Wonderful to start my blog tour this morning with a post over at Laurel Ann’s lovely AustenProse blog, sharing the inspiration behind The Jane Austen Guide to Life, what I hope people will take from it, and how it’s been a gift to me. Laurel Ann is also giving away three copies of the book!
I’m thrilled I was able to write The Jane Austen Guide to Life, but I can’t fully take credit for the idea. A while back, an email unexpectedly popped up from an editor I hadn’t heard from in a while, one I’d always wanted to work with. She’d been thinking, she said, about a book that would combine a light biography of Jane Austen with practical “life lessons” for the modern reader, drawn from Austen’s life as well as her books. I thought for about fifteen seconds and concluded, “Yes! That book should be written!” And that was the beginning.
As normal as it seems to me to take advice from Austen—I’ve loved her writing for years, even followed her life through England for my last project, A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith (2007), —I thought it might seem strange to some. After all, Austen was an 19th-century spinster. She wasn’t terribly concerned about fashion, knew nothing about platform heels, and, if she’d had the chance, she very well might have married a first cousin (as was common practice back then). So what could she possibly teach our modern selves? (Read more…)