I love this quote! Austen is writing to her niece, Fanny. Fanny had forced one of her suitors to read her Aunt Jane’s books without telling him who the author was (she wrote them anonymously, and the books only said, “By a Lady”). He, apparently, thought that the young ladies in her stories should have been better behaved. So Austen replies, “Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked.” Which is one of the things I love about her stories. She also told Fanny to fess up to her suitor and not to force him to read any more of her books.
Read more of my thoughts on Darcy’s imperfections over at Darcyholic Diversions.
. . . it was not in her nature to question the veracity of a young man of such amiable appearance as Wickham.
Of Jane Bennet
Pride and Prejudice, Vol. 1, Ch. 17
“His two other children were of very inferior value. . . . Anne, with an elegance of mind and sweetness of character, which must have placed her high with any people of real understanding, was nobody with either father or sister; her word had no weight, her convenience was always to give way — she was only Anne.”
Persuasion, volume 1, chapter 1
“There they exchanged again those feelings and those promises which had once before seemed to secure everything, but which had been followed by so many, many years of division and estrangement. There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their re-union, than when it had been first projected; more tender, more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other’s character, truth, and attachment; more equal to act, more justified in acting.”
Of Anne and Captain Wentworth’s engagement along the gravel walk in Bath.
Persuasion, volume 2, chapter 11
I believe I walked along this gravel path in Bath, but didn’t realize what it was while I walked there.
“Think of all this Fanny. Mr. J.P. has advantages which do not often meet in one person. His only fault indeed seems Modesty. If he were less modest, he would be more agreable, speak louder & look Impudenter;–and is it not a fine Character, of which Modesty is the only defect? . . . Wisdom is better than Wit, & in the long run will certainly have the laugh on her side.”
letter to her niece, Fanny Knight, about Mr. John Plumptre, whom Fanny was considering marrying
November 18, 1814 
“To take the good of everybody’s character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad–belongs to you alone.”
Lizzy to Jane
Pride and Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 4
I have friends like this, but I think I am really much more of a Lizzy.
One last thought from Charlotte on marriage:
“‘I am not romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’s character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.'”
Charlotte Lucas to Lizzy, after her engagement to Mr. Collins
Pride and Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 22