Happy Birthday, Jane Austen! 19 Quotes To Brighten & Inspire Your Day

Written by Allie White

Two hundred and forty years ago today, British novelist Jane Austen was born in Hampshire, England. Though her works were first published anonymously, they were immediately popular, and today, Austen is widely regarded as a great English writer.

She was a prolific letter writer, and her six novels — Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion — helped to usher 19th-century realism into literature. Her work is simultaneously comic and biting, highlighting the severe gender differences of her time.

To celebrate this beloved author, we've rounded up 19 of her most inspiration, grin-worthy quotes. May they brighten your day and move you to greatness!


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

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

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.

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

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.

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.

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

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

A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer.

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.

My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

...why did we wait for any thing? — why not seize the pleasure at once? — How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!

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

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.

They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for nature early in life.

Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.

Business, you know, may bring you money, but friendship hardly ever does.

I had a very pleasant evening, however, though you will probably find out that there was no particular reason for it; but I do not think it worth while to wait for enjoyment until there is some real opportunity for it.

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