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"As a new film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice opened across the country, a writer and "dating expert" was yesterday giving love lessons inspired by Jane Austen's work.

At the start of the Jane Austen festival in Bath, Lauren Henderson, a novelist, said confused lovers could learn much from the experiences of Elizabeth Bennet, Mr Darcy et al. The festival's organiser, Sue Hughes, denied that the tuition risked cheapening Austen's work. "We feel it brings more people to Jane Austen. The more people who come to know her and her work, the better," she said."

I can't load any more of this article (perhaps there is no more) but I'm curious to know what these lessons actually are:

- don't run off with a soldier, dear. You'll end up abandoned, up the duff and a social pariah.
- is he tall, dark and misogynistic? Does he give every appearance of despising you? An excellent match!
- is she a snippy shrew who gives you a mouthful every time she sees you? See above. Stalk her relentlessly.
- never marry a clergyman

Uh, that's all I can think of right now.

And um, based on novels written by someone who not only never married, but who apparently suffered such a panic attack on getting engaged that she called it off the next day.

Next up, love lessons by Hardy, Flaubert and Bronte. I love Austen, but personally, I'd think you'd do better to rely on COLD COMFORT FARM.


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