Jane Austen's Guide to Dating is a fun and entertaining look at Jane Austen's novels. Whether you've read Austen's novels for years or this is your first introduction to her works, you'll enjoy the wit and wisdom of these famous stories, the analysis of how the characters actions contributed to their dating disasters or successes, with the discussions and tips. Somewhere along the line, we seem to assume that just because Jane Austen's books are classics, they don't have anything valuable to say about our lives. Jane Austen lived in an age that seems far removed from our experience, but Austen offers significant studies in human relationships.
Lauren Henderson first began to explore the courtship rituals in Jane Austen's novels while she was studying English literature at Cambridge. It was only later in life, though, that she started to see how Jane Austen really offers "manuals for anyone who wants to learn about finding someone to spend the rest of your life with, someone with whom you share values and similar qualities, someone trustworthy and true." Along the way, she stresses that dating doesn't have to be hard. It doesn't have to be painful or degrading or emotionally devastating. Austen offers lessons about listening to your instincts, not playing games, looking for people who bring out your best qualities, not settling, and waiting for the right person.
As Henderson explores what to do and what not to do with dating and relationships, she develops character profiles for characters like Elizabeth Bennet, Frank Churchill, Mr. Darcy, Colonel Brandon, Mary Crawford, Henry Crawford, Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price, Marianne, Elinor, Catherine Morland, Henry Hilney, Willoughby, Mr. Bennet, Edward Ferrars, Charlotte, Miss Bingley, Lydia Bennet, Jane Bennet, Mr. Bingley, Captain Wentworth, Edmund Bertram, and Mr. Wickham. Interspersed throughout those characters, we find the good and bad characters, the ones who find happiness and those who are miserable--whether lonely or unhappily married. To help you decide which Jane Austen character you're most like, Henderson includes a quiz that should give you an idea of which person you emulate.
You'll find playboys, toxic flirts, and losers of all kinds. In her novels, Austen was drawing from the stuff of real life to create legends, with whom we can all compare ourselves.