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The Jane Austen Diet: Austen’s Secrets to Food, Health, and Incandescent Happiness

‘Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security’. Wikipedia.

Born in 1775 at Steventon, Hampshire Jane Austen was the second daughter and the seventh of eight children born to the Reverend George Austin, a scholarly man and his wife Cassandra. She rose to fame as a novelist whose works are now considered as classics, portraying the middle-class life of 19th century England, defining the manners of the time and the very ordinary people who made up the very essence of society.

Imagine then the surprise of novelist Bryan Kozlowski, a lover of Austen’s works and a certified diet junkie, when reading Austen while facing a mid-life crisis and amassing a pile of the latest diet magazines, to discover that throughout all of Austen’s classic works, she was very cleverly setting down the rules for a healthy way of living, achieving a ‘bloom’, maintaining a healthy weight and exercise regime.

So many of her characters were women who refused to be place in the societal mould created for them by men, women who were strong, vital, voiced their opinions often in a strong voice and even in a world which was vastly different to today, were concerned about health, society, marriage and the world around them.

Kozlowski has woven seamlessly the secrets of the past into the madness of the diet culture now, as he combines the lessons and health tips touted throughout the pages of her books, referencing them to the modern-day practises of gym junkies and fad diets. He has walked his talk and discovered that yes, Austen’s way of viewing healthy living worked. She became his ‘health guru’ for the next two years.

Having used the word ‘health’ more than 100 times, over her literary works, which is a massive total, along with of course the requisite walks around the park, to the shop, or simple outdoor outings with sisters of friends, Austen certainly appreciated the simple and healthy benefits of fresh air, fresh food and exercise; everything in moderation.

Witty, and a refreshing change to read about health and fitness tips that are as relevant now as then, cost nothing other than the price of healthy food, and will almost secure that bloom of good health and a healthy body, which even in Austen’s day could come in many shapes and sizes.

At times the work becomes somewhat fragmented, but perseverance wins the day, although some of the recipes listed may, in todays world take some achieving, but at the basis of both Austen’s works and Kozlowski’s ‘manifesto’ lie the secrets to good health and happiness, which despite modern marketing attempts to make us believe otherwise, are simple, extremely cost effective and guess what, really do work!


Author Bryan Kozlowski, Jane Austen
Publisher Turner
ISBN 9781684422128
Distributor New South Books
Released September 2019