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Jane Austen For Dummies by [Ray, Joan Elizabeth Klingel]
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Jane Austen For Dummies Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Length: 388 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you begin this book as dummy, you won’t be one when you finish." (Financial Times, Sat 7th July)

From the Back Cover

Explains Austen's methods, motivations, and morals

The fun and easy way® to understand and enjoy Jane Austen

Want to know more about Jane Austen? This friendly guide gives the scoop on her life, works, and lasting impact on our culture. It chronicles the events of her brief life, examines each of her novels, and looks at why her stories — of women and marriage, class and money, scandal and hypocrisy, emotion and satire — still have meaning for us today.

Discover

  • Why Austen is so popular
  • The impact on manners, courtships, and dating
  • Love and life in Austen's world
  • Her life and key influences
  • Her most memorable characters

Product Details

  • File Size: 2171 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (March 3, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 3, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004RDOPJ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I hate the name of this series, but this volume by Joan Klingel Ray, president of the Jane Austen Society of North America is a terrific, clear, concise, and inviting set of explanations for all of those questions that newer readers of Austen have about her world: Why doesn't Elizabeth Bennet just get a job? Why will Mrs. Bennet have to leave Longbourn if Mr. Bennet dies? How rich IS Darcy?

Plus, because Ray's learning is so deep, the chapter on manners, for instance, is framed not by vague ideas of "well, we all want to behave nicely, don't we?" but by Castiglione and the translations of it into Latin and English. This kind of learning is in evidence in every chapter.

I've been reading Austen since I was 13--more than 35 years--and I find new information in this volume. Plus, it's fun to read sections and see just how much I already knew.

For instance, do you know how to navigate via the Tube and trains to the Austen sites in the countryside? I didn't. Dr. Ray tells all.

I do love a clear explanation!

Pamela Regis, Professor of English

McDaniel College

Westminster, MD
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Format: Paperback
You may be surprised to learn how much you don't know about Jane Austen.

Glance over the Table of Contents of Jane Austen for Dummies and you

can't help but envy Professor Joan Klingel Ray's students. She manages to

present in an informative and very entertaining manner Jane Austen's

life, works, literary predecessors, legacy, and so much more. This book

is for everyone who reads Jane Austen - and for those who don't. Think

Jane Austen is only for ladies who sip tea? Think Jane Austen favored the

aristocracy? Think Jane Austen lived a sad, lonely life and never

traveled? Read this book and discover the truth of the matter. You can

buy countless books about Jane Austen and spend the next decade or so

reading them, or you can get just this one.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be really a great read. It is a good, solid, reference book. There is so much about Jane Austen that is known but this is one place where you can get a lot of information in one place. For non-Janites it is a great introduction to some of the things about Jane. All in all I would recommend this to everyone Janites and non-Janites. You will enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
When Shakespeare wrote "Much Ado About Nothing" his audiences were well aware that the word "nothing" was Elizabethan slang for female genitalia. Like Shakespears' audiences Jane Austen's Regency readers had a decided advantage over modern readers in that they would have understood the political and class dimensions of her characterizations and plots. Why did Jane Austen send Lydia and Wickham to Brighton instead of to Weymouth? Professor Joan Klingel Ray's amazing "Jane Austen for Dummies" answers this question and many more, and in so doing gives us the information to enjoy the novels like we were Regency readers. With humor and wit Professor Ray explains the nuances of daily life in Jane Austen's time that help us to appreciate even more this extraordinary novelist's command of the written word.
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Format: Paperback
Jane Austen for Dummies is a delightful and helpful companion volume both for readers (and movie-goers) who are new to Austen and for those of us who read her six wonderful novels again and again! Joan Klingel Ray, who teaches university-level Austen courses and who, as former president of JASNA*, has given many well-received lectures on Austen throughout the U.S. and Canada, is the perfect guide to lead us through the world of Austen and her novels. Written in an entertaining style but based on her extensive knowledge and scholarship, Ray's book gives us context and a richer understanding of Austen's life and writings. Do you want to know about the "rules" of flirting, courtship, and marriage in Austen's day? The often precarious position of gentlewomen? The significance of primogeniture and entail? Or, for today's readers planning a literary pilgrimage--which sites associated with Austen can be visited? And how to get there? You'll find lots of information and pleasure within the covers of this book. Highly recommended for individual purchasers/readers and for library collections!! (*JASNA is the Jane Austen Society of North America.)
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Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book. I was worried that a book "For Dummies" might be too basic but I learned that the "for dummies" applies to the easy-to-understand style of writing rather than a low level of scholarship. The author, Joan Ray, is an internationally recognized Austen scholar who has done a marvelous job of placing Jane's work in context. I did not understand, from a 21st century viewpoint, many aspects of the novels but this book shows they made perfect sense in Janes's time considering the then current customs, social mores, economy etc. I recommend the book unhestitatingly!
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Format: Paperback
The art on the cover is a perfect depiction of what this book is about. Joan Ray explores in depth the cultural background of Jane Austen's era. She picks a topic such as How a Gentleman Courts a Young Gentlewoman, gives historical information, and then cites examples of good and bad behavior from Austen's novels.

For a reader new to Austen there can be a bit of an overload of names. The cast of characters becomes a blur of Bennets and Bingleys, Catherines and Crawfords, Dashwoods and Darcys. Luckily the format of the books allows you to jump around from topic to topic and cherry pick what interests you.

For copies of the actual novels I like the Oxford World's Classics paperbacks. They have a new, clean typesetting, and each book has an introductory essay that gives background and analysis focused more specifically toward the story at hand.
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