24 of the Best Jane Austen Quotes on Courtship, Love, and Marriage to Share with Your Valentine

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

In honor of lovers everywhere we are highlighting some of Jane Austen’s insights on courtship, love, and marriage in her novels, and in her life, on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day.

Here are 24 of the best quotes to include in a card, express directly to your friends, family, or inamorata, or just revel in today.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!


Matters of the Heart

  • “Where the heart is really attached, I know very well how little one can be pleased with the attention of any body else.” —Isabella Thorpe, Northanger Abbey
  • “There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” —Jane Austen, Emma
  • “If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.” ―Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility

The Rules of Love

  • “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’s Letters
  • “A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of.―Mr. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
  • “No young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman’s love is declared, it must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her.” ―Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Misguided Love

  • “He was in love, very much in love; and it was a love which, operating on an active, sanguine spirit, of more warmth than delicacy, made her affection appear of greater consequence because it was withheld, and determined him to have the glory, as well as the felicity, of forcing her to love him.” —Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
  • “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” —Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
  • “Poor fellow! he is much distracted by jealousy, which I am not sorry for, as I know no better support of love.” —Lady Susan Vernon, Lady Susan


Symptoms of Love

  • “To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” ―Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • “We are all fools in love.” —Charlotte Lucas, Pride and Prejudice
  • “Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?” ―Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

A Tempered Heart

  • “My real purpose was to see you, and to judge, if I could, whether I might ever hope to make you love me.” —Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
  • “A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not.” —Captain Wentworth, Persuasion


Love’s Revelations

  • “It darted through her with the speed of an arrow that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!” —Jane Austen, Emma
  • “It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.” ―Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility
  • “She was one of those, who, having, once begun, would be always in love.” ―Jane Austen, Emma

Sincere Love

  • “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.” —Isabella Thorpe, Northanger Abbey
  • “I’ve come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is, and always will be, yours.” —Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility
  • “Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her. But it was a hope shortly checked by other considerations, and she soon felt that even her vanity was insufficient, when required to depend on his affection for her—for a woman who had already refused him…” —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


A Passionate Heart

  • “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.” —Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
  • “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” ―George Knightley, Emma

True Love

  • “There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison.” ―Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own…I have loved none but you.” —Captain Wentworth, Persuasion

Illustration of Jane Austen is by Mrs. Peggotty Art & Painting, original artwork by Elisabetta Stoinich, from Etsy. The quotes are from The Oxford Illustrate Jane Austen, Oxford University Press, edited by R.W. Chapman © 1988 (reprint); text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2022, austenprose.com.


Hello Dear Readers,

Did we miss any of your favorite Jane Austen quotes on love and romance? If so, please share.

Drop us a line below and share your thoughts on this list. We would love to hear from you!

Laurel Ann Nattress, editor

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