Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: Jane Austen For Dummies by Joan Klingel Ray

Jane Austen For Dummies by Joan Klingel Ray, PhD, Grade: A

I loved this reference book! The author did such a great job on explaining the things of Austen.

Here are the sections:

Part I: Getting to Know Jane Austen, Lady and Novelist

This part introduces Jane Austen and the era she lived/history of what was going on at that time in her world, and authors that inspired Austen in her writing.

Part II: Austen Observes Ladies and Gentleman

We learn all about dancing, courtship, and the business of marrying (along with some other tidbits). I loved this section! There's been so many things I haven't understood about her books and now I do!

Part III: Living Life in Jane's World

This section talks about women's limited roles and rights during her time, what being a gentleman entailed for men, home life, manners, and religion. This section really gets to the heart of the thoughts and ideas of her characters, the roles they played and why.

Part IV: Enjoying Austen and Her Influence Today

This section talks about reading her books with new insight. She also mentions the various adaptations of her novels to the stage, screen, and television and talks of authors who've been inspired by Austen.

Part V:The Part of Tens

She gives bounteous lists of places to visit, Jane Austen books to read, and her favorite Austen literary characters!

She packs so much information and yet makes it very readable and enjoyable. Plus she repeats many things so you don't forget what you've learned! This is one I will be putting on my to-buy list for quick reference as I reread all of her novels again!!!

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.


  1. This sounds great - I may need to pick it up!

  2. Cool I didn't know there was such a thing but being there are so many of these "Dummies" books out there I'm not surprised LOL! I'll have to check it out!

  3. I like this concept of Jane Austen for Dummies! :D Sounds really good! Thanks for the review!

  4. This book really would have helpful when I was reading Austen's books! Took awhile to figure things out. Thanks for bringing it to our attention! ~~ Kim

  5. I had no idea there was such a book! I am going to have to fiun this one. Glad you found it worthwhile.

  6. i must admit the "dummies" in the title has always been a turn off. but your review and the bits about the dancing have got me interested. thanks for the review. i think i'll pick this one up too.

    btw: i've got an award for you...

  7. This sounds like an indispensable guide to 'Everything Austen.' If I ever write an Austen fan fiction, you can bet I'll check this out of the library! Great review.

  8. This does sound like a great award..I almost added it to my list-but decided against it. I'm going to have to read it now. :) Thank you for the award!

  9. This one's on my Amazon.com wish list, too, LOL!


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