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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sam's Favorite Austen Quotes

I love a good list. Especially a list of quotes; throughout my teens, I kept a notebook full of quotes I loved (whether amusing or poignant, or whatever struck my fancy), and though that notebook has gone missing in the intervening years *sob*, my fondness for a good quote has never diminished.
The following list comes from Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader. She has compiled her absolute favorite Austen quotes, and invites you to do the same in the comments — and if such things fascinate you, then you may want to keep an eye out for a certain Austen Conversation post that's coming up at the end of AIA...

In her lifetime, Jane Austen (1775-1817) wrote six of the most well known novels in English literature. Though not well received during her lifetime, her writings have become sources of laughter and hope to a modern day audience, most namely us here at Austen in August.

As readers of Austen’s beloved work, we are constantly in conversation with other Janeites, discussing our favourite characters, scenes, villains and overall novel. However, we rarely discuss our favourite quotes.

Until now.

This year, for Austen in August, I’ve decided to share my favourite quotes from Miss Austen’s books. Along with sharing my personal favourites, I’m also asking participants to share their favourites within the comments section.

So let’s begin shall we?


Quotes from Sense and Sensibility (1811)

- “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!” 

- “I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be yours.” 

- “What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.” 

- “I think him every thing that is worthy and amiable.” 


Quotes from Pride and Prejudice (1813)

- “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” 
- “From the very beginning— from the first moment, I may almost say— of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” 

- “An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”  

- “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”


Quotes from Mansfield Park (1814)

“There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.” 

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”  


 Quotes from Emma (1815)

-“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control. ” 

-“Mr. Knightley, if I have not spoken, it is because I am afraid I will awaken myself from this dream.”

-“Badly done, Emma!” 

-“Where shall we see a better daughter, or a kinder sister, or a truer friend?” 

“I don't approve of surprises. The pleasure is never enhanced and the inconvenience is considerable.” 


 Quotes from Northanger Abbey (1818; posthumous)

-“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.”

-“The person, be it gentlemen or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

-“To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of 26 and 18 is to do pretty well” 

  Quotes from Persuasion (1818; posthumous)

- “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.' 

- “Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”  

- “The one claim I shall make for my own sex is that we love longest, when all hope is gone.”  


And there we have my favourite quotes from Austen's six acclaimed novels. Now it's your turn; what are your favourite quotes from Jane's work? I really want to know. Comment down below and enjoy the rest of Austen in August.

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  1. It's not from one of the novels, but her letters. I laughed so hard when I read it the first time: “I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.”

    I (mis) quote this one a lot to use it in certain situations: “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”

  2. Oh, and I really enjoyed your post, Sam!

  3. Those are great ones! I don't find Mansfield Park particularly quotable (in memorable sound byte style), but the keen and mature observations on human nature in it are pretty spot-on. Thanks for reminding me of that with your two choices.

    Also- I've never read any of Lady Susan or Sanditon...are there good quotes from those unfinished works?

    1. Read Sanditon! Better yet, read Marie Dobbs' excellent completion of Sanditon (same name, often published as "another lady"). So good!!


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