An Education on Jane Austen

BlogHer Review

It's no secret: I'm a big Jane Austen fan. I debated the merits of Jane as a middle name for my firstborn based largely on my love of the literary princess. I'm well read in the Austen novels and snag biographical accounts of the author off the shelf, handing over my library card to the lady in the navy skirt who smiles knowingly at my choice. I've gone so far in my love of Austen as to thumb through the pages of a book merging my beloved Pride and Prejudice with zombies. Right. Zombies.

So what I'm trying to say is, I'm not one who needed an education in Jane Austen. Jane Austen and I? We're like this.

But as the saying goes, pride cometh before a fall and fall I did in to the pages of A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz. Maybe it was the allure anything Austen-related has on me. Or maybe it was the charming wit of the writer. In any case, I was totally engrossed in the book. The more the author laid out his life lessons alongside each of Austen's novels, the more I felt the urge to do the same. To look past Mr. Darcy's smile and focus on what lesson I could take from the story surrounding him.

Although it wasn't as easy as it seems because unfortunately, I have seen Pride and Prejudice as many times as I've read it and thus, Mr. Darcy remains permanently imprinted in my mind as Colin Firth. And if you've ever tried to find a life lesson with Colin Firth's smile on your mind, you know it's just a little bit distracting. Colin Firth. Swoon.

All in all it's a great book for fans of Jane Austen. It's a pretty good book for people who aren't yet fans. Maybe they are on the fence. Why, I don't know. Jane Austen is like a Popsicle on a hot summer day. Totally refreshing. And also way too cool to make lame jokes like that one.

In any case, I feel sure that A Jane Austen Education is, well, educational. Not just in the lessons it teaches but in that it makes you want to get acquainted with Austen herself. I'd recommend it to Austen lovers. And to the people who claim they don't "get" Austen. Because William Deresiewicz? He gets her.

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