I’ve been a fan of Jane Austen as long as I can remember. I remember watching Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice as a little girl and falling in love with their way of life. I’m sure I romanticized it a bit, and still do. Later in life as an English major in college I made sure to sign up for a Jane Austen Literature class. It was a little slice of heaven on earth because I got to spend an entire semester reading her books and discussing them with others. If you are a fan of Jane Austen, here are 7 ways you can live like her lovely characters, even in 2015.
1. High Tea
One of my favorite leisurely activities is to meet with friends for high tea. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. Most cities, even the smallest, will have a tea room where you can have brunch, lunch and high tea throughout the day. I suggest ordering the 3-tier option that normally comes with pastries, finger sandwiches and a pot of tea. Don’t forget to use one hand while drinking and sip with your pinkie up.
2. The Lady’s Guide to Perfect Gentility
I found this book at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA. It’s a lovely pink book originally written in 1856. Although it was written a few decades after the Regency Era from Jane’s novels, much of what is written would have applied to her characters. You can read key points like, “A lady’s influence in conversation,” and “Conversing with modesty and simplicity.”
3. Dance Socials
I recently discovered a local Jane Austen Tea & Dance Society in my area. I figured if some of my friends could attend comic book conventions, why couldn’t I attend a Jane Austen event? It was a dream come true for a fan like me, complete with Regency Era dancing, food, costumes and high tea. You can search sites like Meetup.com to find one in your area.
4. Hand Written Letters
I’ve always taken the time to hand write letters to my loved ones and have had pen pals since I was a little girl. This practice will help you develop and maintain remarkable penmanship in addition to strengthening your thoughtfulness. Since the characters in Jane Austen’s novels would have written letters to loved ones instead of emailing, it’s an easy way to live like one of her characters.
5. Read Often
In this case, let’s not count Buzzfeed articles and other random things you come across in your newsfeed. Take some time to read a book for fun at least once a week. I think you will find that the more you read, the more you will make time to read. When you unplug from technology you should find there is plenty of time to read like your favorite Jane Austen character would have in her down time.
6. Cherish Family & Friends
Family and friends were everything during the Regency Era, much like they are today. Set aside some quality time to spend with your loved ones and do something out of the ordinary. Maybe you can do something Jane’s characters would have done together.
7. Pursue Your Passion
I think I love the characters that Jane Austen created because they were so layered and colorful. They were women of purpose and courage and those are both qualities that I value greatly. So why don’t you follow their lead and pursue your passion?
I hope you found these ways to live like a Jane Austen characters inspiring. If you’re a fan I’d love to hear your suggestions of ways we can live like our favorite characters today.