Category Archives: Notes

Book Trailer for The Jane Austen Guide to Life

So this is not a quote, but since it’s the official release day for my new book, The Jane Austen Guide to Life, wanted to share this fun little video.  (It’s not about the Real Housewives, really…)


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Sex, Money, and Power

In honor of this fall’s meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America, we’ll be featuring a series of quotes about Sex, Money, and Power between now and October.  Read more here.

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Welcome to the redesigned Austen Quotes Blog!

Welcome to the newly redesigned blog!  I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. So glad to finally be able to reveal it.  Many thanks to Travis McSherley for the new look.

I’ve also cleaned up the posts a bit, taken out some duplicates, and re-categorized everything into much more specific categories.  So now you can look posts up by book, or by character, or by topic.  I hope to be able to continue to build this into a valuable resource for Austen fans and students.

Also, because this is now on WordPress, you can subscribe (in the left column) and receive each day’s post via email.

Enjoy!  I welcome your feedback!


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With joy

This has taken far longer than I ever thought it would, but the Jane Austen Quotes blog has now officially been resurrected.  It's going on four years since I've been able to post regularly here, and I'm thrilled to pieces to be back.

I'm still in treatment for Lyme, which has been longer and harder than anything I ever imagined, but we're seeing a lot of progress and I'm more and more capable.  I'm also thrilled to announce that I have a new book coming out in May: The Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman.  That project — and just the ability to work, to write — has been such a gift.

There's more information both about my journey with Lyme and about the new book at my web site,

Thank you for your comments, for wondering about me, for your concern and your prayers.  I've really appreciated them (and your emails and letters), though I've largely been unable to reply.

I'm hopeful for the future . . . and so glad to be here with you.

And now, to celebrate Jane.

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A couple other non-quote things…

The book just came out in the UK — how cool is that!  They’ve changed the subtitle to "A Modern Woman’s Search for Happiness, Fulfilment, and Her Very Own Mr. Darcy"

Also, I’ll be speaking Monday, Sept. 22 at the George Mason Fall for the Book Festival.  This is a wonderful week-long literary event.  If you’re in the DC area, check it out!  I’m on at 2pm in Dewberry Hall South on the GMU campus.


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Ah – news!

Dear readers,

I can’t believe I’m here writing this!  I’ve wanted to post so many times.  Thank you all for your kind words and prayers.  Can’t tell you how much they mean to me.

It’s been an incredibly difficult summer.  Lyme disease is tough to explain. You would think you take a dose of antibiotics and get better, but it’s not that simple.  Once you’ve had it for a while (it was 5 and 1/2 years before I was diagnosed), it works its way through your body and gets entrenched, so to speak.  The only way to get rid of it at that point is to take lots of antibiotics for a *long* time.  And the antibiotics make everything worse for a while, as they kill off the Lyme and flood your body with dead bacteria.  (Ugh…)

I can’t remember how much I’ve told you in the past, but after being diagnosed I was on antibiotics (strong, 2 or 3 at a time) for 18 months.  At that point, we were seeing some progress, and my doctor wanted to give my body a break because the antibiotics themselves can be so hard on the body.  So I went off for 6 months and took herbal antimicrobials to try to hold everything at bay.  But that wasn’t enough.

So, at the beginning of the summer, I started the process all over, with a new round of antibiotics.  It seems that there are co-infections as well (deer ticks, which spread Lyme, are like little sewers, and can also infect you with babesia, bartonella, ehrlichiosis…).  Because the antibiotics are rough, I had to start with small doses and work my way up (you take a small amount, get knocked out for a few days, up the dose, get knocked out for a few days… on and on).  Just last week I reached the full dosage.

So I spent a lot of time flat on my back this summer — and a good bit of time praying desperately that the anti-nausea meds would kick in.  I’m so thankful for the friends and family who help take care of me, especially my parents.  I couldn’t do this without them.

Just in the last week or two I’ve started to notice a difference.  I can do a little more, my brain is a little clearer, I don’t have to go back to bed until noon every day and rest for hours every afternoon and evening.  I’m so thankful.  I’m hopeful that the new meds are working and will continue to work, that I’ll continue to see improvements.  I’m guessing I probably have another year left in treatment at least, but I pray that I’ll continue to be able to do a little more and remember what it’s like to be able to live life rather than laying on the couch and watching it go by.

And I hope to be able to resume these daily quotes!

I covet your good thoughts and prayers.  Thank you!!



For more info about Lyme, check out the wonderful documentary Under Our Skin.  Also, read about Amy Tan’s experiences.


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Top Ten Spiritual Jane Austen Places

Austen_romanbaths_sm I’m thrilled to post this!  (Thanks, BajaJaneite for sending in the link — I’ve been wanting to share it with you all.)

I did a gallery for BeliefNet with pictures from my trip and thoughts on the spiritual Austen places I visited — spiritual being rather loosely defined, as in perhaps relating to (ahem…) the cult of Colin Firth. 😉

Check it out!  The pics are some of my absolute favorites.  They’re also running an excerpt from my book.

Photo of the Roman Baths (copyright Lori Smith 2005)


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Karen Joy Fowler interview

There’s a lovely interview with Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club, at Tina Ann Forkner’s blog.  I’ve posted a few snippets at Following Austen as well.

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Regretful Jane

I watched Miss Austen Regrets last night, and I’m not entirely sure if I liked it.  Posted some thoughts over at Following Austen.  Would love to know what you thought.

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Sweet Northanger

I’d love to know what you thought of Northanger Abbey.  I thought it was sweet, and well done.  More here.

Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland.  ©ITV plc (Granada International) for Masterpiece™


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