Tuesday, March 10, 2015

8 Life Lessons from Jane Austen...Aerendgast Blog Tour Stop

More Agreeably Engaged is privileged to be a part of the Aerendgast Blog Tour. Author Rachel Berman, a new to Meryton Press author, is sharing 8 Life Lessons from Jane Austen on her stopover. I think you will be fascinated with these lessons mentioned by Ms. Berman. I am always amazed at the astute observations of life and people by dear Jane and liked reading the ones discussed below. Rachel Berman asks a question at the end of her post. Give your answer in the comments and be entered to win the eBook that is up for giveaway. 

8 Life Lessons from Jane Austen

To paraphrase one of the most paraphrased quotes in the history of literature, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that we can learn a lot about life from the novels of Jane Austen. Though her six completed works were written two hundred years ago, her careful study of the nature of relationships rings true. In my book Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen, Violet Desmond has made a career out of teaching Austen’s works until one day Jane herself starts invading Violet’s dreams. But Jane tells Violet a new story; one about her own hidden loves and losses that could change the way the public studies Austen forever. So what can the real Jane Austen teach us, you might ask? Well, these things:

  1. Listen to Your Heart – If there’s one thing I wish I could tell Anne Eliot it would be that no matter what guilt and responsibility her father and friends are putting on her, only she knows what’s best for herself.
  2. Money Can’t Buy Happiness – Poor Willoughby, what a cautionary tale his life turned out to be. Sure, he married money but that money came with a wife whom he despised. Is it worth living in lavish splendor if all you do is sit around in said splendor and regret your past decisions? I think not.
  3. Be Yourself – Fanny Prince spends too much time down on herself, when she’s a pretty stand-up person. Elizabeth Bennet might enjoy scandalous walks in the rain, but that singularity of character is part of what endears her to Darcy. In Austen’s works, things that could be perceived as flaws are celebrated and that’s great.
  4. …But Consider Others – While I think Emma is a wonderful character, we can all agree that when she insults Miss Bates on Box Hill she deserves the lecture she’s swiftly given by Knightley. And man, if there’s anything to learn from the Steele sisters’ behavior it’s to think before you speak.
  5. Real Life Isn’t a Book – This one is an especially hard lesson to swallow, as I spend a lot of my time pining after fictional characters. But consider the textual evidence: Marianne’s romantic theatrics are fun when one is trying to pass the time on a rainy day, but they’re also dangerous when they blind her to reality. Similarly, Catherine Morland makes up some horror story about Northanger because she’s let all those gothic novels get to her head.
  6. Don’t Exceed Your Income – While I would love to eat out nightly, buy every item of clothing I see, and have homes on every continent, I read what living outside their means did to the mental health and financial stability of the Bennet’s, so, instead, I have a savings account.
  7. Open Yourself Up to Love –Love can blossom from unexpected places and with unexpected people. Be open to all the possibilities even if they’re not what you might expect (hint hint: Marianne, Emma, and Elizabeth).
  8. Enjoy the Little Things – Life is short and everyday is another opportunity to try something new, take some time to do something for yourself, and grow as a person. Whether reading poetry to whomever is within earshot, walking, or singing at a pianoforte, take stock of every happy moment.

What life lessons have you learned from reading Jane Austen? 

Book Blurb:

Violet Desmond has just learned from her dying grandmother that the life she’s been living is a lie.
Left with only a locket, a newspaper clipping, and a name–Atherton–Violet sets off to discover her hidden personal history.  Simultaneously, the London academic begins to have vivid dreams in which a woman from the past narrates her life story involving the same locket, a secret marriage, and a child. A story intimately connected to Jane Austen.
Violet reluctantly agrees to receive help from cavalier treasure hunter, Peter Knighton. Blacklisted from his profession, Knighton can almost taste the money and accolades he’d receive for digging up something good on Austen; the locket alone is unique enough to be worth plenty to the right collector. It would be enough to get his foot back in the door.

The unlikely pair begin a quest for answers that leads them to Aerendgast Hallows. Knee-deep in hidden crypts, perilous pursuits, and centuries-old riddles, Violet must put her literary expertise to the test as she battles to uncover the secret that her loved ones died trying to reveal, before an unknown enemy silences her as well.

Author Bio:
Rachel was born and raised in Los Angeles, which naturally resulted in a deep love of the UK from
an early age. Reading and writing have been favorite pastimes for as long as she can remember. Rachel has a BA in English Literature from Scripps College and an MA in London Studies from Queen Mary, University of London. Her focus is 19th century British Literature. She enjoys hiking, musical theatre, fancy water, pilates, vegan baking, good tv and movies, and researching new book ideas!
Jane Austen has always been an author near and dear to Rachel's heart for her ability to tell a story so compelling, it remains relevant hundreds of years later. And for creating Henry Tilney.


Blog Tour Schedule:

3/2: Guest Post at Austenprose 
3/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
3/4: Author Interview at The Little Munchkin Reader
3/5: Excerpt & Giveaway at BestSellers & BestStellars
3/6: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm 
3/7: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen 
3/8: Review at The Delighted Reader
3/9: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time… 
3/10: Guest Post & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged 
3/11: Review at Austenprose 
3/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice 
3/13: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
3/14: Review at Margie's Must Reads
3/15: Review at Warmisunqu’s Austen
3/16: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
3:17: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
3/18: Guest Post at Laughing With Lizzie

Thank you, Rachel Berman, for visiting my blog. It was such a great pleasure to have you visit during your busy blog tour schedule. I hope you are having fun and I look forward to seeing the rest of your posts. Thanks again and best wishes with your book.

A special thanks to Michele Reed at Meryton Press who is giving away one eBook of Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen. The giveaway is international. I always like for you, dear readers, to have your share in the conversation so leave a comment with your email address to be entered. We would love to have you answer the author's question about a life lesson you have learned from reading Jane Austen. Giveaway ends at midnight, March 16. Good luck to all.


  1. What great lessons, Rachel! And I agree with them. My favorite one is number 5: real life isn't a book. I think even today people get caught up in how life, especially romance, should be from reading books and fail to realize that real life isn't always like that.
    Thanks so much for sharing! Thanks, Janet, for hosting the giveaway!

  2. So true! I love the practical lessons that come out when reading her stories. I'm always struck by the fact that these are mostly ordinary people living ordinary lives at the time. Here's the truth I pick: "You can't believe everything you're told." More than one of her characters learn this the hard way. ;)

    Loved Aerendgast! Please don't enter me in the giveaway, Janet!

  3. At different times in life, I have gotten very
    different guidance from Jane Austen's novels. Right now, it is the last one on the
    list - enjoy all the little things.

  4. Great post! I'd like to enter the giveaway. jcn @ CenturyTel.net

  5. Great post, Rachel! Your book sounds great, and here's wishing you much success. If I've learned anything from Jane Austen, it's that first impressions are not always correct.

  6. would love to read this!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  7. These life lessons are great and beneficial. I'm sure there are lots of lessons that can be gleaned from Jane Austen but I can't think of anything to add to the discussion. Thanks for sharing, Rachel. Congrats on the release of Aerendgast.


  8. I agree completely with your eight lessons!! They can be put together:
    Money can't buy happiness, so don't be influenced by it and listen to your heart. Be, always, yourself but learn to consider others. Don’t Exceed Your Income becouse Real Life Isn’t a Book. Learn to Open Yoursel Up To Love and Enjoy the Little Things becouse they are the one that brings us more pleasure .
    This is the true essence of life.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Glad everyone enjoyed the lessons!!

  10. I too agree with the lessons you've gleaned from your readings. Can't pick one that hits home, though.

    I would love to win this book; looks like it will be really good.

    GinnaSaisQuoi at verizon dot net

  11. For me, I think it has to be Be Yourself. Don't try to fake things you don't feel. Consider others while remaining true to yourself.


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