When you think of English novelist Jane Austen, what comes to mind first?
Frilly dresses and tea parties? Social events where dashing men sweep women off their feet? Close enough, since she is best known for her depiction of the romantic endeavors of middle class English people.
Some of Austen’s pieces include: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. Aside from her writing, she is actually also notorious for her sharp mind, frank thoughts, realism, and social commentary.
Although they were written two centuries ago, and she gained popularity posthumously, from topics about books and writing itself, love, friendship and life’s ironies, Austen wins.
Here are few Jane Austen quotes that justify her unique and witty view of human nature:
Jane Austen Quotes on Love
1. “There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” – Jane Austen
2. “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” – Jane Austen
3. “I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” – Jane Austen
4. “The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone.” – Jane Austen
5. “Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her.” – Jane Austen
6. “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” – Jane Austen
7. “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” – Jane Austen
8. “To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” – Jane Austen
9. “Then I examined my own heart. And there you were. Never, I fear, to be removed.” – Jane Austen
10. “Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another.” – Jane Austen
11. “To you I shall say, as I have often said before, do not be in a hurry, the right man will come at last.” – Jane Austen
12. “I lay it down as a general rule, Harriet, that if a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him.” – Jane Austen
Jane Austen on Knowing Oneself
13. “You must be the best judge of your own happiness.” – Jane Austen
14. “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” – Jane Austen
15. “It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us.” – Jane Austen
16. “One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.” – Jane Austen
17. “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” – Jane Austen
18. “A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer.” – Jane Austen
19. “Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.” – Jane Austen
20. “Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.” – Jane Austen
21. “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” – Jane Austen
22. “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.” – Jane Austen
23. “I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.” – Jane Austen
Austen also reminds us that when it comes to emotions, being gentle should be considered strength, rather than a weakness.
Jane Austen quotes on Emotions
24. “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” – Jane Austen
25. “Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” – Jane Austen
26. “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” – Jane Austen
27. “I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.” – Jane Austen
28. “I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.” – Jane Austen
29. “Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.” – Jane Austen
Jane Austen on Friendship
30. “Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” – Jane Austen
31. “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.” – Jane Austen
32. “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.” – Jane Austen
Jane Austen Quotes on Books and Writing
33. “But for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.” – Jane Austen
34. “I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love.” – Jane Austen
35. “A person, who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.” – Jane Austen
36. “I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen
Jane Austen Quotes on Life
37. “None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” – Jane Austen
38. “Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.” – Jane Austen
39. “Nobody minds having what is too good for them.” – Jane Austen
40. “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” – Jane Austen
41. “Those who do not complain are never pitied.” – Jane Austen
42. “There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.” – Jane Austen
43. “There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” – Jane Austen
44. “Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.” – Jane Austen
What do you think of these Jane Austen quotes?
Although her plots revolve around the social standing of 19th century women, it doesn’t mean that the entirety of Austen’s novels and characters are weak-kneed females – women who only live to take on their roles as mothers, daughters, or lovers.
Jane Austen is the epitome of girl power. In a generation where feminism, sexism and gender roles are rampant, we need more pure women like her as a role model.
If situated in modern times, her characters are just as strong, dynamic, and relevant as they were in the 19th century. As mentioned by writer and editor Sarah Seltzer:
“She made profound observations about the way people interact, specifically on how women make do in a world that is hostile towards them.”
Those who haven’t gotten the chance to indulge in her classic literary works can also turn to the novel-inspired movies, with roles played by Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightley.