Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship: The Secrets of Seduction from Jane Austen's Most Eligible Bachelor

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Overview

Inspired by the works of Jane Austen, the amusingly tongue-in-cheek Mr Darcy’s Guide to Courtship is written from the perspective of Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy and closely based on real Regency advice manuals. It is a hilarious and irreverent picture of the social mores of the period and of how men thought about women – and sheds amusing light on men of the modern age, too! Readers can dip into different sections for Darcy's views on a myriad of issues, including "What Females Want", "The Deceptions of ...

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Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship: The Secrets of Seduction from Jane Austen's Most Eligible Bachelor

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Overview

Inspired by the works of Jane Austen, the amusingly tongue-in-cheek Mr Darcy’s Guide to Courtship is written from the perspective of Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy and closely based on real Regency advice manuals. It is a hilarious and irreverent picture of the social mores of the period and of how men thought about women – and sheds amusing light on men of the modern age, too! Readers can dip into different sections for Darcy's views on a myriad of issues, including "What Females Want", "The Deceptions of Beautiful Women" and “Winning Their Affections, Flattery, Making Conversation, and Flirting!" Also included are sections written by Pride and Prejudice’s Miss Caroline Bingley and Mr Darcy’s correspondence with famous Regency figures including the Duke of Wellington.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An English historian invites readers into the byzantine and hilarious world of early-19th-century English romance in this faux dating—er, courtship—guide from the protagonist of Pride & Prejudice himself, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Though he offers very little in the way of advice that will be useful in today’s dating world, Darcy, “dictating” to Brand (The Georgian Bawdyhouse), reveals attitudes typical of his particular time and place through discussions on English stoicism, remarks about the “weaker feminine intellect,” and recommendations to pursue your cousins and eschew “dandyism.” In one of many subtle, funny anachronisms, Darcy invokes Jay-Z’s song “99 Problems,” claiming “while I am beset by nigh on one hundred grievances, a vexatious female need not be counted among them.” He advises potential suitors to “be tall” or, if this is impossible, “invest in a monstrous tall hat,” and, in typical Darcian bluntness, “ensure that you are not utterly disgusting to behold.” Other Austen characters make appearances as well. Emma Woodhouse pens “An Apology for Single Ladies,” Darcy mocks William Collins’s pickup lines, and Caroline Bingley suggests treating acne with mercury paste. Brand has done a delightful job recreating Darcy at his most cranky, aloof, and—yes—charming. (July)
From the Publisher
"Invites readers into the byzantine and hilarious world of early-19th-century English romance in this faux dating—er, courtship—guide from the protagonist of Pride & Prejudice himself, Fitzwilliam Darcy...Reveals attitudes typical of his particular time and place...many subtle, funny anachronisms...He advises potential suitors to “be tall” or, if this is impossible, “invest in a monstrous tall hat,” and, in typical Darcian bluntness, “ensure that you are not utterly disgusting to behold.” ...A delightful job recreating Darcy at his most cranky, aloof, and—yes—charming."—Publishers Weekly

"Pitch-perfect ability to capture the stodgy—and, of course, prideful and prejudiced—voice of one Mr. Darcy c. 1812 makes this tongue-in-cheek dating guide so utterly and delightfully amusing...This book is sure to have Austen/P&P/Darcy fans swooning."—The Book Page

"A delightful addition to your library...A seamless work. Some of the selections had me laughing out loud."—RegencyResearcher.com

"Downright hysterical...The things that Darcy would come up with are both exactly what I imagine he would say; just as condescending as ever...This is definitely a fun and quick read that will keep you laughing for a while. I heartily recommend it."—AustenProse.com

"Takes information from real advice manuals and cleverly dishes out the information in connection with a favorite Austen hero. I highly recommend this book!"—Jane Austen Society of North America/Central New Jersey Chapter

"Written in Mr. Darcy's characteristic blunt, tongue-in-cheek style from before Miss Elizabeth Bennet tempered his opinions, the book takes a lighthearted perspective on courtship and marriage, the practice of which Darcy considers perfectly abominable. The book catches Darcy's characteristic pride for himself and disdain for all things related to love and marriage, all in his usually offensive manner. The commentary is complete with the inclusion of several humorous caricatures and charts regarding the content. Fun read."—Deseret News

Top 5 Austen-inspired Nonfiction Book of the Year—Austenprose.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781908402592
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/23/2013
  • Series: Old House Projects Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 452,084
  • Product dimensions: 4.98 (w) x 7.16 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Emily Brand is a writer and historian with a special interest in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England. She has written widely on domestic and family life for a number of history and genealogy magazines and also wrote the hit 'Royal Weddings' and 'The Georgian Bawdyhouse' for Shire. She writes regularly for 'Jane Austen's Regency World', the go-to journal for Austen-lovers. The author lives in Oxford, UK.
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Read an Excerpt

Some believe that where the yearnings of the heart are concerned, we all have a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be. This is utter nonsense. In truth, you can have no better guide than this book, and I congratulate you for advancing your cause so unreservedly by your purchase of it.
 
Couples unable to boast any portion of sense between them are permitted to increase their felicity through marriage, but it is in the national interest that they refrain from breeding.
 
 
At every public appearance, all aspects of your person – your posture, the stateliness of your brow and the sweetness of your odour – will be laid under scrutiny. On occasion, one may even be subjected to positively lurid examinations of the cut of one’s breeches, and the shapeliness of one’s calves.
 
Whatever your rank or sex, I implore you to study this book well before disgusting any noble personage with the dubious pleasure of your acquaintance.
 
Immoderate laughter, wild gesticulation or running about the place is exceedingly unbecoming in a female and may be taken as a token of a disturbed mind.
 
It is a peculiarity of the sex that most females expect – with no small degree of solemnity, I assure you – that we should be able to read their minds.
 
While it is usually a promising sign if passing ladies routinely fall into swoons, it is advisable to verify that they do so because their senses have been overwhelmed by your remarkable allure, and not the potency of your body odour.

On falling in love with an inferior female –
Console yourself with the knowledge that the average life expectancy of peasant girls is little above five and twenty, and therefore your torment will not last long.

On rejection –
It is not good form to languish around in such violent paroxysms of self-pity that you live only to be an instrument of annoyance to the rest of the world. 
 
On engagement –
Once you are engaged, a lady’s thoughts will be occupied wholly with the nuptials, of parties at which you may broadcast your attachment, and methods by which she may vex other females with her own success.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
I: Romance in the Regency Era
II: Making Oneself Agreeable
III: Selecting a Wife
IV: Winning her Affections
V: The Proposal
Ask Darcy: Questions from Correspondents
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 17, 2013

    Scandalous! And extremely amusing. It almost makes me wish Aust

    Scandalous! And extremely amusing. It almost makes me wish Austen had delved more into Darcy's personality and that he'd been more like this.
    Make no mistake, he's an appalling individual, as Caroline Bingley would have said, "Sir, you are shocking!" And indeed, Mr Darcy makes no effort to hide his disdain for his inferiors (basically everyone who is not is sister), and all his ideas as to how to deal with the fairer sex (and his opinions on the fairer sex) are as deplorable as they are funny.

    Not to say that some of the advice isn't sound...

    "As the early season of courtship is crucial in determining the potential success of a match, time should not be wasted in sighing, fainting away, refusing food or breaking into song."

    "Though [love] manifests itself in heavy sighs and the composition of nauseating poetry rather than putrid boils and sweating fevers, I daresay the effect is no less offensive for observers."

    Mr Darcy's opinions on the female gender even arouse the anger of one Miss Emma Woodhouse, who writes to him (and whose letter is included).

    And one can see how is earlier courtship of Elizabeth was doomed to fail:

    "While giving gifts ensures success with a particular type of female – just as a dog will favour any man who gives it treats (...)

    Entirely Appropriate Presents:
    · Hints towards improving herself
    · Time in your presence"

    On the whole it was incredibly entertaining - and historically accurate, apart from some of Mr Darcy's more scandalous subjects (obviously inappropriate for fine society). And in the vast universe of Austen tie-ins and published fanfiction this was a decidedly excellent addition.

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  • Posted August 4, 2013

    Obviously written from the perspective of a pre-Elizabeth Bennet

    Obviously written from the perspective of a pre-Elizabeth Bennett Mr. Darcy, this volume instructs gentlemen, and, to a lesser extent, ladies on appropriate courtship behavior.  It was absolutely brilliant and hilarious from start to finish!  It was completely in keeping with Mr. Darcy's character.  I would love to see a sequel written from Mr. Darcy's perspective after having achieved his own matrimony.  The sections containing "contributions" from other Austen characters, as well as the "Ask Darcy" section at the end were very clever and amusing.  All in all, this was an amusing, short read for any Austen or Regency fan. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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