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Jane Austen (1775 – 1817)


English novelist who recorded the domestic manners of the landed gentry.
Jane Austen
In Paragon we met Mrs. Foley and Mrs. Dowdeswell with her yellow shawl airing out, and at the bottom of Kingsdown Hill we met a gentleman in a buggy, who, on minute examination, turned out to be Dr. Hall - and Dr. Hall in such very deep mourning that either his mother, his wife, or himself must be dead.
Austen quotes
Jane Austen is thus a mistress of much deeper emotion than appears upon the surface. She stimulates us to supply what is not there. What she offers is, apparently, a trifle, yet is composed of something that expands in the reader’s mind and endows with the most enduring form of life scenes which are outwardly trivial. Always the stress is laid upon character. How, we are made to wonder, will Emma behave when Lord Osborne and Tom Musgrave make their call at five minutes before three, just as Mary is bringing in the tray and the knife-case? It is an extremely awkward situation. The young men are accustomed to much greater refinement. Emma may prove herself ill-bred, vulgar, a nonentity. The turns and twists of the dialogue keep us on the tenterhooks of suspense. Our attention is half upon the present moment, half upon the future. And when, in the end, Emma behaves in such a way as to vindicate our highest hopes of her, we are moved as if we had been made witnesses of a matter of the highest importance. Here, indeed, in this unfinished and in the main inferior story, are all the elements of Jane Austen’s greatness. It has the permanent quality of literature. Think away the surface animation, the likeness to life, and there remains, to provide a deeper pleasure, an exquisite discrimination of human values.
Austen
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.




Austen Jane quotes
We have been exceedingly busy ever since you went away. In the first place we have had to rejoice two or three times everyday at your having such very delightful weather for the whole of your journey...
Austen Jane
"I am afraid", replied Elinor, "that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety."
Jane Austen quotes
It was, perhaps, one of those cases in which advice is good or bad only as the event decides.
Jane Austen
People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid them.
Austen Jane quotes
I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.
Austen
You will have a great deal of unreserved discourse with Mrs. K., I dare say, upon this subject, as well as upon many other of our family matters. Abuse everybody but me.
Austen Jane
I have discovered that our great favourite, Miss Austen, is my countrywoman; that mamma knew all her family very intimately; and that she herself is an old maid (I beg her pardon – I mean a young lady) with whom mamma before her marriage was acquainted. Mamma says that she was then the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembers; and a friend of mine, who visits her now, says that she has stiffened into the most perpendicular, precise, taciturn piece of “single blessedness” that ever existed, and that, till ‘Pride and Prejudice’ showed what a precious gem was hidden in that unbending case, she was no more regarded in society than a poker or a fire-screen, or any other thin upright piece of wood or iron that fills its corner in peace and quietness. The case is very different now; she is still a poker – but a poker of whom every one is afraid. It must be confessed that this silent observation from such an observer is rather formidable. Most writers are good-humoured chatterers – neither very wise nor very witty: – but nine times out of ten (at least in the few that I have known) unaffected and pleasant, and quite removing by their conversation any awe that may have been excited by their works. But a wit, a delineator of character, who does not talk, is terrific indeed!
Jane Austen
Why do you like Miss Austen so very much? I am puzzled on that point ... I read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a commonplace (everyday) face; carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of bright vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses.




Jane Austen quotes
You could not shock her more than she shocks me;
Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me most uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous effects of "brass,"
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society.
Jane Austen
Mrs. B. and two young women were of the same party, except when Mrs. B. thought herself obliged to leave them to run round the room after her drunken husband. His avoidance, and her pursuit, with the probable intoxication of both, was an amusing scene.
Austen quotes
I have now attained the true art of letter-writing, which we are always told, is to express on paper exactly what one would say to the same person by word of mouth.
Austen Jane
Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor, which is one very strong argument in favour of matrimony.
Austen Jane quotes
"I shall soon be rested," said Fanny; "to sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment."
Jane Austen
To me his (Edgar Allan Poe's) prose is unreadable — like Jane Austin's [sic]. No there is a difference. I could read his prose on salary, but not Jane's. Jane is entirely impossible. It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death.
Jane Austen quotes
Many thanks for your kind care for my health; I certainly have not been well for many weeks, and about a week ago I was very poorly. I have had a good deal of fever at times, and indifferent nights; but I am considerably better now and am recovering my looks a little, which have been bad enough - black and white, and every wrong colour. I must not depend upon being ever very blooming again. Sickness is a dangerous indulgence at my time of life.
Jane Austen
Jane Austen? I feel that I am approaching dangerous ground. The reputation of Jane Austen is surrounded by cohorts of defenders who are ready to do murder for their sacred cause. They are nearly all fanatics. They will not listen. If anyone “went for” Jane, anything might happen to him. He would assuredly be called on to resign from his clubs...I do not even agree that Jane was a great novelist. She was a great little novelist. She is marvellous, intoxicating: she has unique wit, vast quantities of common sense, a most agreeable sense of proportion, much narrative skill. And she is always readable. But her world is a tiny world, and even of that tiny world she ignores, consciously or unconsciously, the fundamental factors. She did not know enough of the world to be a great novelist. She had not the ambition to be a great novelist. She knew her place; her present “fans” do not know her place, and their antics would without doubt have excited Jane’s lethal irony.
Austen Jane
One has not great hopes from Birmingham. I always say there is something direful in the sound...


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