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This book is, by far, the best book I have read on dating with a view towards marriage.I must admit my biases first: I am what is called a “Janeite” and an Anglophile.” Murphy presents a take on the institution of marriage that may surprise some readers and also addresses Austen’s personal choice not to marry.

(4) may be puzzled or offended by Murphy’s manner of presenting her “Classic Guide to Modern Love.” However, those willing to take it in a playful spirit similar to Austen’s own treatment of “horrid novels” in . While a conduct book or dating guide might say otherwise, all women are not required to act in a particular way.Murphy offers the example of a very different Austen heroine: Consider Persuasion’s Anne Elliot: though perfectly good humoured, she is, on the whole, a serious person, even a grave person, for whom the sparkling repartee of an Elizabeth Bennet would be utterly out of character.• To lead a conversation with a man (even if he’s leading the dance). Whether you’re in the throes of early dating or pondering a leap in a long-term relationship, The Jane Austen Rules is your essential guide to approaching love with, well, sense and sensibility.• When to ignore advice from your girlfriends and listen to your mother. “What are we to learn from Austen’s brand of feminism?Capt Wentworth: Once Bitten, Twice Shy He proposed to shy Anne ages ago, and she told him to get knotted, so he's not chancing his arm on that one again.

Instead, he chases her sisters-in-law, Louisa and Henrietta.

Nothing more or less than this: that feminist ideas mean very very little in the abstract, for they still require a strategy to make them work in the world…

Jane Austen needed to be a feminist in action just to be a feminist in print.

Editing these minor flaws would place this book firmly in five-star territory. Murphy has done an excellent job of blending light-hearted charm with reflections on the serious business of love and life.

4.5 out of 5 Stars Cover image courtesy of Melville House © 2014; text Tracy Hickman © 2014, Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Elizabeth Kantor talked about her book, The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After: What Jane Austen’s Heroines Can Teach Modern Women About Men, Sex, Marriage, and Lasting Happiness.