Color drawing of Jane Austen sitting in a chair wearing a blue dress

Jane Austen

(1775 - 1817)

During the years Jane Austen was writing her now much-loved novels, she lived in her clergyman father’s house in Steventon, where she received one marriage proposal. In a five-year period in the 1810s, Austen published Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma.

All Writing

A mind lively and at ease can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer.

—Jane Austen, 1815

For what do we live but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?

—Jane Austen, 1813


“There were very few beauties,” wrote Jane Austen to her sister about a party she attended in 1800. The two Miss Maitlands had “a good deal of nose”; the General, “the gout”; Mrs. Maitland, “the jaundice”; and regarding Susan, Sally, and Miss Debary, Austen was “as civil to them as their bad breath would allow.”

We do not suffer by accident. 

—Jane Austen, 1813

Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what the difficulties of any individual of that family may be.

—Jane Austen, 1815

Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

—Jane Austen, 1818

I am sure of this: that if everybody was to drink their bottle a day, there would not be half the disorders in the world there are now.

—Jane Austen, c. 1798

The bathing was so delightful this morning, and Molly so pressing with me to enjoy myself, that I believe I stayed in rather too long, as since the middle of the day I have felt unreasonably tired. I shall be more careful another time, and shall not bathe tomorrow as I had before intended.

—Jane Austen, 1804

A sick child is always the mother’s property; her own feelings generally make it so.

—Jane Austen, 1816

A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.

—Jane Austen, 1814

Voices In Time

1791 | Steventon

Briefly Noted

Fifteen-year-old Jane Austen is unimpressed with the kings and queens of England. More

Issues Contributed