Aka, my favorite read of the week. A friend of mind grabbed this book for me at the library, and I might just pick up a copy for myself, because I really, really liked it.
Margaret Sullivan evaluates the complete work of Jane Austen, and mines it for information about the daily of the Georgian country gentry, supplemented by other material. Some of the information sounded more like a satire of Austen then like genuine reconstruction of the world of Austen. (The “how to indicate interest in a gentleman without seeming forward” chapter, especially, was entirely pulled from Pride and Prejudice, outlining the techniques used by Caroline Bingley to attract Fitzwilliam Darcy.) And as I’m not a big fan of satire as a genre, that bugged me a little.
Still, overall, it was a very informative and enjoyable read.