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Jane Austen
English novelist
(1775 - 1817)

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Jane Austen

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"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
-- Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 1

"She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper."
-- Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 1

"May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?"
-- Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 18

"Mr Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth -- and it was soon done -- done while Mrs Bennet was stirring the fire."
-- Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 15

"From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. -- Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.
-- Mr. Bennett to his daughter, Elizabeth, in: Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 20

"Without thinking highly either of men or matrimony, marriage had always been her object: it was the only honorable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want."
-- Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 22

"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, in: Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 37

"I might as well inquire," replied she, "why with so evident a design of offending and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have. Had not my own feelings decided against you -- had they been indifferent, or had they even been favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a most beloved sister?"
-- Elizabeth Bennett, in: Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 37

"From the very beginning -- from the first moment, I may almost say -- of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form that groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immoveable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."
-- Elizabeth Bennett, in: Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 37

"You certainly ought to forgive them as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing."
-- Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 57

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and to laugh at them in our turn?"
-- Pride and Prejudice (1813), ch. 57

"One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other."
-- Emma (1816), ch. 9

"The folly of people's not staying at home when they can! ... five dull hours in another man's house, with nothing to say or hear that was not said or heard yesterday, and that may not be said or heard again tomorrow... four horses and four servants taken out for nothing but to convey five idle, shivering creatures into colder rooms and worse company than they might have had at home."
-- Emma (1816), ch. 13

" 'Oh! it is only a novel! ... only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda;' or, in short, only some work in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language."
-- Northanger Abbey (1818), ch. 5

"Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind, is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person should always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing any thing, should conceal it as well as she can."
-- Northanger Abbey (1818), ch. 14

"All the privilege I claim for my own sex ... is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone."
-- Persuasion (1818), ch. 23

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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