A Coffeetable Book of Manners – “The Jane Austen Handbook” by Margaret C. Sullivan

Have you ever wondered about some of the day-to-day realities of living in Jane Austen’s world?

I have.

Then again, I’m an admitted Jane Austen junkie.

The good people at Quirk Books (who published the untouchable ‘Pride & Prejudice & Zombies”) have had the smarts to release a grand little book that should clear up all your questions.

(Or rather, re-release.  The book was originally published in 2007, but it’s got a brand-new look and the world is eating up Jane Austen once again so, strike while the iron’s hot.)

Margaret C. Sullivan’s “The Jane Austen Handbook” is adorable in every way.  Sullivan, the author of Austenblog, knows her stuff, and shows off her expertise as she walks the reader through such delightful lists as “How to Become an Accomplished Lady,” “How to Spend the Season,” and “How to Elope to Scotland.”  Part rule book and part clever lists collection, the book is is cheery without being fake, funny without being overly silly, and charming as can be.

Of special interest is a discussion of how much money, by today’s terms, those infamous rich folk of Austen’s novels would be worth.  Mr. Darcy, for one, clocks in at over a million pounds a year,  though that shouldn’t come as a big surprise to his admirers.


The small, hardcover, book is illustrated with gorgeous drawings and contains tons of interesting tidbits for everyone who might have ever wondered nearly anything about this time period.  Austen fans will find tons to chuckle about in the references many of these lists make to the legendary authors novels, but I don’t really think an intimate knowledge of the Dashwoods and Bingleys are required. Anyone with a sense of humor or the slightest interest in this particular – and specific – time period and class of people should find something interesting in it’s pages.


About JamieP

Books. Adventures. Chicago. Married. Mommy. Cat.

Posted on March 8, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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