Category Archives: Writing

Pictures of perfection

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.

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Filed under Austen family, Character, Letters, niece Fanny Knight, Writing

Ah, Fame…

“I am very much flattered by your commendation of my last Letter, for I write only for Fame, and without any view to pecuniary Emolument.”

letter to Cassandra
January 14, 1796 [2]

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Filed under Fame, Letters, Money, Writing

Which makes me long for more

“You will be glad to hear that every Copy of S.&S. is sold & that it has brought me £140–besides the Copyright, if that should ever be of any value.–I have now therefore written myself into £250.–which only makes me long for more.”

letter to her brother Frank about the success of Sense and Sensibility
July 6, 1813 [86]

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Filed under Greed, Letters, Money, Sense and Sensibility, Writing

For the love of Pewter

“People are more ready to borrow & praise, than to buy–which I cannot wonder at;–but tho’ I like praise as well as anybody, I like what Edward calls Pewter too.”

to her niece Fanny Knight, on whether or not there will be a second edition of Mansfield Park
November 30, 1814 [114]

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Filed under Letters, Mansfield Park, Money, Writing

A dirty Shaving Rag

“Your trying to excite your own feelings by a visit to his room amused me excessively.–The dirty Shaving Rag was exquisite!–Such a circumstance ought to be in print.  Much too good to be lost.”

letter to her niece, Fanny Knight, about Mr. John Plumptre, whom Fanny was considering marrying
November 18, 1814 [109]

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Filed under Austen family, Letters, niece Fanny Knight, Uncertainty in love, Writing

A necessity

“How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in a journal?  How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal?”

Henry teasing Catherine the first time they meet in the Lower Rooms in Bath
Northanger Abbey, volume 1, chapter 3

I’m afraid that I am guilty as charged.

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Filed under Catherine Morland, Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey, Sarcasm, Writing

My own darling child

My boxes of books arrived Friday!

“I want to tell you that I have got my own darling Child from London;–on Wednesday I received one Copy, sent down by Falknor, with three lines from Henry to say that he had given another to Charles & sent a 3d by the Coach to Godmersham.”

letter to Cassandra, on receiving her first copy of Pride and Prejudice
January 29, 1813 [79]

(Unfortunately, I left my camera at my parents’ this weekend, so I’ve not been able to take pictures.)


Filed under Austen family, Letters, Pride and Prejudice, Writing

As delightful a creature

“I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, & how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.”

letter to Cassandra, on Pride and Prejudice‘s Elizabeth Bennet
January 29, 1813 [79]

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Filed under Elizabeth Bennet, Letters, Pride and Prejudice, Writing

I must write on

"I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on till I am."

letter to Cassandra
October 26, 1813

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Filed under Letters, Writing

An author’s hopes

“I cannot help hoping that many will feel themselves obliged to buy it.  I shall not mind imagining it a disagreeable Duty to them, so as they do it.”

letter to Cassandra, on the release of the second edition of Sense & Sensibility
November 6, 1813 [96]

This makes me laugh!

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Filed under Letters, Money, Sense and Sensibility, Writing