Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Unfinished Manuscript: a Jane-Austen-Themed Party Game

One of my sisters  got married this summer, so, as a "bachelorette" activity, I prepared a Jane Austen-themed game that we could play over breakfast in a cafe.

It's called "The Unfinished Manuscript," and the concept is that the participants are completing the plot of a novel that Miss Austen was unable to finish.

The players are introduced to four gentleman of varying fortune. They (the players) must accumulate points in four categories (beauty, amiability, accomplishments, and finance) in their quest to obtain a husband. Finance points are earned by correctly answering Jane Austen trivia questions, conveniently divided into three levels of difficulty ("Very clever, moderately clever, or very dull indeed"). Strategic thinking is involved, because only the correct combination of points will secure the husband that one most prefers. Some of the players will fail to obtain any husband at all.

Because I am a generous person who also likes to provide the world with blog posts, I am (drumroll) sharing the game with you all! You can all play it! Your friends and family can play it! It will be delightful!

The instructions and trivia questions that I wrote are to be found here.

You will probably wish to also provide portraits for the four gentlemen whose descriptions are found in the instructions. I pulled regency portraits off the web, cropped them into ovals, printed them at Staples in the size of regency miniatures, cut them out, and hung them on ribbons with "wedding bands" attached. These portraits functioned as prizes. Thus:

Here are the images that I used:

Feel free to link to this post, should you wish to share the game with others, but, of course, please don't steal it or distribute it without providing credit.


  1. There needs to be a bachelor party equivalent. :)

    Looks like a great game.

    1. True! If one were writing it in the spirit of a Jane Austen novel, it would need a somewhat different structure. Perhaps the goal would be, "How to discern the right lady and avoid a premature, youthful engagement to Lucy Steele."

  2. Oh, that looks like fun -- you did a great job coming up with four different guys and the different qualities they'd be looking for.


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