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10/07/2014 09:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Jane Austen Gives You The Life Advice You've Always Needed

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The author of marriage-plot novels so aspirational they've caused generations of women to swoon, Jane Austen has come to symbolize unadulterated sentimentality in our culture. Yet the charming romances between plucky young ladies of slender means and eligible gentlemen of good character only reflect a small portion of Austen's true genius. Far from being a sentimental idealist, she was a clear-sighted realist who ruthlessly satirized the social restrictions of her day, as well as the petty vices and peccadilloes of her fellow humans. Accordingly, no author can better help readers past, present and future to navigate the vagaries of courtship, treacherous social terrain, and even the modern workplace. Wherever there are people, there's a bon mot from Austen that could aid them in understanding and dealing with each other.

What Would Jane Do? (Potter Style) assembles a thorough collection of these Austenian bon mots into one well-designed package, with selections from the books as well as the personal letters of the author. Austen's sharp wit can be even more stinging when not intended for publication; in one, she writes, "Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked."

Read a selection of thoroughly wise quips from the book -- advice suitable for every occasion:

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Images excerpted with permission from What Would Jane Do? Quips And Wisdom From Jane Austen (Potter Style, $10.00).

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