‘Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.’ – Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas is a smart, sassy look at modern work, domestic, and romantic dilemmas, answered not by Jane Austen herself, but using her clear-eyed, witty, unsentimental view of life, love, and money with quotations from her books, letters, and unpublished writing as back-up. Rebecca Smith took suggestions for dilemmas from her family, friends and students and found that they could all be answered with advice from Jane Austen. This book has the answers to questions like

“How do I get my layabout, sponging brother to move out?”

“When should I tell my parents about my debts?”

“How do I say goodbye to a fair-weather friend?”

“Heels or flats?”

“What’s the best way to introduce my new boyfriend to my huge and nosy family?”

‘This advice book is organized quite logically into 6 major topics: love & relationships; friends & family; work & career; fashion & style, home & garden; and leisure & travel…Miss Smith combines a mixture of modern common sense, which the iPad on the book’s cover illustrates, with old-fashioned common sense. To address the question: “To tattoo or not to tattoo?”, the author used Elinor Dashwood, who knew “that the wishes of parents and children are unlikely to coincide: “The old well established grievance of duty against will, parent against child, was the cause of all.” In other words, don’t be in a hurry to get a tattoo. Jane Austen would have said: “I consider it … one of the sweet taxes of youth to choose in a hurry and make bad bargains.’
– Jane Austen’s World

Rebecca Smith writer, author, novelist, Jane Austen, UK
Rebecca Smith writer, author, novelist, Jane Austen, UK

Illustration by Sarah J Coleman