The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After

The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After

by Elizabeth Kantor


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Have you stopped believing in happily ever after?

Women today are settling for less than we want when it comes to men, relationships, sex, and marriage. But we don’t have to, argues Elizabeth Kantor. Jane Austen can show us how to find the love we really want.

In The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, Kantor reveals how the examples of Jane Austen heroines such as Elizabeth Bennett, Elinor Dashwood, and Anne Elliot can help us navigate the modern-day minefields of dating, love, relationships, and sex. By following in their footsteps—and steering clear of the sad endings suffered by characters such as Maria Bertram and Charlotte Lucas—modern women can discover the path to lifelong love and true happiness.

Charged with honesty and humor, Kantor's book includes testimonies from modern women, pop culture parallels, the author's personal experiences and, of course, a thorough examination of Austen's beloved novels.

Featuring characters and situations from all of Jane Austen’s books (including unfinished novels, and stories not published in her lifetime), The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After tackles the dating and relationship dilemmas that we face today, and equips modern women to approach our love lives with fresh insights distilled from the novels:

  • Don’t be a tragic heroine
  • Pursue Elizabeth Bennet’s “rational happiness” —learn what it is, and how you can find it
  • Don’t let cynicism steal your happy ending
  • Why it’s a mistake to look for your “soul mate”
  • Jane Austen’s skeleton keys to a man’s potential
  • How you should deal with men who are “afraid of commitment” (from Jane Austen’s eight case studies)
  • Learn how to arrange your own marriage—by falling in love the Jane Austen way

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596988057
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Pages: 361
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Kantor is author of The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to English and American Literature and an editor for Regnery Publishing. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in philosophy from Catholic University of America. Kantor has taught English literature and written for publications ranging from National Review Online to the Boston Globe. An avid Jane Austen fan, she is happily married and lives with her husband and son in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Do Women Really Want from Jane Austen? ix

Chapter 1 In Love, Look for Happiness 1

Chapter 2 Don't Fall for a False Idea of Love 17

Chapter 3 Don't Be a Tragic Heroine 37

Chapter 4 Don't Let Cynicism Steal Your Happy Ending 53

Chapter 5 Do Take Love Seriously 65

Chapter 6 "Rational Happiness" 79

Chapter 7 Work on All Your Relationships 91

Chapter 8 "Right Conduct," "Self-Knowledge," and "Delicacy towards the Feelings of Other People" 103

Chapter 9 Friendship, the School of Love 115

Chapter 10 Don't Find Your Soul Mate 125

Chapter 11 Jane Austen's Skeleton Keys to a Man's Potential 139

Chapter 12 "He Had No Intentions at All" 159

Chapter 13 Are We the Weaker Sex, after All? 171

Chapter 14 Men Who Are "Afraid of Commitment" 191

Chapter Fiftteen The Real, Original "Rules" 213

Chapter 16 Arrange Your Own Marriage-in the Most Pleasant Manner Possible 235

Appendix: "The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After"-Really? 253

Acknowledgments 267

Notes 269

Index 351

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The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
BethanyKanter More than 1 year ago
I loved reading Elizabeth Kantor's The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After. As a woman in my early twenties, I found the contents of this book particularly helpful. However, this would be a good read for nearly anyone because it focuses on something universal: relationships. Mrs. Kantor pulls from Jane Austen's novels, using the heroines, rakes, and situations as examples. After reading this, I was struck with how similar my struggles are to those in her novels. (Ch. 14, anyone?) The advice is surprisingly realistic, leaving me with the sense that maintaining high standards and self respect are key to truly good relationships. I LOVED the Tip Just For Janeites feature sprinkled throughout the book.
WindyPoplars More than 1 year ago
this, I was struck with how similar my struggles are to those in her novels. (Ch. 14, anyone?) The advice is surprisingly realistic, leaving me with the sense that maintaining high standards and self respect are key to truly good relationships. I LOVED the Tip Just For Janeites feature sprinkled throughout the book.
Laurel_Ann More than 1 year ago
How many Wickhams, Willoughbys or Mr. Collins’ have you met before a Captain Wentworth, Mr. Knightley, or (miracle of miracles) Mr. Darcy landed on your doorstep? For the benefit of those who may not know who those gentlemen are, they are male characters in Jane Austen novels. They teach her heroines important life lessons about romance and love, and if one is paying attention, one can glean more than just the experience of reading a masterpiece of literature. Not only is Jane Austen a brilliant writer, she is a great life coach too. We have long harbored the belief that everything you need to know about life and love is right there among the pages of Austen’s six major works. So does author Elizabeth Kantor. Her new relationship book, The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, will explain it all in an insightful and entertaining way. Even this grizzled Janeite learned more than a thing or two. The book is broken down into sixteen pert chapters, like: What Do Women Really Want from Jane Austen?; Don’t be a Tragic Heroine; Jane Austen’s Skeleton Keys to a Man’s Potential; or Arrange Your Own Marriage in the Most Pleasant Manner Possible. There’s even a fifteen page appendix questioning if Jane Austen novels are just entertainment or did she really intended to give us relationship advice – and eighty-four pages of numbered notes citing every source used on every page. Yes, gentle readers. Kantor has researched the heck out of this subject and it shows. There is just so much to delight in this book that one barely knows where to begin praising it. Besides the friendly and accessible voice by its benevolent authoress, we just love the helpful format. Kantor has a lot to say in each of the chapters, but the density is broken up with insightful “Tips for Janeites” text boxes, subheadings categorizing subjects within the chapters, and a chapter summary at the end featuring three highlights: Adopt a Jane Austen Attitude; What Would Jane Austen Do?; and If We Really Want to Bring Back Jane Austen. In between there is a wealth of relationship knowledge, helpful advice, and a whole lot of fun. Connecting Jane Austen’s characters, plots and shrewd observations of human nature is just what our often befuddled twenty-first century relationship sensibilities need. Our favorite part was chapter twelve: “He Had No Intensions At All” How to Recognize Men Who Are “Just Not That into You.” Wow! We wish we had this book in our teens. *queue to every mom, aunt, or friend to buy The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After for a loved one* We had the honor of being one of the first to read an advanced copy and were immediately smitten. It was no hardship to offer this blurb for the back of the book: “Influenced by the master of love and romance, Elizabeth Kantor’s wise, witty, and insightful book should be added to Mr. Darcy’s reading list for any truly accomplished woman. It will transform you into the heroine of your own life.” Now…off to re-read the important bits, again. Laurel Ann, Austenprose
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is any jane austen fans go to book it is so funny and I have read this book more times then I care to say
Verity_K More than 1 year ago
I read Jane Austen in my twenties, but I didn't appreciate her until my thirties. Now, in my forties, I am beginning to truly understand her genius. The truth is, I acted like Lydia, and I got Mr. Collins!! I highly recommend this book for anyone dating or anyone trying to figure out why the "Sex and the City" approach to relationships doesn't work!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really got so much out of this book. It has very useful, practical advice that every woman could use. I wish i could have read this book ten years ago and saved myself a lot of heartache. This book is for Jane Austen lovers who long for the types of relationships we read about in her books. Mrs. Kantor painstakingly combs through all the Jane Austen novels to provide examples and situations for us to study, examine, learn from, and use as guides. I felt like i am armed with many tools now and feel confident i could navigate a relationship better. I believe now in the beauty of love and don't feel jaded and disallusioned like i used too, also. Awesome, highly recommend. Mothers should give this to their daughters before they start dating, it would be great to not have to learn things the hard way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book boring, poorly written, and I didn't bother to finish it after the first three chapters.