Writers’ Guides to Dating

As I was walking past a charity shop on my way to the gym the other day (*virtuous face* *probably smeared with chocolate*), I noticed this book in the window display:

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I remember hearing a little bit about this book when it came out, but I hadn’t thought about it since. I love Jane Austen’s novels, and it seemed inevitable that someone would apply her narratives to real-life dating situations – but, as I looked in the shop window, I started wondering how a Jane Austen approach to dating would actually work.

I narrowed it down to the following steps:

  1. Be clever and a little awkward.
  2. Have a mother who is a complete embarrassment.
  3. Meet a man who is equally clever and awkward, ideally at a ball.
  4. Have a misunderstanding that involves the pair of you talking around your feelings and making acerbic comments at each other for a long period of time.
  5. Go on a trip with some elderly spinsters.
  6. Come back, have a proper conversation with your prickly paramour, and get married.*

I’m sure there’s more in this book than that, but it got me thinking – what dating advice can we glean from other famous authors?

 

Terry Pratchett’s Guide to Dating

  1. Find a spiky and practical woman, or a well-meaning but vaguely wet man, depending on your preference.
  2. Reluctantly become involved with an unpleasant situation – a murder, corporate corruption, or the end of the world.
  3. Fall grudgingly in love.

 

George Orwell’s Guide to Dating

  1. Pick a potential romantic partner based on the fact that they wear a belt.
  2. Find a creepy and suspicious character to host your romantic getaways. Be shocked when he betrays you.
  3. Remember that love conquers everything. Except rats. Rats conquer love.

 

Agatha Christie’s Guide to Dating

  1. Fall in love with an attractive stranger.
  2. Hand them over to the police, because they’re probably the killer.

 

George R. R. Martin’s Guide to Dating

  1. Have a sibling.

 

 

 

Yes, I know this is basically just Pride and Prejudice, not all Jane Austen. I have read her other books, honest.

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About Alice Nuttall

Alice Nuttall is a caffeine-guzzling knitter who divides her time between Oxford and the various worlds in her head. She is the author of a YA fantasy novel, Spider Circus, and three webcomics, Footloose, Cherry, and Black Market Magic, as well as several short stories.
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