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Book Review: Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues


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Book Review: Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

I received a free copy to write an honest review on The Silver Petticoat Review. I was not financially compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the works of Jane Austen are beloved. She managed to create fascinating characters, from the swoon-worthy leading men to the heroines that we can either relate to or that we want to become. Jane Austen also created some of the best rogues and rakes that have ever appeared in literature, from Tom Bertram to John Willoughby.

Published on the 7th of November, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a peek into the lives of the most notorious bad boys of Austen, with a glimpse at Darcy’s cousin Fitzwilliam, General Tilney, and Sir Walter Elliot as well.

Edited by Christina Boyd and published by Quill Ink, a variety of authors write the short stories in this collection. Each writes with her own unique style. They all take a different Austen Bad Boy and give us a short story about them. These either tell us what these characters were doing before the book or during the novel itself. For the most part, they served to humanize these bad boys of Austen. They give them a backstory where there wasn’t one before.

These stories also answer questions about what these characters were doing. What was Tom Bertram doing before he came back to Mansfield? How did Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax meet and fall in love? What happened to Henry Crawford? I want to know more about Fitzwilliam! Was General Tilney ever in love?  These questions were answered beautifully in Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues!

THE STORIES

Some of the short stories tie together many characters from Austen’s work. My favorite example of this was in “Willoughby’s Crossroads,” where Darcy, Bingley, and Willoughby all attended school together. I also really enjoyed “Fitzwilliam’s Folly,” because I always wanted to know more about Darcy’s cousin in Pride and Prejudice.

If I was going to be completely honest, though, I really couldn’t pick a favorite. I finished the collection feeling bad for Willoughby, disliking Frank Churchill, and rooting for Tom Bertram to find happiness. I also found myself feeling a little more sympathetic towards General Tilney, something that I never expected to feel.

This is a collection of short stories by some very talented authors. Each tells a story that was left out of Austen’s original works. They manage to tell each in such a way that feels authentic to her vision and style. They are also using their own unique writing styles. This makes the book a lot of fun to read. Some of these stories end in happily ever after, or redemption for some of our favorite bad boys, and some of them do not. The tragic endings were just as wonderful as the stories that had a happy ending.

It is important to note that, since these are stories about romance and rakes, some of these stories have content warnings. These are labeled clearly. This way, you can skip anything with a content label that is different than what you’re looking for.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are looking to spend more time in the world of Jane Austen, enjoy stories about gentlemen bad boys, or if have a specific bad boy from the works of Jane Austen that you have a soft place in your heart for, this is a collection that you should not miss. Some of the stories made me dislike these characters even more than I did while reading the book. Others made me feel a little sorry for these guys. Overall, it is a beautifully crafted and fun book. The stories range from sweetly romantic to sassy and a bit tragic. I think that Jane Austen would approve.

You can buy Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues on Amazon (affiliate link).

Which of Jane Austen’s Rakes and Rogues is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

OVERALL RATING

Four and a half corset rating

“You had me at hello.”

ROMANCE RATING

four heart rating

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

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Welcome to The Silver Petticoat Review, the kindred spirit destination for lovers of romance and Romanticism. We cover both modern and classic film, literature, & TV from around the world and specialize in Old-Fashioned Romance, Period Dramas, Classics, and Romantic Storytelling without the excess of explicit content and unsentimental cynicism. We promote content ranging from G to PG-13 minus a few exceptions for artistic reasons and/or genre interest. For more information, see Old-Fashioned Romance 101 and Romantic Storytelling 101.
Run by twin sisters, Amber and Autumn Topping, at The Silver Petticoat Review we also celebrate cultural diversity. We believe stories have the positive power to unite, not divide. So, make sure to meet our contributing writers, a creative village of women from all over the world!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may include affiliate links. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase an item, at no additional cost to you, The Silver Petticoat Review may receive a small commission. However, we only recommend products or services we personally love or feel is valuable to our readers. Sometimes we also receive free products to write honest reviews. Each writer’s opinions are their own.

About The Author

Bailey Cavender

Bailey grew up in North Idaho where she was encouraged from a young age to love reading, writing and learning; as a result, storytelling is a major part of her life. She believes that no story is ever the same to anyone and that everyone has a story to tell. With that in mind, she someday hopes to write a humorous and inspiring book (or ten, either way).

Her books, “A Journey Through Disney,” “The Mermaid,” and “Dear NSA: One Man’s Adventures in Phone-Tapping and Blogging,” can be found on Amazon.

5 Comments

  1. Christina Boyd

    “You had me at hello” — LOVE your rating system. And thank you for this fantastic, thoughtful, and well-crafted review. I must say you brought a tear to my cold editor’s heart (Hahahah).

    Btw, the site looks gorgeous.

    Reply
    • Bailey

      Thank you! I know, doesn’t the site great?!

      Reply
  2. Karen M Cox

    Thanks for a great review, Bailey! I’m so glad you enjoyed our bad boys of Austen 😀

    Reply
    • Bailey

      You’re welcome; thank you for a great book! It was the kind of book that, as I was reading, I could tell that you all had a great time writing

      Reply
      • Bailey

        Oops, it didn’t include my 😀 Weird.

        Reply

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