It’s February. It’s cold. The nights are long. It’s the perfect month for a book giveaway!

Of course you want a copy of The Unexpected Miss Bennet. Who could resist? Just tell me in the comments why you read Jane Austen. What does she mean to you? Are there certain lines of dialog or scenes that have grabbed your imagination and never let go? For me, it was learning to love the craziness that is Emma, which is fast overtaking Persuasion as my best-loved Austen. Or maybe it was when I really understood how timeless Austen is, with her portrayals of family life. Whatever you love about Austen, tell me in the comments. I’ll pick a winner next Thursday. Have fun!

Deadline: Wednesday February 15, midnight CT

Winner announced: Thursday, February 16


Monica P · February 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I love to read Jane Austen because of the characters. They are timeless; they’re just “regular” people, yet they’re so intriguing! (Well, mostly. I do hate to think of my Mr Darcy as an ordinary guy. Lol)

Thanks for the giveaway!

monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

Lilyane Soltz · February 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

She was the most extraordinary woman. In an age when people did not outwardly discuss their innermost thoughts and feelings, she somehow managed to know just about everything that is the human condition. She was so astute – I learn so much about people and, especially, about myself each time I read her.

I want to go back two centuries and live next door to her. I want to be her neighbor, her friend, her confidante. We would sip lemonade or tea (as the season warrants), munch on sugar cookies, enjoy a chocolate or two. Just tell me how and I’m on my way.

Timeless, indeed!

Chris Huston · February 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Chance for an actual, physical copy! Sweet!

For me, the romances are a superficial, fringe delicacy, merely the vehicle by or obstacle over which the beauty (not perfection) of Austen’s characters — particularly her heroines — reveal of or develop in themselves. Mr. Darcy comes across as a bit of a whatsit, for example, but I think it was even Lizzy who noted that his background accounts for and even renders sensible much of what may appear pompous. And it’s not so much that Lizzy changes him (which I think is the faulty dream of many a woman OR man), but unwittingly (an important wrinkle) shows him how to fulfill noble intentions that his prejudices have thwarted.

The quotes I’ve shared to Facebook are the best explanation of what I love about Austen. The most recent ones come from my first journey through Persuasion (still in progress):

“…she thought it was the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly.”

“…nor could she help fearing, on more serious reflection, that, like many other great moralists and preachers, she had been eloquent on a point in which her own conduct would ill bear examination.”

I love the grand irony of Austen, that she is a legendary romantic (in the modern sense), but her strongest characters realize the truth that things like duty, honor, true charity — all the noble virtues are more to be prized than feelings of amorous passion, or “romance”. Something Emily Bronte pleaded for so eloquently and violently — though, I fear, on too young an ear in more modern times, to reverse effect — in her magnum opus.

It is essentially what characterizes my favorite books/authors — Dickens, Bronte, Stoker (yes, “Dracula”!), etc. — a sense and, if indirectly, a plea to the reader to hold the noblest values as dearest, above our baser desires. That self-denial isn’t the virtue in itself, but that submitting to it when it is necessary for another’s happiness or prosperity, reaps its just and valuable rewards.

Cyn209 · February 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm

i’m a recent fan of JaneAusten (i know, the horrors!!!), but at least i’m a fan, right???? i enjoy how as classic as her stories are, they are just as timeless…………i’m just fascinated how Jane inspired other writers to continue or put their own spins on her thoughts…….

thank you for the giveaway!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

Laura Hartness · February 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

So many reasons… her characters are timeless. The romance is delectable while maintaining an air of respectability. Her humor is at times overt, yet other times subtle. If her work wasn’t classic it wouldn’t have lasted this long and wouldn’t have been copied and emulated in so many arenas.

Thanks for the chance to win!


CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

Shannon · February 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

I love Austen because every time I re-read one of her works I see something a little different – as if I wasn’t prepared to see it before but now I can. As I go through things in my own life – hitting the mid-30s, not in a long-time relationship, being independent, happy, etc – I can always find a little something in an Austen book that helps me out just a little. I escape to the world she has created and it seems to put things into perspective.

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