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Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons For The Modern Woman Hardcover – May 1, 2012

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Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons For The Modern Woman + The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After + A Jane Austen Devotional (Devotional Classics)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Skirt!; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762773812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762773817
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Jane Austen has been my life coach since I first discovered Pride and Prejudice thirty years ago. After reading Lori Smith’s lovely The Jane Austen Guide to Life,
I now understand why. Part Austen biography, how-to-guide, and all heart, this engaging book will sensibly explain the mysteries of relationships, life,
and love that Jane Austen so excelled in on the page and in her own life.”
—Laurel Ann Nattress, editor, Jane Austen Made Me Do It and Austenprose.com

“Highly engaging. . . . Lori consults Jane Austen’s novels and letters and allows the author’s sparkling wit, straight moral compass, and wise words to guide us in the 21st century. At times I could almost hear Jane speaking directly to me.”
—Vic Sanborn, Jane Austen’s World blog

 Praise for Lori Smith's A Walk with Jane Austen

“A lovely, intimate read.”
Karen Joy Fowler, best-selling author of The Jane Austen Book Club
“Lyrical and questioning...perfectly pitched.”
Emma Campbell Webster, actress, author of Lost in Austen, and founder of lostinaustenblogspot.com

“With wit, charm, and rare honesty–of which I have to believe Jane Austen would have thoroughly approved–Lori Smith weaves her personal life experiences throughout her journey into the life that was Jane’s. Infused with faith, romance, loss, and a search for self, A Walk with Jane Austen makes for that rare book that keeps popping into one’s thoughts and beckoning one back.”
Tamara Leigh, author of Perfecting Kate and Splitting Harriet

From the Inside Flap

Jane Austen has become our patron saint of romance, our goddess of happy endings. Her name is synonymous with romantic sighs, period costumes, and the ideal of what love should be. But if she could give us advice about life and love, what would she tell us? What would she make of Match.com, of our Real Housewives, or of our obsession with finding The One?

Austen’s stories give us relationship advice that still works today, but her life offers us more wisdom than just that pertaining to love. In our fame-obsessed culture, it’s refreshing to think that Austen preferred to remain anonymous. Ironically, Jane Austen—master of love stories—never married and can teach us something about being single. She also endured many painful circumstances and managed them with grace and humor.

In this light biography and guide, author Lori Smith surmises about Austen’s sensible advice for twenty-first-century women—on everything from living our dreams, being a woman of substance, finding a good man, managing money, and more.

As such an astute student of human nature, Austen can teach us much about ourselves and about what it means to live well.

More About the Author

Lori Smith is an adorer of Jane Austen and a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She feels connections to Austen on many levels--as a writer, a single woman, an Anglican, and as someone struggling with a mysterious chronic illness. For her last book, A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith, Lori spent a month in England tracing Austen's life and works. Readers voted to give that book the Jane Austen Regency World Award for best nonfiction, and it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Customer Reviews

The perspective is refreshing, and the writing is lively.
Catherine Claire Larson
I would recommend this book to any Austen fans as well as those yet to read Austen's works.
Rachael Copeland
Lori Smith's "The Jane Austen Guide to Life" is simply wonderful.
Sarah Hamaker, author of Ending Sibling Rivalry: Moving Your Kids From War to Peace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Claire Larson on May 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Did you ever wish you could sit down with Jane Austen and share a cup of tea? I'm sure if you're like me, you'd have a million questions you'd want to ask her. Who was your inspiration for Mr. Darcy? Do you have any good love advice? What do you think of the modern-day internet dating phenomenon? Well, if you've ever wished to share your Lady Grey with lady Jane, this is your opportunity. Lori Smith's, "The Jane Austen Guide to Life," is everything Austen is: captivating, winsome, insightful, witty, and fun.

In many ways Austen was ahead of her times. And in other important ways she was firmly moored to principles which transcend the ages. Aside from her unforgettable writing, surely this combination is what has made her works continue to endure. Smith's book draws from the best of both aspects of Austen's writing and her own life to give us "The Jane Austen Guide to Life." The perspective is refreshing, and the writing is lively. This is the next best thing to tea with Jane herself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By myjoetogo on June 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Every bit as irresistible as Jane or one of her novels, this book charms, delights, stirs, and works its way into your heart and head. Lori Smith gets Jane, a woman of substance, and gives her to us simply and beautifully. You see Jane at the piano and enjoying her tea as she secretly writes, going for long walks, and amusing her friends with clever repartee. And you see yourself in these pages too. The chapters are illuminating on how to live: learning how to love completely, work through heartbreak, endure the hardest things, cherish family and friends ("my estate," as Jane would write), make your way in this world with little means or money, and find joy and laughter in all circumstance. There is such richness here, and in a volume so beautifully packaged with illustrations by David Grant of Jane in her world. (I loved the charmer on page 122 of Jane and friends at the table, with a little bust on the mantle behind them, the stone expression one of "Oooo," as if Jane has just uttered one of of her infamously clever remarks.) This book is so well done and a treasure, sure to be a friend you will return to for wisdom and share with others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Meredith VINE VOICE on August 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover

I was intrigued by the combination of a biography and self-help guide
Even though I've read The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After (Elizabeth Kantor), The Jane Austen Handbook (Margaret C. Sullivan), and What Jane Austen Taught Me About Love and Romance (Debra White Smith), I can never get enough of Jane Austen's wise and valuable counsel!
Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose and Vic Sanborn of Jane Austen's World both appear on the back cover giving this book their high praise and commendation.

- The Elegance: With fourteen charming illustrations and a simple, aesthetically pleasing hardcover, this novel has a very elegant presentation. In addition, I loved how the prose seamlessly flowed from biography to citations of Jane Austen's novels, from character analyses to modern applications. It was all very graceful!
- The Tone: Sometimes when authors are penning biography or scholarly studies their tone can become a little bit too didactic or formal. I am so pleased that I found Lori Smith's tone to be very approachable and relaxed. It felt like she was having a casual conversation, filled with thoughtful observations and clever connections.
- The Blend: Even though the word "guide" is in the title, this book has an abundance of biographical information. In fact, one could argue that is just as much a biography as it is a guide. I loved how Ms. Smith's prose progressed through the major events of Jane Austen's life and used them as examples of sensible advice and life lessons. Traveling through the story of Jane Austen's life, women can learn and benefit from her experiences with relationships, love, career, and hardships.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Ann VINE VOICE on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you could be swept back in time two hundred years ago to have a cup of tea with Jane Austen, what would you ask her? Any question. No bars held. If I had the courage, I might ask her how did she become so wise in the ways of human nature and love? Or, did she intend to craft stories to entertain, or to enlighten?

Since time-travel has yet to be invented, we can only surmise how Austen would have replied. Yet, for centuries she has been speaking to readers in an intimate way without many of us realizing it. In THE JANE AUSTEN GUIDE TO LIFE, author Lori Smith decodes Austen's philosophy on life and love by combing through her novels and personal correspondence for lessons relevant for the modern woman. Is Jane Austen the relationship coach that we should all be learning from? Smith thinks so and has carefully selected key topics that we can contemplate and learn from such as: Living Your Dreams; Pursuing Passion; Marrying Well; Cherishing Family and Friends; Enduring the Hardest Things; and the final chapter Austen's Ethos. You might say this is a self-help book applying the principals and morals that Austen used in writing her fictional characters translated into the nonfiction world. In the introduction, Smith sums it up very nicely...

"This book mines Jane's life and her stories for the lessons she would teach us if she could. Thankfully, through her writing, she can and does speak today." p. xi

I never feel more like Lydia Bennet when someone recommends a self-help book to me. Remember in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE when Mr. Collins reads from FORDYCE'S SERMONS and she gaped in horror? I can totally relate. I deplore being preached to and am quite the skeptic.
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