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Jane Austen's Little Instruction Book by…

Jane Austen's Little Instruction Book (edition 1995)

by Jane Austen

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Title:Jane Austen's Little Instruction Book
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:Peter Pauper Press (1995), Hardcover
Collections:Your library

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Jane Austen's Little Instruction Book by Sophia Bedford Pierce



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This brief book is a collection of amusing sentences taken from Jane Austen's fiction. Printed at one per page, each one is attributed to the work from which its taken and when extracted from dialogue, to the character who delivered the line. Many are wry comments on life and on the relationships of men and women.

One problem is that because the extracted lines are presented out of context, their original meaning is often entirely lost. In particular, many are statements that Miss Austen presented ironically, in which she clearly meant precisely the opposite of what they said. Thus, the whole idea that the extracted lines constitute an "instruction book" is based on a fundamental misconception. The author thus does little justice to her source material.

Another problem is that some statements are wrongly attributed as to source. For example, the following line is delivered by Mr. Darcy at the famous dance scene in Pride and Prejudice: "A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment." Darcy was gently chiding Miss Bingley, who was trying to get him to dance with Elizabeth Bennett. This book incorrectly attributes the statement to Miss Bennet herself, who was not even part of the conversational exchange -- and who (as anyone familiar with the book would know) would have never delivered such a line.

The author of this book specializes in small works full of sayings and proverbs that she has collected from various sources. It appears that she combed through Austen's work looking for such lines, without attention to their meaning or context. Fans of Miss Austen's works will likely find this little book a real disappointment. ( )
3 vote danielx | Jan 15, 2014 |
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edited by Sophia Bedford-Pierce
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