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37 wildly lovely Jane Austen quotes.

A few nights back I was tangled up in some pretty white linens in a hotel called the Noelle in downtown Nashville with my girl.

The two of us were watching Pride and Prejudice because she said she had seen it a hundred times and she had wanted, for a good while, to watch it once more with me.

She didn’t have to twist my arm. It sounded like a dream. I obliged willingly. Little did I know, it would end up becoming one of my favorite movies, too.

Five minutes into the film, the writer in me began hanging on to every piece of prose and dialogue shared between Jane Austen’s wildly complicated characters –– I asked her to pause it and turn on the subtitles.

I began taking mental notes I could later pull inspiration from and apply to Honey Copy, my creative writing shop that works with brands on writing words that sell.

I suppose I am different than most marketers, copywriters and business writers… I pull the vast majority of my inspiration from prolific fiction writers like Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and now… Jane Austen.

While I have never actually read one of Jane Austen’s books (she’s certainly on my reading list), after doing a little research, I felt inspired by not only her skills with the pen but how she changed literature forever while staying almost entirely anonymous for a large portion of her career.

Most of Jane Austen’s work was never published under the name “Jane Austen” but instead “A Lady”.

Below, you will find a few dozen of my favorite Jane Austen quotes or lines or whatever you want to call them.

37 Jane Austen quotes that will take your breath away.

The prose you’re about to read touches on everything from romance to a deep dive into human behavior to cultural insights from a time that has long since passed. But, most importantly, it’s pretty… and couldn’t this world use a little bit more pretty? Couldn’t this would use a little bit more Jane Austen?

  1. 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.

  2. I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.

    — Persuasion.

  3. It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.

    — Sense and Sensibility.

  4. Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.

    — Pride and Prejudice.

  5. Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.

    — Mansfield Park.

  6. Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.

    — Emma.

  7. Nobody minds having what is too good for them.

    –– Mansfield Park.

  8. We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.

    –– Mansfield Park.

  9. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  10. The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

    –– Northanger Abbey.

  11. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.

    — Emma.

  12. Let me know when you begin the new tea, and the new white wine. My present elegances have not yet made me indifferent to such matters. I am still a cat if I see a mouse.

    –– Letter to Cassandra.

  13. We are to have a tiny party here tonight. I hate tiny parties, they force one into constant exertion.

    –– Letter.

  14. There is safety in reserve, but no attraction. One cannot love a reserved person.

    –– Emma.

  15. Nothing ever fatigues me but doing what I do not like.

    — Mansfield Park.

  16. Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.

    — Pride and Prejudice.

  17. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?

    –– Mr Bennet, Pride and Prejudice.

  18. Without music, life would be a blank to me.

    — Emma.

  19. To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.

    — Pride and Prejudice.

  20. There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.

    — Emma.

  21. One man’s style must not be the rule of another’s.

    — Emma.

  22. 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.

    ― Sense and Sensibility.

  23. It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble.

    — Emma.

  24. I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.

    –– Letter to Cassandra.

  25. 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.

    — Northanger Abbey.

  26. If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.

    ― Emma.

  27. There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.
    — Mansfield Park.

  28. Give him a book, and he will read all day long.

    — Persuasion.

  29. Angry people are not always wise.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  30. But people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them forever.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  31. The distance is nothing when one has motive.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  32. Do anything rather than marry without affection.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  33. What are young men to rocks and mountains?
    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  34. Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of both were overspread with the deepest blush.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  35. She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  36. Till this moment I never knew myself.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

  37. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.

    –– Pride and Prejudice.

No. These aren’t going to necessarily help you write better sales pages or emails or articles… but they will certainly help improve your taste; helping you recognize good writing when you read it. And, I suppose taste is where writing well… all begins.

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.


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Cole Schafer