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Jane Austen For Dummies

Overview

Explains Austen's methods, motivations, and morals

The fun and easy way(r) 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 ...

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Jane Austen For Dummies

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Overview

Explains Austen's methods, motivations, and morals

The fun and easy way(r) 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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you begin this book as dummy, you won’t be one when you finish." (Financial Times, Sat 7th July)
Library Journal
Ray (English, Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs) adds to the Dummies series with this witty and informative guide to all that is Jane Austen. The author presents Austen's biographical details and creates a historical context for her works. A great deal of information is given in brief, creating a broad-stroke view of Austen's world that will be accessible to a wide-ranging audience, from nonreaders to curious Janeites. Ray, the third-term president of the Jane Austen Society of North America, uses a casual, almost conversational writing style (as do many titles in the series) in her admirable attempt to entertain while informing. The work is organized into five parts (e.g., "Living Life in Jane's World"), but they don't have to be read in sequence. Ray wants readers to move easily through the book and find information as they need it, which for the most part they can do. The only criticism is that basic information is repeated a bit in the later chapters. The text is rounded out by an Austen chronology and several indexes (general, character, and quotation). Bottom Line Perhaps not an essential purchase for every collection but a pleasure to read nonetheless, this light and engaging book makes one look forward to reading Austen again. Recommended for public libraries.-Paolina Taglienti, Las Vegas Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470008294
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/31/2006
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 526,992
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Klingel Ray, PhD, is an English professor at the University of Colorado. She has written articles for numerous magazines and appeared on the A&E biography of Jane Austen.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

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

Chapter 1: Introducing Jane Austen.

Chapter 2: Visiting Jane Austen’s Georgian World.

Chapter 3: Being Jane Austen (1775–1817).

Chapter 4: Inspiring the Aspiring Novelist.

Part II: Austen Observes Ladies and Gentlemen.

Chapter 5: Practicing the Politics of Dancing.

Chapter 6: Playing the Dating Game: Courtship, Austen Style.

Chapter 7: Marrying: A Serious Business for Jane Austen and Her Characters.

Chapter 8: Wily Females and Seductive Males.

Part III: Living Life in Jane’s World.

Chapter 9: Looking at Ladies’ Limited Rights and Roles.

Chapter 10: Being a Man in a Man’s World.

Chapter 11: Experiencing Life at Home in Austen’s Day.

Chapter 12: Minding Your Manners.

Chapter 13: Following Religion and Morality for Jane Austen and Her Times.

Part IV: Enjoying Austen and Her Influence Today.

Chapter 14: Reading Jane Austen.

Chapter 15: Bringing Austen Novels to Stage, Screen, and Television.

Chapter 16: Determining Austen’s Literary Descendents.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 17: Ten Most Memorable Austen Characters.

Chapter 18: Ten Best Austen-Related Books (Besides This One!).

Chapter 19: Ten Best Austen Places to Visit.

Chapter 20: Ten Best Austenisms (and What They Mean).

Appendix: Jane Austen Chronology.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great resource for seasoned Janeites and newbies alike!

    "...Seriously, this book is a treasure and a truly wonderful resource - it doesn't matter if you are a long-time Janeite or if you are newly interested in the novels after having seen film adaptations, or if you just want to find out more because you were assigned one of Austen's novels for a class. I promise you will get something out of this book. As an aside, I do much of my reading outside of my home - in between classes, in waiting rooms while running errands, etc - and I have never gotten more comments from people about a book I was reading than when I was reading Jane Austen for Dummies. People in the halls on campus, people in my classes, professors, my dermatologist...there is just something about Jane, I guess, that really does speak to everyone..." For full review, please visit me (Les Livres) on Blogger! jaimeliredeslivres dot blogspot dot com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    Jane Austen for All

    A highly recommended book both for readers who are discovering Austen¿s novels for the first time and for those of us who have read them many times¿as well as for readers who are somewhere in-between these two categories! The author, Joan Klingel Ray, is a respected and popular English professor and is also a three-term former president of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Ray has delighted and instructed students and many other audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada with her lectures on Austen¿s works. She has written Jane Austen for Dummies in a light-hearted and lively style, but her entertaining volume is based on extensive knowledge and scholarship. Fans of film versions of Austen¿s novels would also enjoy Ray¿s book. For all of us, it adds to our understanding of Jane Austen¿s life and times and her wonderful books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2007

    A Must-Read for Austen Fans

    Jane Austen for Dummies is a tribute to that marvelous author and a must-read for any Austen fan, new or seasoned. Joan Klingel Ray's writing is crisp, clear and humorous, and often as page-turning as the subject's works themselves. Jane Austen, the woman, the writer and the wit comes to life and we are treated to an inside look at the culture and times that shaped her. No matter how many of JA's books you have read, and no matter how many times you've read them, Jane Austen for Dummies will contribute to your pleasure and your understanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2007

    A great reference for ALL of Austen's Novels!

    Compared to the other books designed to help you understand ONE Austen novel, this one, by an established Austenscholar, is understandable, humorous, non-stodgy, and complete and helps with ALL of Austen's novels. A+++++++ to Professor Ray!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    Jane Austen for Dummies is a perfect addition to the library of any Janeite. In many ways, it offers a cultural history of the Georgian/Regency period, allowing a firm grounding for a more complete enjoyment and appreciation of Austen's works. The author, a college professor, shows her love of learning and teaching -- it is an approachable, easy-to-read book for all fans of Austen, whether new or old.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2007

    Becoming a Regency Reader

    Ever wonder how much of the story or the 'joke' you are missing out on in a Jane Austen novel? Professor Joan Klingel Ray's 'Jane Austen for Dummies' will give you every advantage that a Regency reader would have had when they first read Jane Austen's works. Dr. Ray clearly and concisely explains the nuances of life in Jane Austen's time and allows the modern reader to enjoy the novels even more. Well done!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2006

    A Reference for Everyone

    There is so much useful and interesting information for every reader of Jane Austen's novels. It is also presented in the most entertaining way, so that reading this is a pleasure, as well as an education.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2006

    This Book Rocks!

    Professor Ray's Jane Austen for Dummies book is by far the best of the series. It is the most upbeat and clear cut. This is one professor (perhaps the only one in existence) that actually tells you what you need to know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2006

    Great for Janites and Non-Janites Alike

    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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    Posted August 19, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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