Known for her wit and wisdom, Jane Austen was never at a loss for words on writing, nor were her characters at a loss for their follies and humor. If you’ve never read Jane Austen – and there are undoubtedly a few – her novels are a must read for their “sense and sensibility.” Austen takes on the social customs and behaviors of her day, and she does so with subtle yet sometimes scathing jabs at conformity and living only according to social expectations. Below are a few of our favorites, what are yours?
1. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” – Northanger Abbey, 1817
2. “One cannot have too large a party.” – Emma, 1815
3. “Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.” – Sense and Sensibility, 1811
4. “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” – Mansfield Park, 1814
5. “Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.” – Mansfield Park, 1814
6. “The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.” – Sense and Sensibility, 1811
7. “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 (1817)