Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 and published her first novel “Sense and Sensibility” in 1811. 3 more novels (Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815) were published during her lifetime. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published posthumously (after her death).

Jane Austen may have only written 6 full-length novels but her legacy continues to today. Her views on women, their right to education, their position in society still resonate in the 21st century. In fact, she is the only Victorian female author I know who is the most widely-read, has dedicated fans throughout the world and whose novels have been adapted into period and modern films. This article reviews the modern film adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels, while this article reviews the best costume drama film adaptations of the novels ( I still pine for Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation!).

My favourite novels are Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

To celebrate what would have been her 240th birthday tomorrow, I’d like to share with you 10 quotes as uttered by Jane Austen’s characters. The quotes I have chosen have a special meaning for me. They relate to subjects as varied as reading, friendship, women, education, pride, love and society.

“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” —Sense and Sensibility (1811)

“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)

“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)

“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 (1817)

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” —Northanger Abbey (1817)

“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.” – Pride and Prejudice (1813)

“To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” —Mansfield Park (1814)

“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.” —Pride and Prejudice (1813)

“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” – Jane Austen’s personal correspondence

“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.” –  Jane Austen’s personal correspondence

I am in complete agreement with this last quote. Have I missed out any gems? What are your favourite Jane Austen quotes?

Happy Birthday, Jane. I would have loved to have met you and discussed society and the role of women within it with you. Thank you for the novels and for giving us such lasting pleasure.

This post is dedicated to all you Jane Austen fans out there and especially , to my gorgeous stepmother who shares her birthday with Miss Austen. Her siblings once told her she was a Punjabi version of Jane and no wonder she shared her birthday for she lived in another era! Happy birthday, lovely Davinder.

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Ciao for now