Jane Austen was a woman out of her time.
Her novels are rich in comedy, romance, wit, and satire and are such profound reflections of her social and geographical milieu in and around Hampshire.
She once described Pride and Prejudice as “my own darling child,” and I know for me, I grew up savoring each of her finely penned words.
It wasn’t until later on in life that I could fully grasp the incredible wisdom and grace of the woman behind the words. How she had remained steadfast to her values of love conquering all, never settling for anything less than she deserved—even to the detriment of her reputation.
She paved the way for carving your own path and staying true to yourself, one of the original true feminists.
She never married, and neither did her most beloved sister, Cassandra, and how many of us can say that we wouldn’t settle for any less than a kind of love like the ones she wrote about?
She once said, “My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire.” She wrote her happily ever after; and in my eyes, she did marry—her words.
She started writing and circulating her dramatic sketches, spoofs, and poems with her friends and family from a young age, only to woo publishers a decade later with Sense and Sensibility. It went to print in 1811 and was then followed by my favorite, Pride and Prejudice, being published in 1813.
She passed away in 1817 at the tender age of 41, having completed her soul’s work.
Persuasion and Northanger Abbey would only be published later that year.
I often wonder how she would have felt knowing how her words have travelled through time, and still do to this day, capture hearts with pure, innocent sentiment, love, humor, and interesting insights into human nature.
How she would feel knowing generations upon generations have lost themselves in her pages, in her stories, in her divine creativity.
I hope you enjoy some of my absolute favorite quotes by her and quotes she exquisitely wrote for her characters:
“My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”
“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.”
“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.”
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” (Northanger Abby)
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” (Northanger Abby)
“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” (Sense and Sensibility)
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” (Persuasion)
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.” (Persuasion)
“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” (Sense and Sensibility)
“To be fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love.” (Pride and Prejudice)
“But people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them forever.” (Pride and Prejudice)
“Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.” (Pride and Prejudice)
“Without music, life would be a blank to me.” (Emma)
“But for my own part, if a book is well-written, I always find it too short.”