Category Archives: Beauty

True beauty

“Lady Catherine herself says that in point of true beauty, Miss De Bourgh is far superior to the handsomest of her sex; because there is that in her features which marks the young woman of distinguished birth.”

Mr. Collins

Pride and Prejudice, Vol. 1, Ch. 14

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Filed under Beauty, Lady Catherine, Money, Power, Pride and Prejudice, Wealth

Men of large fortune

“But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.”

Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 1

Oh, how true!


Filed under Beauty, Mansfield Park, Men, Money, Wealth

Dear Mrs. Jennings

“It would be an excellent match, for he was rich, and she was handsome. . . . she was always anxious to get a good husband for every pretty girl.”

busybody Mrs. Jennings on why she thinks Marianne and Colonel Brandon should get together
Sense & Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 8

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Filed under Beauty, Col. Brandon, Marianne, Marriage, Money, Money and Marriage, Mrs. Jennings, Sense and Sensibility, Wealth

The charms of Miss Bates

Why is it everyone likes Miss Bates so much?

“Her daughter [Miss Bates] enjoyed a most uncommon degree of popularity for a woman neither young, handsome, rich, nor married. Miss Bates stood in the very worst predicament in the world for having much of the public favour; and she had no intellectual superiority to make atonement to herself or frighten those who might hate her into outward respect.  She had never boasted either beauty or cleverness.  Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother and the endeavor to make a small income go as far as possible.  And yet she was a happy woman, a woman whom no one named without goodwill.  It was her own universal goodwill and contented temper which worked such wonders.  She loved everybody, was interested in everybody’s happiness, quick-sighted to everybody’s merits; thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with blessings in such an excellent mother and so many good neighbors and friends and a home that wanted for nothing.  The simplicity and cheerfulness of her nature, her contented and grateful spirit, were a recommendation to everybody and a mine of felicity to herself.”

Emma, volume 1, chapter 3

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Filed under Beauty, Character description, Contentment (or not), Emma, Happiness, Miss Bates, Money, Popularity, Poverty

Ideas in common (or lack thereof)

“Only one comes back with me tomorrow, probably Miss Eliza, & I rather dread it.  We shall not have two Ideas in common.  She is young, pretty, chattering & thinking chiefly (I presume) of Dress, Company, & Admiration.”

Of a journey back home with one of the Miss Moores
letter to her niece, Fanny Knight
November 30, 1814 [114]

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Filed under Austen's friends, Beauty, Conversation, Letters, Youth

Loveliness itself

[Mrs. Weston]  “She is loveliness itself.  Mr. Knightley, is not she?”

“I have not a fault to find with her person,” he replied.  “I think her all you describe.  I love to look at her; and I will add this praise, that I do not think her personally vain.  Considering how handsome she is, she appears to be little occupied with it; her vanity lies another way.”

Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley on Emma’s beauty and faults
Emma, volume 1, chapter 5

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Filed under Beauty, Emma, Emma Woodhouse, Miss Taylor - Mrs. Weston, Mr. Knightley, Pride


“Catherine hoped at least to pass uncensured through the crowd.  As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but she did not depend on it.”

Of Catherine’s first venture to Bath’s Upper Rooms
Northanger Abbey, volume 1, chapter 2

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Filed under Beauty, Catherine Morland, Humility, Northanger Abbey

Almost pretty

“‘Catherine grows quite a good-looking girl, — she is almost pretty today,’ were words which caught her ears now and then; and how welcome were the sounds!  To look almost pretty, is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life, than a beauty from the cradle can ever receive.”

Of sweet Catherine Morland
Northanger Abbey, volume 1, chapter 1

Felicity Jones as Catherine.

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Filed under Beauty, Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey

Years of danger

“She had the consciousness of being nine-and-twenty to give her some regrets and some apprehensions; she was fully satisfied of being still quite as handsome as ever, but she felt her approach to the years of danger, and would have rejoiced to be certain of being properly solicited by baronet-blood within the next twelvemonth or two.”

Of Elizabeth Elliot
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 1

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Filed under Aging, Beauty, Elizabeth Elliot, Persuasion

On being a late twenty-something

“It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before; and, generally speaking, if there has been neither ill-health nor anxiety, it is a time of life at which scarcely any charm is lost.”

in the description of Elizabeth Elliot
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 1

Hear, hear!  (Or is that, here, here!  I never know…)  Of course, Marianne would disagree.

Julia Davis as Elizabeth Elliot; Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot; and Amanda Hale as Mary Musgrove.. ©Nick Briggs/Clerkenwell Films for Masterpiece™

Complete Jane Austen

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Filed under Aging, Beauty, Elizabeth Elliot, Persuasion