Hello, ladies! I am very glad that Miss Grace has allowed me to 'tend her garden' while she's away. At first I was unsure what to post, but two things from the list that Grace suggested we could do jumped out at me: historical and etiquette.
Just why did Marianne's writing to Willoughby make her sister think they were engaged?
Why did was Longbourn entailed and how did an entail work?
Why did Elizabeth's refusal to dance again with Mr. Collins make her unable to dance with anybody else?
Why was Lady Catherine de Bourgh so surprised that the younger Bennets were 'out' before the older ones were married? (And just what did 'out' mean?)
All this and more is answered in The Jane Austen Handbook. The intricacies of social life long ago, explanations on when the London 'season' was, and how a Regency lady would spend her day is explained in this lovely little book.
The first chapter is on 'How to Become an Accomplished Lady' and is followed with chapters on how to keep house, how to plan a dinner party, how to decline a proposal of marriage, (courteously, unless the man is not behaving like a gentleman do not follow Elizabeth's Bennet's example), how to buy clothes, and more. Margaret Sullivan has a delightful writing style that makes you want to read it just for fun.