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Brides, remember: It’s the marriage that matters, not the wedding.
Brides, remember: It’s the marriage that matters, not the wedding. / Tetra images / Getty Images

Need sense and sensibility handling a problem? Jane Austen, author of classics such as Pride and Prejudice, is here to offer advice. Well, Austen’s great-great-great-great-great-niece is here, channeling her.

Rebecca Smith, a descendant of Austen’s brother, researched novels and writings to create Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas, envisioning what “advice” the writer would give today. From curbing a “bridezilla” to dealing with aging parents, “Jane really knew what she was talking about, and she was so psychologically astute.”

Love was often a subject of Austen’s work. If you’re looking for your Mr. Darcy, Smith has a word of caution for would-be brides.

“(She) didn’t waste words describing the weddings of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet — her pen dwells instead on how happy their marriages were.” Smith says not to focus on the wedding, but the marriage itself.

Readers taking care of aging parents may find consolation in Austen herself — she took care of her mother, who was healthy but a handful, as she wrote her sister: “My Mother continues hearty ... but her Bowels are not entirely settled, & she sometimes complains.”

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