Wednesday, February 5, 2014

BOOK: Jane Austen's Guide to Thrift

This book, JANE AUSTEN'S GUIDE TO THRIFT, is on my night stand right now. I am a huge fan of the well crafted, entertaining non-fiction read and I have been delighted by this unique look into Jane Austen's famous novels.

Anyone who has read most of Austen's books (and really who hasn't) will know money plays an important role in the characters lives. Either the revenue abounds or there is a complete lack thereof. An independent female at a time in history when females were not valued or protected by law, Austen had her own small nest egg to handle and handle it she did. She did well to stay within her means and left a tidy sums for her family upon her passing.

Austen's opinions regarding prudent spending and careful penny pinching abound in her books. Men who gambled their money away were painted as rogues, the types of men who could not be trusted. The men and women who were careful with their expenses came across as wise and organized.

This book has a different take on thrift than others I have read (and believe me I have read many, many books on the subject) and that makes it entertaining, fascinating and fun. Halfway through the pages I have yet to stumble upon any nugget of information that I had not come across before but that is not where this book gets it's value. The value is in the comparison between what Austen's characters would do, how they would perceive a situation and how Austen imparted her own opinions on the subject through the deeds and misdeeds of her characters. Call it a wake up call from two centuries prior. Debt was still debt in the Regency era with the only major difference between then and now being society's willingness (dare I say eagerness) to take it out.

All in all, it's an interesting book for fans of Austen and anyone looking for a recharge to their financial health. But I would charge you not to buy it, rather check your local library first and Jane Austen would approve.