Jane Austen

Literary Birthday – 16 December – Jane Austen


Jane Austen was born 16 December 1775, and died 18 July 1817.

Jane Austen: On Writing

‘I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.’

On Writer’s Block

‘I am not at all in a humour for writing; I must write on till I am.’

On Socialising

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

‘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 nothing like staying at home for real comfort.’

On Love

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

‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.’

‘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.’

On Books

‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.’

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

On Tea

‘But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.’

Where Jane Austen Wrote

Jane’s most productive writing years were spent in Chawton Cottage. She wrote near a window on a small walnut table on a writing slope from her father. Her dedication allowed her to produce three of her six novels during the last eight years of her life, and to revise her earlier ones.

Suggested reading:

  1. Six Lessons We’ve Learnt From Jane Austen – on love, life and writing
  2. How did Jane Austen learn to write?

Source for Portrait/Source for Writing Desk/Source for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

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