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:
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:
- Be clever and a little awkward.
- Have a mother who is a complete embarrassment.
- Meet a man who is equally clever and awkward, ideally at a ball.
- 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.
- Go on a trip with some elderly spinsters.
- 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
- Find a spiky and practical woman, or a well-meaning but vaguely wet man, depending on your preference.
- Reluctantly become involved with an unpleasant situation – a murder, corporate corruption, or the end of the world.
- Fall grudgingly in love.
George Orwell’s Guide to Dating
- Pick a potential romantic partner based on the fact that they wear a belt.
- Find a creepy and suspicious character to host your romantic getaways. Be shocked when he betrays you.
- Remember that love conquers everything. Except rats. Rats conquer love.
Agatha Christie’s Guide to Dating
- Fall in love with an attractive stranger.
- Hand them over to the police, because they’re probably the killer.
George R. R. Martin’s Guide to Dating
- Have a sibling.
Yes, I know this is basically just Pride and Prejudice, not all Jane Austen. I have read her other books, honest.