cover image The Jane Austen Rules: A Classic Guide to Modern Love

The Jane Austen Rules: A Classic Guide to Modern Love

Sinéad Murphy. Melville House (Random, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-61219-382-3

The key to dating in today’s day and age can be summed up with one essential question: What would Jane Austen do? Or at least that’s how Murphy (The Art Kettle), a philosophy instructor at Newcastle University, presents it in this playful relationship guide that is a cross between The Rules and any number of Austen novels. She advises young women to live like a contemporary Austen heroine, and offers readers rules to follow suit, which include: “Be a woman, not a girl”; “find a man, not a guy” (boys sometimes grow into men, but guys don’t, she says); “be quite independent”; “don’t just sit there, do something”; and “have great expectations.” Murphy chimes in on the wisdom of listening to one’s mother, using the art of persuasion to negotiate romantic relationships, and putting aside preconceived notions and foolish pride. Murphy points out that Austen was far ahead of her time in terms of feminist philosophies; indeed, Austen’s sage advice endures 200 years later. Sweet and to the point, this volume makes for an enjoyable and useful read. [em](Oct.) [/em]