Jane Austen is my favorite author. Yes, I’m a total cliche (English degree, owns all the film versions of Pride and Prejudice, knows random Regency facts, etc.) but I love everything about her books! I love knowing little tidbits about her life and I especially love reading just about anything she wrote.
One of the great things about Austen is how quotable she is. Here are some of my absolute favorite quotes from her correspondence:
“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”
Ok, so this is technically from Northanger Abbey so I’m already contradicting what I said. But this one is so good! This is probably where the stereotype of ice cream and rom-coms after a breakup came from. Thanks Jane!
“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.”
This one reminds me of my little sister, Michelle the Super Introvert. She (like Austen it would seem) would rather spend time alone and not deal with people (even if there is potential that they end up being awesome). Being an introvert myself, I can also relate to the feeling of rather spending time alone than with fun people. Sometimes you just need a break, you know?
“Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody. “
This is deep, and doesn’t really fit in with the time period Jane Austen wrote in. In the Regency period, a woman’s only job was to get married, get pregnant, and run the house. If that wasn’t an option, she could get a job as a maid or governess. But the vast majority of vocations were owned and held by men. Today, that isn’t the case; it’s a lot more 50/50. If you educate a woman, she will give back to society, whether she gets married or not. Whether she has a job or not. And Jane knew that, which is proof she lived before her time.
“Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.”
It IS exhausting spending time doing something you hate! I feel ya, sister.
“What strange creatures brothers are!”
Honestly, this just makes me laugh. Brothers are weird.
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this is on my list. Reading is one of my absolute favorite past times. I love books. I love them more than I love certain people. Books are the bomb diggity, and if you don’t love to read then you’re missing out.
“Do not give way to useless alarm; though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain.”
This is from Pride and Prejudice (again, I broke the rule!), and it makes me laugh in a shake-my-head kind of way. I’m such a worrier and I need to take Jane’s advice, which is to not overly worry, but still be realistic about things. It’s all about finding the balance, right?
“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
From Northanger Abbey (apparently, guys, I can’t be trusted to follow my own rules), this one speaks to the traveler in me. Nothing too exciting was happening to me in college, so I went on a study abroad. Nothing was happening after graduation for a solid year, so I took my parents to Ireland. And when nothing was still happening, I packed up and left Texas for Utah. Who knows when or why I’ll up and leave again?
Hopefully these brought a smile to your face. Even if you’re no fan of Austen, you’ve got to admit that she had a grasp on life and human behavior unlike anyone else. I wish I could go back in time and have a conversation with her! It would be so enlightening. And if you have any favorite quotes, from Austen or any other famous person, let me know about them in the comments!
**Thank you to Goodreads, supplier of easy access to my favorite Austen quotes.