Celebrating Jane Austen Day 2014 with 75 Sensational Quotes That Every Janeite Should Not Live Without

Sprinklebakes Jane Austin 12th night cake sprinklebakes.com x 350

Jane Austen-themed Twelfth Night Cake by Sprinkles Bakes

Today is Jane Austen 239th birthday. Born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon Rectory in Hampshire, England, her many admirers have proclaimed her birthday as Jane Austen Day and are celebrating around the world in creative and diverse ways.

Please join us and the Jane Austen Centre Facebook Group in the festivities. In honor of the amazing talent of my favorite author, I have chosen 75 witty quips and quotes from her six major novels for your enjoyment.

Which are your favorite? Join the celebration by sharing with us in the comments below and enter a contest to win one copy of Jane Austen: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions). Details of the giveaway are listed below. Good Luck.

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility 2007 x 350 Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (2007)

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1811)

  1. One had rather, on such occasions, do too much than too little.
  2. I wish with all my soul his wife may plague his heart out.
  3. People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid.
  4. There are some people who cannot bear a party of pleasure.
  5. Money can only give happiness when there is nothing else to give.

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice 2005 x 350

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1813)

  1. Those who never complain are never pitied.
  2. Laugh as much as you choose, but you will never laugh me out of my opinion.
  3. I could easily forgive his pride if he had not mortified mine.
  4. Stupid men are the only ones worthy knowing, after all.
  5. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.
  6. My good opinion once lost is lost forever.
  7. A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.
  8. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.
  9. Is not general incivility the very essence of love?
  10. One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.
  11. In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.
  12. To be fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love.
  13. What are men to rocks and mountains?

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Fanny Price in Mansfield Park (2007)

MANSFIELD PARK (1814)

  1. Nobody minds having what is too good for them.
  2. Nothing every fatigues me but doing what I do not like.
  3. We all have our best guides within us, if only we would listen.
  4. Let your conduct be your only harangue.
  5. The enthusiasm of a woman’s love is even beyond the biographer’s.
  6. Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.
  7. Life seems but a quick successions of busy nothings.
  8. Every moment has its pleasures and its hope.
  9. Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is not hope for a cure.
  10. A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever saw.
  11. To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.
  12. A woman can never be to fine while she is all in white.
  13. Varnish and gilding hide many stains.

ITV ARCHIVE

Emma Woodhouse in Emma (1996)

EMMA (1815)

  1. It is well to have as many holds on happiness as possible.
  2. Perfect happiness, even in memory, is not common.
  3. There are people who the more you do for them, the less they do for themselves.
  4. Vanity working on a weak head produces every kind of mischief.
  5. Better be without sense than to misapply it as you do.
  6. Men of sense, no matter what you say, do not want silly wives.
  7. If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.
  8. If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.
  9. Success supposes endeavour.
  10. Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
  11. What is right cannot be done too soon.
  12. I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.
  13. I would much rather have been merry than wise.
  14. One can never have too large of a party.
  15. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.
  16. It was a delightful visit – perfect, in being much too short.
  17. How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation.
  18. How much I love everything that is decided and open.

Catherine Morland Northanger Abbey 2007

Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey (2007)

NORTHANGER ABBEY (1817)

  1. From politics it was an easy step to silence.
  2. I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.
  3. If we have not hearts, we have eyes, and they give us torment enough.
  4. For my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.
  5. If an adventure does not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.
  6. Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.
  7. It is well to have as many holds on happiness as possible.
  8. Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
  9. One man’s way may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.

Anne Elliot in Persuasion 2007 x 350

PERSUASION (1817)

  1. How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.
  2. His cold politeness, his ceremonious grace, were worse than anything.
  3. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.
  4. A lady without a family, was the very best preserver of furniture in the world.
  5. If there is anything disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.

Jane Austen in Becoming Jane x 350

Jane Austen in Becoming Jane (2007)

LETTERS

  1. Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked.
  2. It is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people as well as they deserve.
  3. I will not say your mulberry trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive.
  4. Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?
  5. Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.
  6. An artist cannot do anything slovenly.
  7. There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.
  8. Wisdom is better than wit, and in the long run will certainly have the laugh on her side.
  9. What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance.
  10. There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.
  11. It is my unhappy fate to rarely treat people as well as they deserve.
  12. I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.

Jane Austen Seven Novels 2007 x 300

GRAND GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment by 11:59 Wednesday, December 24, 2014 sharing your favorite Jane Austen quote to enter the giveaway contest. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Thursday December 25, 2014. Shipment is to US addresses only. Good luck to all.

Happy Birthday dearest Jane. Thanks for all of the hours of pleasurable reading, movie viewing and general all-around obsessing.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

Images courtesy of their respective publishers, distributors and creators, no copyright infringement intended; collection of Jane Austen quotes selected by Laurel Ann Nattress ©2014, Austenprose.com 

58 thoughts on “Celebrating Jane Austen Day 2014 with 75 Sensational Quotes That Every Janeite Should Not Live Without

  1. Those are good ones. I love so many. Here’s one from Northanger Abbey that was funny b/c of who said it, but still a good one: “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.”

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  2. If a book is well written, I always find it too short.
    The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not the pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.
    One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.
    When a friend is at hand the heart must be opened.
    Angry people are not always wise.
    How much sooner one tires of anything than a book.
    I declare after all, there is no enjoyment like reading!

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  3. Love “If there is anything disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.” but my favorite quote is “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Of all the quotes that is the one most think of and can quote from memory.

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  4. Oh, can’t forget this favorite: “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” In doing so one can not remember those who acted badly towards one or slighted one, etc. Good motto, Elizabeth.

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  5. “What wild imaginations one forms, where dear self is concerned! How sure to be mistaken!” (Persuasion, Chapter XXI)

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  6. Jane Austen is the great purveyor of the English language. Her dialogue is witty, ironic, profound, comedic, and absurd. One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Pride and Prejudice, when Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who can simply not tolerate being outdone by anyone, says to her company: ” There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, … If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.” Absolutely hilarious, and spot-on to the character of Lady Catherine.

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  7. Pride & Prejudice is my favorite book! My little paperback copy is quite marked up with underlined sections. ;)
    Some of my favorites (that I don’t think have been mentioned) are:
    – “You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.” ~Mrs. Bennet
    – “He is also handsome, which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can.” ~Lizzy
    – “I would not be so fastidious as you are for a kingdom!” ~Mr. Bingley
    – “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to temp me” ~Mr. Darcy
    – “My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.” ~Mr. Darcy
    – Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.
    – “It taught me to hope as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before.” ~Mr. Darcy
    – “Perhaps I did not always love him so well as I do now. But in such cases as these, a good memory is unpardonable.” ~Lizzy
    – “Such a charming man! — so handsome! so tall! — Oh, my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will overlook it.” ~Mrs. Bennet
    – “I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” ~Mr. Darcy
    – “My good qualities are under your protection, and you are to exaggerate them as much as possible; and, in return, it belongs to me to find occasions for teazing and quarrelling with you as often as may be” ~Lizzy

    And, of course, there are many more great parts, but I’ll leave it at that. ;)

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  8. “In vain I have 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.”
    Pride and Prejudice

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    • Paige, I love this one too, but my Janeite sensibilites know what will happen next in the dialogue and, while I love that Darcy is spilling his heart out to Lizzy, she is not ready to accept it at that present moment, nor are we as the reader. The pain that the sentence delivers to both is one of the most dramatic and wrenching in the book. Thanks for prompting me to relive it!

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  9. I love all the quotes; my favorite Jane Austen novel is Pride & Prejudice. Another quote I love is from Elizabeth Bennet: “I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”
    Happy Birthday, Jane! We love you!!

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  10. You actually mentioned the last part of my favorite quote but I love the whole thing: “You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.” My second favorite is from Love & Friendship: “Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!”

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  11. Dear Laurel Ann, a very good selection, but I must mention that quote no. 25 from Mansfield Park is only a partial Austen quote.

    Everywhere around the net is endlessly presented as if it were by Jane Austen, but in chapter 10 of the novel, it only appears the phrase “a quick succesion of busy nothings”, to describe what happened at the end of the visit to Sotherton: from the time of their sitting down to table, it was a quick succession of busy nothings till the carriage came to the door. It was Patricia Rozema who coined the full quote for her 1999 film.

    I cannot take part in the give away, but my offering to your selection would be from NA:

    The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. Henry Tilney in chapter 14.

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  12. “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” This is it, this is always it, it never changes – and it gets me every time.

    Happy Birthday, Jane – thank you for everything!

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  13. I didn’t see this one on the list, but this one is my favourite:

    “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”

    ― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

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    • Regina, it is amazing how like Austen this quote is, but cannot find it in the searchable text online at the Republic of Pemberley. I believe it is from the 1996 S&S movie – so it is by Emma Thompson. As I said in a reply to Candice Taylor above, what a compliment to Thompson that her writing so mirrored Austen’s own.

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  14. I keep this quote foremost in my mind, “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” Sense and Sensibility

    Thank you, Jane, for reminding us right action and conscience is the saving grace of humanity.

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  15. My all time favourite is Mr Bennet from Pride and Prejudice: “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn” I think he has the meaning of life all wrapped up in this sentence!

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  16. Jane is my superhero! There are so many favorite quotes to choose from, which makes it very trying to pick, but if I am forced, I’ll choose “Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.”

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  17. “Wisdom is better than wit, and in the long run will certainly have the laugh on her side.” -Letters from Jane Austen

    “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” -Persuasion

    “Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions.” -Mansfield Park

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  18. There are so many that I like and some have already been posted, so I will post these and hopefully not be repeating.

    “All the privilege I can claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when all hope is gone!” – Persuasion

    “Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death, I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant”. – Persuasion

    “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading. How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!” – Pride and Prejudice

    “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.” – Pride and Prejudice

    “You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.” – Pride and Prejudice

    Thank you for the generous give away Laurel Ann.

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  19. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
    ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

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  20. “Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it.” Excellent advice.

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  21. There are so many it’s hard to choose just one. Mines are: Mr. Darcy’s “My good opinion once lost is lost forever”, Captain Wentworth’s “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” , actually his whole letter is beautiful and always gets me every time read it. Another of my favorites is “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”

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  22. What fun it has been to read and re-read all these wonderful quotes! I love Austen’s wit and ability to illustrate the foibles of human nature… And with Tracy, one of my all time favorites is from Mr. Bennett, “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn.” Also in his first conversation with Mr. Collins, when he compliments him: “…it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy.”

    And Lady Catherine is good for many quotes from or about her… Here is one that always makes me smile: “…and whenever any of the cottagers were disposed to be quarrelsome, discontented or too poor, she sallied forth into the village to settle their differences, silence their complaints, and scold them into harmony and plenty.”

    Thank you for this delightful celebration of our dear Jane, Laurel Ann!

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  23. I was just given as a little gift at work, What Would JaneAusten Do? Quips and Wisdom from JaneAusten. So many quotes all in one place. A wonderful gift! How to pick a favorite? Random open to a page “I am not fond of the idea of my shrubberies being always approachable.” But I must say I love, “I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” Thank you for the celebration and the giveaway.

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  24. Besides, “If a book is well written, I always find it too short,” I also love Anne’s remark from Persuasion: “All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!”

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  25. Fancy that! The volume pictured in the ‘give-away’ is the exact book my wife gave me as a Christmas gift a few years ago! When I trot out the many clever, witty, and profound quotes of Jane Austen before my family, friends, and acquaintances, most of them are astonished at her wisdom. Once discovered, most fanciers never grow tired of her personality which grows ever brighter throughout the years.

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  26. Pingback: Merry Christmas Janeites! Giveaway Winner Announced for Jane Austen: Seven Novels | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

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