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)
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1811)
- One had rather, on such occasions, do too much than too little.
- I wish with all my soul his wife may plague his heart out.
- People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid.
- There are some people who cannot bear a party of pleasure.
- Money can only give happiness when there is nothing else to give.
Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1813)
- Those who never complain are never pitied.
- Laugh as much as you choose, but you will never laugh me out of my opinion.
- I could easily forgive his pride if he had not mortified mine.
- Stupid men are the only ones worthy knowing, after all.
- Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.
- My good opinion once lost is lost forever.
- A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.
- Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.
- Is not general incivility the very essence of love?
- One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.
- In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.
- To be fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love.
- What are men to rocks and mountains?
Fanny Price in Mansfield Park (2007)
MANSFIELD PARK (1814)
- Nobody minds having what is too good for them.
- Nothing every fatigues me but doing what I do not like.
- We all have our best guides within us, if only we would listen.
- Let your conduct be your only harangue.
- The enthusiasm of a woman’s love is even beyond the biographer’s.
- Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.
- Life seems but a quick successions of busy nothings.
- Every moment has its pleasures and its hope.
- Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is not hope for a cure.
- A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever saw.
- To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.
- A woman can never be to fine while she is all in white.
- Varnish and gilding hide many stains.
Emma Woodhouse in Emma (1996)
- It is well to have as many holds on happiness as possible.
- Perfect happiness, even in memory, is not common.
- There are people who the more you do for them, the less they do for themselves.
- Vanity working on a weak head produces every kind of mischief.
- Better be without sense than to misapply it as you do.
- Men of sense, no matter what you say, do not want silly wives.
- If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.
- If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.
- Success supposes endeavour.
- Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
- What is right cannot be done too soon.
- I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.
- I would much rather have been merry than wise.
- One can never have too large of a party.
- One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.
- It was a delightful visit – perfect, in being much too short.
- How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation.
- How much I love everything that is decided and open.
Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey (2007)
NORTHANGER ABBEY (1817)
- From politics it was an easy step to silence.
- I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.
- If we have not hearts, we have eyes, and they give us torment enough.
- For my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.
- If an adventure does not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.
- Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.
- It is well to have as many holds on happiness as possible.
- Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
- One man’s way may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.
- How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.
- His cold politeness, his ceremonious grace, were worse than anything.
- You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.
- A lady without a family, was the very best preserver of furniture in the world.
- If there is anything disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.
Jane Austen in Becoming Jane (2007)
- Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked.
- It is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people as well as they deserve.
- I will not say your mulberry trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive.
- Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?
- Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.
- An artist cannot do anything slovenly.
- There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.
- Wisdom is better than wit, and in the long run will certainly have the laugh on her side.
- What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance.
- There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.
- It is my unhappy fate to rarely treat people as well as they deserve.
- I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.
Happy Birthday dearest Jane. Thanks for all of the hours of pleasurable reading, movie viewing and general all-around obsessing.
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