Jan 3, 2011

Jane Austen and the New Year!

Emily May

What I'm reading: Jane Eyre

Watching: Dexter

Listening to: Fat Freddy's Drop

Welcome to a brand new year everyone!

To start 2011 with a regency flavour, I'd like to share some quotations from the incomparable Jane Austen.
Since this is a blog for people who love to read, I'll begin with Mr Tilney's views on reading -- or rather, his damning views on people who don't read!

"The person,
be it
gentleman or lady,
who has not pleasure
in a good novel,
st be intolerably stupid."

None of us are intolerably stupid, right? If we were to meet Mr Tilney among the pages of Northanger Abbey, he would suitably impressed by our novel reading and pronounce us tolerably intelligent, wouldn't he? So, from one avid reader to another, let me wish you all many hours of joyful reading this year!

Secondly, here is a piece of Jane wisdom (said by Mrs Morland to her daughter Catherine, also in Northanger Abbey):

"You should never fret about trifles."

I'm a big trifle-fretter, but I'm going to do my best to follow this advice. Hopefully 2011 is the year I'll conquer this habit!

Another excellent observation of Jane's (via the eponymous Emma of Emma) is this:

"Silly things do cease to be silly
if they are done by sensible people
in an impudent way."

I love this quote -- it's definitely an invitation to us all to do silly things!

My favourite Jane Austen quote, however, is this one from Sense and Sensibility (as uttered by Edward Ferrars):

"I wish as well as every body else
to be perfectly happy;
but like every body else
it must be in my own way."

Very, very true. We each need to find our own happiness in our own, unique way. If we haven't already found it, may 2011 be the year that we do!

I'd like to finish with some excellent advice from Jane:

"Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!"

And to illustrate the excellence of that advice, here's Mr Darcy in his wet shirt after doing a little running mad (or rather, swimming mad)...

Happy 2011 everyone -- may it be a fabulous year for us all, full of reading, and no trifle-fretting, and lots of silliness, and finding our own happiness, and running mad -- but not fainting!
If you have any favourite Jane quotes, please feel free to share them!


  1. Emily

    Love those quotes and I too hope to have lots more time this year to catch up on my TBR pile which seems to grow so fast with so many fantastic authors releasing books that I must have LOL.

    Have Fun

  2. So many Jane Austen quotes, so little time!

    Love Henry Tilney's comment about novel readers. Also love, love that version of Northanger Abbey. Have been trying to get it on dvd, but can only find places I need to order it, and only in a dvd with Emma and Mansfield Park (the MP I don't like, with Billie Piper).

    Much prefer the MP with Frances O'Connor where they wove in some of Jane Austen's own letters and early writings, including that great quote you've used, "Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint." Fanny calls it out as advice to her sister Susan. Gorgeous.

  3. Yes, Helen, TBR piles have a habit of growing! I managed to reduce mine a bit over Christmas, but it's still in two stacks!

    Good luck catching up!

  4. Rachel, I haven't seen that version of Northanger Abbey either -- and I really want to! It is a fabulous quote, isn't it? Run mad!

  5. Emily, I love your Jane Austen quotes!

    It really is very hard to choose just one, but... I love it when Lizzy Bennet stands up to Lady Catherine's bullying with, "I am only resolved to act in that manner which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected to me."

    Go girl!

    Oh and there there's Darcy's "In vain have I struggled" speech. That always makes me swoon.

  6. Oh, yes, Michelle, that Lizzy speech is brilliant! Fantastic heroine, Lizzy Bennett! I have the videos of the Jennifer Ehle BBC version and am looking forward to viewing them again. For me, she's the perfect Lizzy -- not too pretty, and very feisty!

  7. Argh, Emily! I'm putting my hand up as another trifle-fretter! Perhaps that should be my project for this year - less of it!

    Those Jane Austen quotes your chosen are great - I do love the way she's able to frame the most definite setdown in such polite language. I can't quote because it's been a while since I've seen the video, but Lizzie's scenes with Lady Catherine De Burgh have always struck me as civility that packs a wallop!

    Thank you for another peek at Mr Darcy in a wet shirt! Lovely way to start the year!


  8. She was bang on! Don't we worry about something trifling until something bigger comes along??

    I'm taking to heart her advice re being happy but in our own way. It's easy to apply that to ourselves. Sometimes we forgot about other's need to listen to the beat of their own drum...particularly when you're a mum.

    Thanks, Em!!

  9. Sharon, you're welcome for the wet shirt! And good luck with the trifle-fretting -- we should do a 12-step programme together!

  10. Oh, yes, absolutely, Robbie! Jane Austen was right about trifles, and right about happiness -- she was one smart lady!

  11. Emily I must be one of the only writer's here who cannot sink into Jane Austen works. Okay ducking now for cover!! (and I promise to try again!!! LOL)
    On a bright note, though not Austen, I have fallen in love with North & South.

  12. I've heard such good things about North & South, Mel. I really want to watch it! If you enjoy film adaptations, there are some excellent (and very amusing) ones of Jane Austen's works. Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson is very funny!