Top Austen Quotes

Browse top 102 famous quotes and sayings about Austen by most favorite authors.

Favorite Austen Quotes

1. "And I love Jane Austen's use of language too--the way she takes her time to develop a phrase and gives it room to grow, so that these clever, complex statements form slowly and then bloom in my mind. Beethoven does the same thing with his cadence and phrasing and structure. It's a fact: Jane Austen is musical. And so's Yeats. And Wordsworth. All the great writers are musical."
Author: Andrew Clements
2. "Look at Jane Austen. Her characters derive in a reasonably straight line from fairy tales."
Author: Andrew Davies
3. "How is it that, a full two centuries after Jane Austen finished her manuscript, we come to the world of Pride and Prejudice and find ourselves transcending customs, strictures, time, mores, to arrive at a place that educates, amuses, and enthralls us? It is a miracle. We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else's mind."
Author: Anna Quindlen
4. "All reading is good reading. And all reading of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens is sublime reading."
Author: Anna Quindlen
5. "...I thought he was the man I'd been waiting for. A hero right out of Austen. The one who would finally make everything okay. Only he wasn't real. Like Austen's characters, he was fiction. Mr. Darcy broke my heart."
Author: Beth Pattillo
6. "For many years, biographers and scholars, beginning with her great nephew James Austen-Leigh, presented her as a quiet, reserved, proper woman, but one has only to read her novels to realize that she was nothing so bland. Her genius, her craft, and her timeless prose are no secret, but thanks to Cassandra's scissors, most other aspects of her life will probably remain a mystery."
Author: Beth Pattillo
7. "Even when there were good wars to write about, writers such as Jane Austen wrote novels concerning marriage. They usually went like this:'You're being a real jerk.''Sorry about that. I was secretly helping you.''Oh, you're wonderful! And you have so much money! You're my new favorite cousin!''Let's get married."The End."
Author: Dan Wilbur
8. "The visible structure of Jane Austen's stories may be flimsy enough; but their foundations drive deep down into the basic principles of human conduct. On her bit of ivory she has engraved a criticism of life as serious and as considers as Hardy's."
Author: David Cecil
9. "How I wish I lived in a Jane Austen novel!"
Author: Dodie Smith
10. "She is never alone when she has Her Books. Books, to her, are Friends. Give her Shakespeare or Jane Austen, Meredith or Hardy, and she is Lost - lost in a world of her own. She sleeps so little that most of her nights are spent reading."
Author: E.M. Delafield
11. "Eudora Welty singles out for praise Austen's "habit of seeing both sides of her own subject - of seeing it indeed in the round". ... Both men and women can be vain about their appearances, selfish about money, overawed by rank, and limited by parochialism; both men and women can function capably, think profoundly, feel deeply, create imaginatively, laugh wittily, and love faithfully. Without vindicating the rights of anyone directly, Austen posits a humanism far ahead of her time. "How really modern she is, after all," Welty concludes of Austen."
Author: Emily Auerbach
12. "I'm named after Jane Austen's Emma, and I've always been able to relate to her. She's strong, confident but quite tactless."
Author: Emma Donoghue
13. "So perhaps the correct conclusion is that Green was less attuned to how people sound when they speak - the actual words and expressions they employ - than to what they mean. This notion of dialogue as a pure expression of character that...transcends the specifics of time and place may be partly why the conversations in the works of writers such as Austen and Bronte often sound fresh and astonishingly contemporary..."
Author: Francine Prose
14. "...in other words, all I want to be is the Jane Austen of south AlabamaInterview - March 1964"
Author: Harper Lee
15. "Bridget. Sleeping with a twenty-nine-year-old off twitter on the second date is not "rather like in Jane Austen's day"."
Author: Helen Fielding
16. "She had lolled about for three years at Girton with the kind of books she could equally have read at home--Jane Austen, Dickens, Conrad, all in the library downstairs, in complete sets. How had that pursuit, reading the novels that others took as their leisure, let her think she was superior to anyone else?"
Author: Ian McEwan
17. "Perhaps it's one of those cases of a microcosm giving you the whole world. Like a spode dinner plate. Or a single cell. Or, as daisy says, like a Jane Austen novel. When player and listener together know the route so well, the pleasure is in the deviation, the unexpected turn against the grain. To see a world in a grain of sand. So it is, Perowne tries to convince himself, with clipping an aneurysm: absorbing variation on an unchanging theme."
Author: Ian McEwan
18. "I know what you're thinking. ‘How the hell does this broke ass piece of trailer trash know words like caveat,' right? Well guess what? I've read every single book on the New York Times list of 'Top 100 Literary Classics,' not to mention every Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath or Bronte sisters' book ever written. And fuck you very much for judging me, by the way."
Author: Isobel Irons
19. "I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I'm in good company there."
Author: J.K. Rowling
20. "Sono gli stessi gradini dai quali Jane Austen fa cadere Louisa Musgrove in Persuasione." "Come è romantico." "Gli uomini erano romantici... allora."
Author: John Fowles
21. "Reading Austen is a frickin' mine field."
Author: Karen Joy Fowler
22. "The beautiful unruliness of literature is what makes it so much fun to wander through: you read Jane Austen and you say, oh, that is IT. And then you turn around and read Sterne, and you say, Man, that is IT. And then you wander across a century or so, and you run into Kafka, or Calvino, or Cortazar, and you say, well that is IT. And then you stroll through what Updike called the grottos of Ulysses, and after that you consort with Baldwin or Welty or Spencer, or Morrison, or Bellow or Fitzgerald and then back to W. Shakespeare, Esq; the champ, and all the time you feel the excitement of being in the presence of IT. And when you yourself spend the good time writing, you are not different in kind than any of these people, you are part of that miracle of human invention. So get to work. Get on with IT, no matter how difficult IT is. Every single gesture, every single stumble, every single uninspired-feeling hour, is worth IT." Richard Bausch"
Author: Kathy Fish
23. "Do not speak unflatteringly of Jane," Flora said, walking beside Chad. "She is the greatest writer to have ever lived." "I thought that was Shakespeare." "William was, or course, quite good," Flora said. "But no one can compare to Jane Austen."
Author: Krista McGee
24. "Mary-Lynnette: "You have not read 'Pride and Prejudice'."Ash: "Why not?"Mary-Lynnette: "Because Jane Austen was a human."Ash: "How do you know?"Mary-Lynnette: "Well Jane Austen was a woman, and you're a chauvinist pig."Ash: "Yes, well, that I can't argue."
Author: L.J. Smith
25. "If you mean Miss Austen, I don't find her particularly romantic," Tasmin declared. "Can't say that I care much about the marriage arrangements among the middle classes."Tasmin Berrybender"
Author: Larry McMurtry
26. "I've always loved books by the Bronte sisters. I love Jane Austen, too. I'm more influenced by people like her than by pop culture."
Author: Laura Marling
27. "Besides, she had survived the searingly hot nights, when sleep was rendered impossible, by reading a miasma of English novels by Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. They had served to fire her belief that 'true love' would one day be found."
Author: Lucinda Riley
28. "I'm a Jane Austen/Jane Eyre kind of girl."
Author: Maggie Grace
29. "How to explain the sheer tingling joy one experiences when two interesting, complex, and occasionally aggravating characters have at last settled their misunderstandings and will live happily ever after, no matter what travails life might throw in their path, because Jane Austen said they will, and that's that? How to describe the exhilaration of being caught up in an unknown but glamorous world of balls and gowns and rides in open carriages with handsome young men? How to explain that the best part of Jane Austen's world is that sudden recognition that the characters are just like you?"
Author: Margaret C. Sullivan
30. "Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it."
Author: Mark Twain
31. "All the Jane Austen in the library cannot wash the Queens from this little hand."
Author: Mary Gordon
32. "In Jane Austen it was the critical faculty that would not be quieted; and that faculty in her, played on men and women."
Author: Mary Lascelles
33. "Others beside Jane Austen have made their Eltons, though none quite so cooly as she."
Author: Mary Lascelles
34. "Sympathy compounded of liking and compassion in varying proportions evidently seemed to Jane Austen the most natural inventive to imaginative interest in a character."
Author: Mary Lascelles
35. "As blue chips turn into penny stocks, Wall Street seems less like a symbol of America's macho capitalism and more like that famous Jane Austen character Mrs. Bennet, a flibbertigibbet always anxious about getting richer and her 'poor nerves.'"
Author: Maureen Dowd
36. "Growing up, I mostly read comic books and sci-fi. Then I discovered the book 'Jane Eyre' by Jane Austen. It introduced me to the world of romance, which I have since never left. Also, the world of the first-person narrative."
Author: Meg Cabot
37. "Tu as vraiment fait regarder Clueless à ta classe de littérature anglaise pour illustrer l'actualité d'Emma de Jane Austen?"
Author: Nora Roberts
38. "All Jane Austen novels have a common storyline: an attractive and virtuous young woman surmounts difficulties to achieve marriage to the man of her choice. This is the age-long convention of the romantic novel, but with Jane Austen, what we have is Mills & Boon written by a genius."
Author: P.D. James
39. "For [Jane Austen and the readers of Pride and Prejudice], as for Mr. Darcy, [Elizabeth Bennett's] solitary walks express the independence that literally takes the heroine out of the social sphere of the houses and their inhabitants, into a larger, lonelier world where she is free to think: walking articulates both physical and mental freedom."
Author: Rebecca Solnit
40. "It's not Jane Austen, it's not Henry James. But this writer, or writers, well, they're pretty damn good too."
Author: Richard Curtis
41. "'Pride and Prejudice' - perhaps more than any other Jane Austen book - is engrained in our literary consciousness."
Author: Seth Grahame Smith
42. "I think it's degrading of you, Flora,' cried Mrs Smiling at breakfast. 'Do you truly mean that you don't ever want to work at anything?'Her friend replied after some thought: 'Well, when I am fifty-three or so I would like to write a novel as good as "Persuasion", but with a modern setting, of course. For the next thirty years or so I shall be collecting material for it. If anyone asks me what I work at, I shall say "Collecting material." No one can object to that. Besides, I shall be.'Mrs Smiling drank some coffee in silent disapproval.'If you ask me,' continued Flora, 'I think I have much in common with Miss Austen. She liked everything to be tidy and pleasant and comfortable around her, and so do I. You see Mary,' - and here Flora began to grow earnest and to wave one finger about - 'unless everything is tidy and pleasant and comfortable all about one, people cannot even begin to enjoy life. I cannot endure messes."
Author: Stella Gibbons
43. "You know, there was a time when childbirth was possibly the most terrifying thing you could do in your life, and you were literally looking death in the face when you went ahead with it. And so this is a kind of flashback to a time when that's what every woman went through. Not that they got ripped apart, but they had no guarantees about whether they were going to live through it or not. You know, I recently read - and I don't read nonfiction, generally - Becoming Jane Austen. That's the one subject that would get me to go out and read nonfiction. And the author's conclusion was that one of the reason's Jane Austen might not have married when she did have the opportunity...well, she watched her very dear nieces and friends die in childbirth! And it was like a death sentence: You get married and you will have children. You have children and you will die. (Laughs) I mean, it was a terrifying world."
Author: Stephenie Meyer
44. "I always figured nerves were for Jane Austen characters and helium-voiced girls who never buy their round; I would no more have turned shaky in a crisis than I would have carried smelling salts around in my reticule."
Author: Tana French
45. "Did Jane Austen ruin lives by giving people false expectations about love? Were her heroes just too good to be true? Could a real man of flesh and blood ever hope to live up to such paragons? And were books with happy endings cruel? Did they give their readers a warped view of the world and what they could expect from it?"
Author: Victoria Connelly
46. "(Jane Austen) is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness."
Author: Virginia Woolf
47. "When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman."
Author: Virginia Woolf
48. "Anyone who has the temerity to write about Jane Austen is aware of [two] facts: first, that of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness; second, that there are twenty-five elderly gentlemen living in the neighbourhood of London who resent any slight upon her genius as if it were an insult to the chastity of their aunts."
Author: Virginia Woolf
49. "Here was a woman about the year 1800 writing without hate, without bitterness, without fear, without protest, without preaching. That was how Shakespeare wrote, I thought, looking at Antony and Cleopatra; and when people compare Shakespeare and Jane Austen, they may mean that the minds of both had consumed all impediments; and for that reason we do not know Jane Austen and we do not know Shakespeare, and for that reason Jane Austen pervades every word that she wrote, and so does Shakespeare."
Author: Virginia Woolf
50. "We are now ready to tackle Dickens. We are now ready to embrace Dickens. We are now ready to bask in Dickens. In our dealings with Jane Austen we had to make a certain effort in order to join the ladies in the drawing room. In the case of Dickens we remain at table with our tawny port."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov

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We are all mediums for our own basic truths. All we really have in life is the primal force that moves us through our days--our unvarnished, untutored, ever-present, inborn agency."
Author: A.S.A. Harrison

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