“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”
“Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.”
“I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.”
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”
“Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.”
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.”
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”
- Born: 16 December 1775
- Birthplace: Steventon, Hampshire, England
- Died: 18 July 1817
- Best Known As: The author of Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s novels were witty, warm and ironic portraits of the privileged classes of 18th- and 19th-century England. Her best-known works are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Emma (1815). Austen was one of eight children of an English clergyman, and given her literary accomplishments she lived a remarkably quiet and domestic life in the rural south of England. She never married and was only 41 when she died. (Curiously, due to the lack of acceptance of women authors at the time, her major novels were published anonymously, and Austen was not associated with them until after her death.) The Pride and Prejudice heroine Elizabeth Bennet and her dashing suitor Mr. Darcy are one of the more famous couples in English fiction.
Austen’s stories have long been favorites in Hollywood; recent screen adaptations include Pride and Prejudice (both a 1995 BBC TV production with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, and a a 2005 feature film with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet), Emma (1996, with Gwyneth Paltrow) and Sense and Sensibility (1995, with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet). The 1995 Alicia Silverstone movie Clueless is a whimsical takeoff of Emma… Austen herself was played by Anne Hathaway in the 2007 film Becoming Jane… The exact cause of Austen’s early death has never been clear. In the last year of her life she suffered from fatigue, back pain, nausea and fevers as she gradually faded away. Addison’s disease, Hodgkin’s disease and tuberculosis have all been suggested as possible causes by modern-day scholars.