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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lessons Learned... | Guest Post from Danya!

Guest post #2 today comes from Danya of A Tapestry of Words — and though I don't want to repeat myself all day... I'm totally gonna repeat myself. Like Kai, Danya has been 'round these parts before (and always brings something awesome to the table), and like Maria, you'll be seeing her again...

Today she's telling us about some lessons to be gleaned from Austen novels, and she totally gets bonus points for using pictures of Rupert Friend in his Wickham-in-Regimentals- costume... =D

For the Fairy Tale Fortnight event a couple years ago, I wrote up a blog post on what sorts of life lessons we can draw from fairy tales. Well, it turns out, I didn't learn absolutely everything I know about life from fairy tales. But thankfully, those gaps in knowledge were filled in by none other than Jane Austen's novels. For instance, I learned that...

  • Officers in uniform look positively dashing…but don’t go dashing off after them! Learn from the example of the wretched Lydia, and stay home instead.
Just *too* good to be true.
  • Unless you are very confident in your musical abilities, do not volunteer (or allow yourself to be persuaded) to play and sing in front of everyone. It will only lead to humiliation for you and awkwardness for everyone else, especially when you are shown up a few minutes later by the musical prowess of Jane Fairfax. (Not to mention, Mrs. Elton’s friends all think she has quite the talent…and Miss de Bourgh certainly would be able to play divinely if she had learned.)
  • A little imagination is a good thing, but don’t let yours run away with you. Implying to your crush that you believe his dad killed his mom will not get you into his good graces.
Too many novels??? Say it isn't so! (pic source)
  • Trust only your closest confidante — most likely your sister — with your deepest secrets. Anyone else will just spill the beans, and once Mrs. Jennings finds out, the whole world will know within half an hour. 
Looking gossipy the way only Mrs. Jennings can.
  • Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your smarts in front of guys. More
    likely than not, a little witty banter will just increase their
    interest (not to mention you’ll have more opportunity to show off your
    fine eyes.) 
  • If you’re sure of your heart, hold true to it. Otherwise, you could wait many years for the love of your life to return, only to discover his rank and wealth have risen but his opinion of you…has not.
    Captain Wentworth is not impressed.
  • Eloping to Gretna Green is not romantic, it’s just insensitive to your entire family. Do the sensible thing: have a lengthy courtship where you get to know each other, then plan a proper wedding.
  • Don’t let a little age gap scare you off your romance of choice. After all, older men are more experienced…
...especially when they're played by Alan Rickman.
  • Be open to giving others a second chance. Snap judgments rarely reflect actual reality, and sometimes people really do change.
  • Good intentions aside, sticking your nose in other people’s business rarely turns out well. More likely than not, it just means there are a whole lot of tangles in your own life that you’re stubbornly ignoring.
This means YOU, Emma. (Anyone else a fan of Emma Approved?)
  • Do not carelessly fling yourself from seawalls and hope that your flirt-of-the-day is there to catch you. It will doubtless go awry.
        This means YOU, Louisa. (gif source)
  • Feel like your guy is harbouring a deep, dark secret? Chances are you’re right. He’s probably either a) secretly engaged already to another woman, b) responsible for impregnating a young woman and then abandoning her, or c) in gambling debt up to his earlobes. Get out while you still can.
  • If you really strongly dislike someone…throw a party for them! Hey, it worked for Emma.
Everyone always wants to throw parties for Mrs. Elton...
  • And lastly… a book always offers up a good conversation-starter, be it The Mysteries of Udolpho or Fordyce’s Sermons. Not to mention you’ll add to the improvement of your mind by extensive reading! ;)
What life lessons have YOU learned from Austen?

~ Danya
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  1. Haha - I really could have used lesson two before my Great Karaoke Mishap of 2009

    1. LOL, oh dear. I suspect Austen would not have been a karaoke fan herself, given how many times awkward music performances feature in her novels... :D

  2. These are great, Danya! She does have some great advice to survive life.

    1. Thanks! It's funny how many good life tips are woven into her books without the reader even really realizing it.

  3. Don't forget exercising especially dancing will enhance your fine eyes! I love these! I will live by these lessons. (And I love Emma Approved)

    1. Ah yes, good point – going for a long walk does brighten the eyes! ;D And can't believe Emma Approved is almost done... :'(

    2. I'm so sad its almost over! I hope they do another Austen at some point.

  4. Love this! I guess I've learned that people (even gentlemen) are not always who they seem to be -- like in Pride and Prejudice and Emma....
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Ooooh, good one! That's an excellent life lesson that spans so many of Austen's novels.

  5. I just spit out my coffee on "Do not carelessly fling yourself off seawalls"! There should be a warning at the beginning of this post that warns about drinking of hot beverages while reading. Absolutely hilarious!!!

    Really well done, Danya!

    1. LOL, sorry about your coffee! XD Happy my post could give you a good chuckle, though :)

  6. YES! This is delightful *and* spot-on (and I'm an Emma Approved fan- especially when I saw how they twisted the character of Mrs. Elton, which was brilliant). Snap judgements seems to be a recurring theme in Austen's novels (although, to be fair, sometimes they are snap judgements based on an excellent intuitive sense of the person).

    1. Aw, thanks! So glad you enjoyed it. And yes, great point about snap judgments... a lot of plot points and character development seem to be based around judgments/impressions of others, although as you say, sometimes the initial snap judgments are proved to be correct!

  7. Loved these lessons. I smiled s lot.

  8. I so could've used these life lessons a long time ago because then I probably wouldn't have married my ex-husband. Lol. oh well the most trying years are behind me now. so, now I can go and live by the good principles that Jane Austen has instilled in me.

    1. There really are some excellent principles espoused in her books, aren't there? I didn't really realize how many sensible tips and life advice Jane Austen provided until I made this list :)

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