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Matchmaking the Jane Austen way

Arts

ROMANCE is always on the cards with Jane Austen - and a new game takes that idea literally.

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Jane Austen’s Sweethearts throws 108 characters from Austen’s six novels into the mix, testing memories as to who married, coveted or lost whom, and even offering enticing new pairings in your hand to ponder. 

It is designed to introduce newcomers to the world of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, while challenging hardcore Janeites to remember whom Harriet Smith eventually married (after falling in love four times) or which Musgrove sister married Captain Benwick. 

And the idea has quickly grabbed attention in the right places. It will feature in the November issue of Regency World, the official magazine of the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, England. 

The clever card game is the brainchild of retired teacher Joan Ting, who created it to entertain her local Jane Austen Society in Adelaide, South Australia. Everyone immediately saw its potential, but her dilemma as she refined it was deciding how much knowledge people should need to play. 

The answer was to put both an introductory and an advanced version in the same box.

Each of the 108 cards provides information and observations about the person and the period. Beginners receive basic hints such as which book the character appeared in, but the advanced game is a lot more challenging. Genuine “sweethearts” – those who married for love not convenience – may earn you double points. 

Joan worked with Adelaide designer Tricia Smith to research colours, fonts and designs of the Regency Era to produce cards that would not have been out of place in a drawing room in Sense and Sensibility.

She also spent a lot of time researching and touring the UK to learn more about the period and the issues of the time that are referenced in the novels, such as education and slavery. 

Jane Austen’s Sweethearts can be purchased online at www.janeaustenssweethearts.com.au

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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