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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The List Lover's Guide to Jane Austen by Joan Strasbaugh

The List Lover's Guide to Jane Austen by Joan Strasbaugh
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 978-1402282034
Published June 4, 2013
Paperback, 224 pages

This year is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, and Sourcebooks is celebrating with a new release!

If you're a lover of Jane Austen, have read or seen any of the movies based on her life or her books, or if you're just interested in knowing more about Jane Austen, then this neat little book will be a pleasure to read. It contains only lists of...almost anything you would wish to know about Austen and her life. For example, there is a list of the books she read, her possible suitors, where she shopped, her social circle, the games she played, her morbid sense of humor, and much more.

I enjoyed perusing these lists and learned quite a few things about her I did not know. What I enjoyed the most, though, were the snippets of letters written by Jane, her sister Cassandra or one of her relatives or friends that gave evidence of the info in these lists. Jane, of course, is quite often humorous. He wit and intelligence shine through.

This book is well researched, easy to read and fits well into one's purse. It can be used as a resource tool for the writer of Regency novels or the ever-popular Austen spin-off novels. It's a little gem that would make the perfect gift for the Janeite who will yet want another fresh take on Jane Austen.

Here is an excerpt of one of the lists I particularly enjoyed.

Who Broke Her Heart
Tom Lefroy
You scold me so much in the nice long letter which I have this moment received from you, that I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend and I behaved. Imagine to yourself everything most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together. I can expose myself however, only once more, because he leaves the country soon after next Friday, on which day we are to have a dance at Ashe after all. He is a very gentlemanlike, good--looking, pleasant young man, I assure you. But as to our having ever met, except at the three last balls, I cannot say much; for he is so excessively laughed at about me at Ashe, that he is ashamed of coming to Steventon, and ran away when we called on Mrs. Lefroy a few days ago.”
—Jane to Cassandra, January 9, 1796

The next Friday:
At length the Day is come on which I am to flirt my last with Tom Lefroy, & when you receive this it will be over-—My tears flow as I write, at the melancholy idea.
—Jane to Cassandra, January 15, 1796

Three years later in a letter to Cassandra she confides:
Mrs. Lefroy did come last  Wednesday, and the Harwoods came likewise, but very considerately paid their visit before Mrs. Lefroy’s arrival, with whom, in spite of interruptions both from my father and James, I was enough alone to hear all that was interesting, which you will easily credit when I tell you that of her nephew she said nothing at all, and of her friend very little. She did not once mention the name of the former to me, and I was too proud to make any enquiries; but on my father’s afterwards asking where he was, I learnt that he was gone back to London in his way to Ireland, where he is called to the Bar and means to practise.
—Jane to Cassandra, November 17, 1798

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Watch out for my Q&A with author Joan Strasbaugh and a giveaway of The List Lover's Guide to Jane Austen this Thursday, June 13.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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