Jane Austen’s works are loved for being witty, scathing and romantic. The following quotes prove that Jane Austen is the queen of satire and sense.

Jane Austen’s novels are still fantastically popular more than 200 years after they were written. This isn’t surprising as the novels are funny, romantic and offer a scathing attack on the social expectations of the time. As the following quotes show, Jane Austen ridicules many of the expectations placed on women and points out the hypocrisies of high society constantly.

But the books are popular for more than social commentary. They are full of funny, wise and endearing characters and of plenty of characters with flaws who make many mistakes and errors. Readers can empathize with many of the situations Austen’s heroines find themselves in and I think this is part of the reason they still appeal to readers today.

Jane Austen’s novels are so popular they have been made into many TV and film adaptations over and over again. They have also been recreated in the film Clueless, which is based on Emma and the book Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld, which is a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice.

Recently a Jane Austen quote has been used on the new British ten-pound note. This has caused some controversy. The quote may say “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” which sounds fine until you remember that the words are spoken by Caroline Bingley, one of Austen’s most reviled characters who despised reading and only said the words to impress Mr. Darcy.

With so many wonderful quotes by Jane Austen to choose from that are both funny, clever and profound goodness know why the powers that be chose that one!

Here are ten profound Jane Austen Quotes that are witty, charming and still relevant to life today.

“My good opinion once lost is lost forever,” Pride & Prejudice, 1813.

On the face of it, this quote seems to say one thing – basically, if I lose my good opinion of someone. I will never change my mind.

However, taken in the context of the novel, where Lizzie Bennet initially has a very bad opinion of Mr. Darcy and then later falls head over heels in love with him, it may have a different meaning. Perhaps it is not to judge too quickly and to always give people a second chance.

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure,” Pride & Prejudice, 1813.

This lovely quote reflects a very current idea. We should spend less time dwelling on the past and be more mindful. But of course, it is always nice to remember past good times and pleasures.

“We all have our best guides within us, if only we would listen,” Mansfield Park, 1814.

Who knew the Georgians were so spiritually aware. In a time of strict religious adherence, Jane’s words must have seemed radical. Most of us would agree now, though, that following our intuition, and not being swayed by the expectations and opinions of others, is usually a good idea.

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment,” Mansfield Park, 1814

This lovely quote again reminds us to live in the moment. So often in the busyness of life, we forget to take time just to just stop and admire the view.

“Varnish and gilding hide many stains,” Mansfield Park, 1814.

Jane Austen could have a biting wit as well as a gentle nature. This one reminds us not to take things at face value – after all, ‘All that glitters is not necessarily gold’. Perhaps we should look beyond the surface of life to find true beauty.

“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love,” Northanger Abbey 1817

This is a sentiment we should never forget. When the chips are down, we all need a good friend we can rely on. And if we are lucky enough to have a few close friends and family members who are always there to provide a shoulder to cry on, we should make sure to never let them go.

“There are people who the more you do for them, the less they do for themselves,” Emma, 1815.

Again, we see Austen’s scathing wit in this quote. And how right she is. Let’s face it, we all know people like this. Often we want to help and rescue people, but we have to be careful that we are not just enabling them to stay helpless.

“If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next,” Emma, 1815.

Ah, wise words, Ms. Austen. It always pays to bear in mind that whatever we are going through at the moment, no matter how hard it seems, will pass. There is light at the end of the tunnel, always.

“Success supposes endeavour,” Emma, 1815.

Oh, Jane, this one could come out of a modern motivational speech. It’s no good just sitting around waiting for joy, luck and good fortune to land in our laps. To succeed at something important, we have to put the work in.

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort,” Emma, 1815.

This is one of my favorite Jane Austen’s quotes. It’s perfect for all the introverts out there. Need I say more?

Closing thoughts

We hope you have enjoyed these wonderful quotes by Jane Austen. We’d love to hear your favorites. Please share them with us in the comments below

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hildegardes Girl

    “Success supposes endeavour,” Emma, 1815.
    Actually, this is not a motivational speech to get off your backside.
    Instead, . its about making assumptions about events and our power to influence them.. Mr Knightly chastises Emma personal perception about her influence in matchmaking and the possible reality of simple luck. She takes credit in the successful match of the Westons in order to support her illusion that being first in the community somehow gives her the power over circumstances and people …which she then realize how wrong she is all too painfully in her matchmaking between Harriet and the vicer. The story is about self importance and the dangers of an egocentric perception about your own importance.
    Read the whole book and dont take just snippets. The story is the thing.

  2. bob cleaver

    regarding jane austen quotes, its not actually about taking the story and quotes in context with each other, but more about taking quotes in general that will fit in with other scenarios (particularly if they fit in fit in with modern times) i think this is where ms pursey is coming from, at the end of the day it depends how important the original literary work is to said individual but i think its tantalising to try and make quotes fit into modern times, quotes which are in excess of 200 yrs old..

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