Jane Austen's Guide to Happily Ever After
Beliefnet blogger Gayle Trotter caught up with author Elizabeth Kantor on her new book highlighting lessons of love by the timeless Jane Austen.
BY: Gayle Trotter
EK: Church is a great place to find a guy and has been for a long time. In the last chapter of The Jane Austen Guide I look at, okay, if you want to be a Jane Austen heroine in the modern world, how could you organize your social life because we don’t have those wonderful Regency balls like where Elizabeth met Darcy? And I think on one end that classic thing that you’re going to meet good guys at church youth group or whatever —the Christian singles group — than you’re going to meet at the karaoke bar. But at the other end of things I think people could also look at things like Match.com and internet dating, and you can put some prudent, rational effort into the project. The problem with a lot of venues for meeting guys today is it’s very difficult to express any interest in a guy without becoming kind of instantly intimate with him. If you meet guys at the kind of parties where the way the guy knows you’re interested in him is that you kiss him at the party, then you’re skipping over all that space that Jane Austen’s heroines had to get to know a guy without getting so close that they lose their perspective.
GT: You share some of your personal dating and relationship history in the book. Which Jane Austen heroine are you most like and why?
EK: Oh, wow. I have never really thought about that one before. I guess personality-wise, everybody thinks they’re Lizzie Bennet, right? In the kind of verbal-social way, I feel like I’ve got more her style. On the other hand, when I was a teenager I was intense, like Marianne Dashwood. Just out there looking for intense — I was definitely caught up in not quite the same Romantic fantasies that she has of her life, but caught up in that, “Pay no attention to convention. Go for intense experiences.” I think we can all see different pieces of ourselves in the different Jane Austen heroines, and we can learn from all the books.