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Jane-a-Day: The 5 Year Journal, by Potter Style

jane-a-day-by-potter-style-2011A review by Laurel Ann Nattress

This charming journal completely missed my radar when it was released last November. Not surprising, really. Who would know from the title listed online that it was inspired by Jane Austen?

The actual cover is more helpful; it has a subtitle, 365 Witticisms by Jane Austen, that was unfortunately omitted in the online listings. Janeites will also recognize her silhouette in the cover design, but the uninitiated will be clueless. Honestly, Jane-a-Day could be for any famous Jane, like: Jane Eyre, Jane Marple or Calamity Jane! Regardless of this miss by publisher Potter Style, who have brought us a slew of beautiful Austen ephemera like: Jane Austen Puzzle: 500-Piece Puzzle, Jane Austen Mini Journal and Jane Austen Notecards, this is a gem that Janeites should be made aware of.

This classy new 5 year diary has a lot of pluses in its favor to make up for the title flub. Here is the publishers blurb from the back:

Let the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen guide you throughout the next five years. Each journal page features a memorable quote from the iconic author’s oeuvre that can be revisited each year. Created to help you make a time capsule of your thoughts, simply turn to today’s date and take a few moments to comment on the quote. When you finish the year, move on to the next section. As the years go by, you’ll notice how your commentary evolves.

Of course the best thing, besides the opulent binding, gold leaf on the edges and the prayer book size (how apt), is the selection of quotes. The unnamed editor who selected them from Jane Austen’s novels and letters did a superb job. Even this die-hard Janeite was pleased to discover a few that have not been featured in every Jane Austen quote book since time began. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “She hardly knew how to suppose that she could be an object of admiration to so great a man.” – Pride and Prejudice
  • “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” – Pride and Prejudice
  • “Women are the only correspondents to be depended on.” – Sanditon
  • “Where youth and diffidence are united, it requires uncommon steadiness of reason to resist the attraction of being called the most charming girl in the world.” – Northanger Abbey
  • “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” – Personal Correspondence
  • “His cold politeness, his ceremonious grace, were worse than anything.” – Persuasion
  • “There are people who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.” – Emma
  • “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” – Mansfield Park

For those book lovers (like me) who would never think of defacing a book by writing in it, this journal may sit on your Jane Austen book shelf looking pretty forever. If you are a doodler and want to keep track of your annual reaction to Jane Austen’s pithy quotes and quips throughout the years, I can think of no finer way than including Austen in your life every day for the next five years!

Jane-a-Day: 5 Year Journal: With 365 Witticisms by Jane Austen
by Potter Style
Crown Publishing Group (2011)
Hardcover (368) pages
ISBN: 978-0307951717


A life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, Laurel Ann Nattress is the editor of the short story anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It, and Austenprose.com, a blog devoted to the oeuvre of her favorite author and the many books and movies that she has inspired. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, a regular contributor to the Jane Austen Centre online magazine. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Snohomish, Washington where it rains a lot. Visit Laurel Ann at her blog Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog, on Twitter as @Austenprose, and on Facebook as Laurel Ann Nattress.