Saturday, January 29, 2005

Jane Austen's Guide to Dating

Those who know me in real life are generally surprised to discover that I'm quite a fan of Jane Austen; I'm therefore not sure whether this story from the Telegraph makes me want to laugh or cry:
The latest dating manual to offer hope to America's single women, however, harks
back to an earlier and more chaste era. Jane Austen's Guide to Dating, the work
of the British-born writer Lauren Henderson, 36, leaves the world of rampant
rabbits, serial cosmopolitans and toxic bachelors behind, to advise girls on how
to snare a man the Regency way.
It worked, after all, for its author, who -
misled for years by common New York dating wisdom (don't return his calls; keep
an egg-timer by the phone, and so forth) - finally looked to Austen to tell her
what to do. She has, she boasts, ended up landing her very own Henry
What's more - every girl's dream - her book has already been optioned
for a Hollywood film.
Undeterred by potential drawbacks - Austen's books tell
us nothing about sex, are set in an age whose social mores bear scarcely more
relation to downtown Manhattan's than they do to downtown Kabul's, and are
novels rather than self-help manuals - Henderson has discovered, at the heart of
the oeuvre, 10 key principles of dating.

The Telegraph also includes this guide to the major male characters in Austen's novels. Poor Jane is probably spinning in her grave!

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