Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Happy Birthday, Jane!!


We have a great deal to celebrate because, even though Jane's life was cut short very early, she still managed to achieve something wonderful. Her books have delighted millions over two centuries, and they have the ability to bring together so many people from different backgrounds from around the world. Her wit, her memorable characters, her ability to see through the hypocrites and sycophants of the time, her clever obsevations and of course, her innovative (at the time) depiction of romance -- these are just a few things that we have come to love and cherish. To me, what is most memorable about her is her sharp which has the capacity to startle you out of your complacency.

Here are some examples of phrases by her that I'm particularly fond of:


Next week I shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend. ~Letters


It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of a man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire. ~Northanger Abbey

...it was not in her nature to question the veracity of a young man of such amiable appearance as Wickham. ~Pride and Prejudice

A lady, without a family, was the very best preserver of furniture in the world. ~Persuasion

I have more than once observed to Lady Catherine that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess, and that the most elevated rank, instead of giving her consequence, would be adorned by her. — These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship, and it is a sort of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay. ~Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Collins)

Those who do not complain are never pitied. ~ Pride and Prejudice (Mrs. Bennet)

How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! ~ Pride and Prejudice (Caroline Bingley)



I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased. ~Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Darcy, of course)

And here it is -- in Jane's own mischievous words -- the reason we should celebrate Jane's birthday


I am very much obliged to my dear little George for his messages, for his Love at least--his Duty I suppose was only in consequence of some hint of my favourable intentions towards him from his father or mother. I am sincerely rejoiced however that I ever was born, since it has been the means of procuring him a dish of Tea. ~Letters
Thank you, Jane Austen!!