Amy's Reviews > A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter

A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz
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's review
Sep 29, 2011

liked it

I heard an interview with the author on NPR and was pretty impressed with what he had to say. He gave a commencement address at West Point titled "Solitude and Leadership" that I looked up after the interview (and I loved!), so I was excited to read his new book. Basically he takes each of the Jane Austen novels and dissects the lessons he learned from each while narrating his own life experiences (mainly from graduate school) that applied to this "Jane Austen education". It sounds like he was pretty skeptical of Austen before studying her, thinking she just wrote light chic lit rather than anything important, and he was delighted to realize how truly brilliant she was and how applicable her lessons are to everyday life.

The only real negative I felt about the book was that after several chapters, I thought he was kind of knocking the rich, and I'm not a fan of labeling entire groups of people. However, I know his context is coming from the east coast where there is more social ranking and elitism than I feel on the west coast, so perhaps I shouldn't judge too harshly.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, especially the first few sections.

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