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The Jane Austen Rules: A Classic Guide to Modern Love

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  52 reviews
What Would Jane Do?

What’s a strong, independent-minded woman supposed to do in a world of insipid dating guides? Sinéad Murphy responds by asking: Who has more time-tested secrets than Jane Austen, whose novels continue to captivate us almost two hundred years later?

Whether you can recite paragraphs from Pride and Prejudice or just admired Colin Firth in his wet shirt, the
Paperback, 132 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Melville House (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.32  · 
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 ·  226 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
When author Sinead Murphy chose to title her guide to modern dating The Jane Austen Rules it was guaranteed to generate a certain amount of controversy. In the mid-1990s, a dating guide titled The Rules became famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for imparting to women “a myriad of tricks and schemes” (p.14) for finding Mr. Right.

Does Murphy seek to replace one set of arbitrary opinions with another, using Jane Austen’s name as a marketing ploy? Happily Ms. Murphy has not taken
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I can't...I'm not even sure how to begin with this. I was SO looking forward to it because quite frankly I'm more old fashioned then current fashioned when it comes to my life expectations. Unfortunately the author seemed obsessed with comparing this book to a currently popular self-help guide series called "The Rules". I'm not sure if I was missing context (and this was meant to be a comparative book in that way), but it made the author come off as more bitchy/catty then helpful.

And while this
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Well, there are some good lessons about love and money and life in Austen's fiction but DID NO ONE PROOF READ THIS? Come on, Fanny Harville was Benwick's FIANCEE. You've completely lost all credibility. I shall smack you now.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Quick, cute read. The over-enthusiastic punctuation was annoying, but this was an ARC, so hopefully the punctuation is fixed in the final copy.

I liked the homage to Jane Austen and the surprisingly in-depth analysis of love, romance and relationships in Austen's works.

Not a bad book. Not overly amazing, but worth a read through.
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! I loved absolutely every word! This advice is the real stuff!
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: austen-mr-darcy
Meh. I was hoping this would be a light, fun read, but instead it was more academic, philosophical and to be honest, boring.
Laura Harker
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it

Oh so THAT'S why I'm not married to Colin Firth.
Galina Krasskova
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm not much for dating guides but I"ll read anything pertaining to Jane Austen. This was well written and rather clever - a quick and enjoyable read.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fluff
I picked this off the local library's new books shelf as a lark. One of my deep dark secrets: I'm not even much of a Jane Austen fan, though I like a good Emma Thompson movie. I'm definitely not the target audience in several ways, but it was actually an entertaining read with more substance than I expected - mainly because, unlike the neurosis-enducing tones of a lot of dating advice for women, it essentially advises women to have substance, be mature, be witty, and be proactive. It doesn't giv ...more
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads program.

So full disclosure I didn't read the blurb very well when entering and missed the it's a dating guide bit. I saw Jane Austen and rules and was thinking it was a book about Regency culture. That said it was what I expected crossed with The Rules or some such. It was entertaining light little book somewhat serious somewhat tongue in cheek. I very much enjoyed Sinead Murphy's writing style. The overall lesson is that Jane Austen's novels
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
A quick fun read that was enjoyably Austen.
Melissa Matthewson
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
It's an interesting concept for a book. You have to really like Jane Austen novels to enjoy it. Book review to come at Numero Cinq in October.
A book affair
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I picked that book on a whim while visiting a Brick Lane bookshop, intrigued and amused by its title.
I saw interesting premises : looking at love in Jane Austen's novels to apply it to today's feminism.

I never quite understood how Jane Austen has turned into that sort of romantic figure. She sure deals with the matters of love, but in no romantic ways. And I have always felt that the real spice of her novels are her observations of people around her. I actually look at her as some sort of pre-f
Paige Erin
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
I bought this because I was in England and it looked nice.

It's terrible. Heteronormative, relies on outdated gender stereotypes, and generally doesn't really add anything at all to the empowerment of its demographic audience. I highly doubt Jane Austen would approve, and I don't either.
Rebecca Jordan
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
"You see, not everything worth knowing is to be found between the covers of books; and not everything worth listening to is to be heard from the mouths of those who read them."
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a fun quick read, nothing earth shattering. It's basically making fun of "All the Rules," the dating book that came out a while ago, and guessing what Jane Austen would think of it. It's mostly tongue in cheek although sometimes the author makes assumptions or stretches things a little too far. I did appreciate the author's knowledge of Austen. Harmless, kinda fun.
Leila Mota
May 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
"the do little in the end to sweeten the man for whom you must always play mother."

I was expecting something else from this book. Maybe I shouldn't have from the title. Maybe I could even change my rating to "it's ok". But I can't, because even if it can be literally read as a guide to catch a man, I can't agree with its conclusions about Mrs. Bennett's role in Jane Austen's view. It's too different from mine.
The author says that women should listen to people like Mrs Bennett (mothers, aunts, ne
Oct 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: firstreads-etc
This book was provided to me through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to Sinead Murphy, the publisher, and Goodreads for giving me the opportunity to read it. This is my honest review. No compensation was given.

I was so excited when I saw that I had won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It looked so promising. I thought this would be a fun, light read that would discuss Jane Austen and her works and maybe actually have some useful dating tips thrown in. Unfortunately, I found this read more fru
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jane-austen
The cover quote..."A delightful mash-up of Jane Austen and The Rules, this modern guide to romance is pure stout-hearted charm.' -Amy Dickinson, 'Ask Amy' advice columnist and NPR contributor.

I saw this book on the new book section of a local library I use. I decided to take it out on a whim. I must admit I wasn't expecting much...I thought it would be the Rules adapted to Jane Austen. ***Rolls eyes***
I remember a debate about The Rules at a year's eve weekend between "Mr. Elliot"(computer comp
Alex Schnee
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Review of the ARC.

I loved the concept of this little book, but I agree with some of the problems that other reviewers might have had with it. I think it's completely plausible to equate some of Jane Austen's dating "rules" to modern society, I just think the execution was a little off.

What bothered me the most was I was under the impression that the author was a feminist, but she is staunchly against using "girlfriends" for romantic feedback or being "too independent"--that might attract the wro
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
At less than 150 pages, The Jane Austen Rules was an obviously quick read. Each chapter was devoted to a different dating tactic replete with specific references to passages in each of Austen's novels. The author spent a great deal of time criticizing the dating guidebook, The Rules, I've never read The Rules, but I found the comparison unnecessary to advance the ideals here. A stronger approach would have been to just describe dating tips using Jane Austen's novels as the background. The author ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jane-austen, 2015
Not that it's necessary to have read all six of Jane Austen's books, since the author explains her textual examples, but it certainly did help to know the context of her examples from within Jane Austen's novels. A plus was the length of the chapter rules, they were on the short side, clear and concise to each chapter's thesis.

Rule 8 (Prove It) and Rule 9 (Don't Just Sit There, Do Something) are my favorite chapters of the book. They go hand in hand, since in order to find proof of love from you
Devyn Duffy
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like Jane Austen and/or good advice
Recommended to Devyn by: saw it at the library
I see that many reviewers disliked The Jane Austen Rules, but I found it to be a charming, quick read. In short, the author, Sinead Murphy, likes Jane Austen and dislikes The Rules, the dating advice book that Murphy implies advises women to seek relationships with men by deceiving them.

Murphy's "Jane Austen Rules" boil down to one principle: to be happy with another person, you should be an adult rather than an adolescent. (Rule 1: "Be a Woman, Not a Girl"--and yes, the book is filled with sty
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I received the an ARC of this book and was really looking forward to reading it and I was somewhat disappointed. As another reviewer mentioned the author compares Jane Austen's rules for love with another book entitled The Rules but I was never sure if this was an actual book or used to represent modern books that give rules for various things including dating and romance. In any case this made it hard for me to get into the book but once I did I enjoyed it without loving it. The author did a ni ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it
What would Jane do?
I mostly bought this book because it was at a great reduction price (from £15 to just £3) and I thought it looked interesting. I did not really have any expectation of it other than a bit of entertainment and I surely did not intend for it to be a self-help book (that I would put to any use!) as it states on the back that it is. I have read it now, soothed my interest and it was fine. The thing I loved the most though was definitely the caption on the back saying "What would
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this more than I thought I would! It was very insightful about relationships and its advice was not hackneyed like most "love guides." I don't know if I would really even call this book a "guide to love," Murphy is not trying to teach you how to "catch a man" or something inane like that. Murphy simply makes the argument that the reason people still love Jane Austen today is because Austen's books are spot-on about relationships, and therefore we have a thing or two to learn about relati ...more
Practical, sane, smart advice with examples both of the wisdom of following it and of the pitfalls of going some other way from the novels of the inimitable Jane Austen.
Has both convinced me that I have been going about relationships mostly the right way, that I have room to improve and that I really must finish Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion.

Recommended for both solid advice and for those who want a quick Jane Austen fix.
Jessica Oban
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans, feminists
A great twist on your average dating advice book. Not only does it give great advice, it's a testament to the feminism power that is Jane Austen. Most think that Jane Austen=suppressed ladies, however Sinead Murphy uses Austen's texts to compare awesome women and their awesome actions to the antagonistic women and what they think the heroines should be doing.
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I wasn't really looking for a self help book when I picked this up instead, I was curious as always to see what someone had incorporated Austen in this time. This was lighthearted, funny and a treat for any Austen fan who also likes nonfiction. If someone were looking or a story then they might find this a bit boring but I found it entertaining. I suppose that the advice included might not be so bad either.
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“But she is right, at least in this: Looking to promote oneself at the expense of other women, setting oneself up as a creature unlike any other, is paltry device, and one that has kept us women 'in our place' for as much of time as history can recall.” 1 likes
“You see, not everything worth knowing is to be found between the covers of books; and not everything worth listening to is to be heard from the mouths of those who read them. On the contrary, there is a kind of knowledge that is to be had only by virtue of the 'chatter' and 'gossip' at which Mrs Bennet and Mrs Jennings are so adept.” 1 likes
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