single, independent woman.
I am not sure that I liked this book. It doesn’t take a scholar to figure out the life lessons that readers have been learning from Austen’s characters for the last 200 years. As an Janeite, I did enjoy this book. But I felt like I was being preached to. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Catherine Moreland has to simply take her head out of the gothic romance novels to see what is going in around her, or to know that Emma Woodhouse is not the matchmaker and know it all that she thinks she is and Elizabeth Bennet to learn to curb her prejudices and her slightly sharp tongue.
Do I recommend this book? I’m not sure.