What?!? Yep, you read it correctly. I’m going on an Austen Anti-Love protest.
Okay, not really.
I love romance as much as the next guy, but I decided that I wanted to turn the spot light from the popular love scenes and romantic figures in Jane Austen’s stories to one of the other facets of her writing.
Austen is funny, people. And she makes you really think about human behavior. We all know this. Even our least favorite Austen stories are still by far stellar to many other books out there for that reason. So instead of turning to the expected hearts and flowers for the month of love, I wanted to look elsewhere in the stories for some of the moments that made me laugh, smile, and grew my personal love for this author’s works.
In the interests of brevity (too late, I know- I can’t be brief), I’ve decided to give a brief (yep, there’s that word again, but I did try, does that count?) list of characters and quotes involving little to no actual romance in them (anti-love protest, remember?).
1. Okay, first there’s Emma. Does anyone else get the giggles whenever she opens her mouth to give matchmaking advice to Harriet all the while knowing that Mr. Elton is after her and Frank Churchill is secretly engaged to Jane Fairfax?
“A Woman is not to marry a man merely because he asked (valid point), or because he is attached to her (but it certainly is a good start).”
“Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.” Love her spin on things.
“I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control. ” Stated by a lady who won’t let others see her sweat.
2. Isabella Thorpe’s gift for irony that she doesn’t even know she poses has so much to impart to her dearest friend Catherine.
“They (men) are very often amazingly impertinent, if you do not treat them with spirit, and make them keep their distance (says the lady who stalked to men on the street while acting faux-offended like they were stalking her)…They give themselves such airs (uh huh, you don’t say). They are the most conceited creatures in the world, and think themselves of so much importance (giggle snorted and nearly choked- dear Isabella…).”
3. Mrs. Bennet suffers and suffers surrounded by such people who so little appreciate her (I do, dear lady, I appreciate you so much for many smiles).
“Remember where you are, and do not run on in the wild manner that you are suffered to do at home (right back atcha).”
“Those persons who fancy themselves very important, and never open their mouths, quite mistake the matter (you tell him, Mrs. B).”
And the gal that is the spice to Mansfield life, Miss Mary Crawford, can get me sniggering and chuckling and winking faster than anyone else in that story. And she makes a certain kinda sense, folks.
“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of (there are days that I’m with you on that one, sister).”
“Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope for a cure (sly minx!).”
“Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch (I wish this were true).”
5. Marianne makes me smile often. She is so caught up in her sensibilities.
“The more I know of the world (b/c she has traveled so much and lived so long…lol), the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much (now, this is priceless)!”
“She (Elinor) tried to explain the real state of the case to her sister(Marianne).
“I do not attempt to deny,” said she, “that I think very highly of him–that I greatly esteem, that I like him.”
Marianne here burst with forth with indignation:
“Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elinor. Oh! worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise. Use those words again, and I will leave the room this moment.”
Elinor could not help laughing. “Excuse me,” said she, “and be assured that I meant no offence to you, by speaking, in so quiet a way, of my own feelings.” LOL! The raillery of sisters.
“It is not everyone,” Elinor said. “that has your passion for dead leaves.” Okay this is Elinor talking so I cheated a bit, but these two sisters play off each other so well.
“Brandon is just the kind of man whom every body speaks well of, and nobody cares about; whom all are delighted to see, and nobody remembers to talk to (ouch, poor Colonel B).”
Sir Walter had me snorting and eye-rolling in the first chapter. Every time he opened his mouth; I wanted to caution him- be careful, Walt, your vanity is showing.
“I am not fond of the idea of my shrubberies being always approachable (Cracks me up. Every time).”
“I frequently observe that one pretty face would be followed by five and thirty frights (yes, mornings are terrifying for me, too, when I glance in the mirror).”
So there is the short and very abbreviated list. I nearly pulled a muscle holding myself in check. But now, gentle reader, it’s your turn. Share some of your favorite humorous scenes or quotes with me because, like Lizzy, I dearly love to laugh.
If you are so inclined to curl up with a book beside the fire with your cup of tea while watching winter outside your window, I would be pleased for you to try this one:
Then Comes Winter
Barnes & Noble
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. Writing has been a compelling need since childhood. Being published is a dream come true.
Stalkers are Welcome (the not so serial-killer kind anyway):
Claudine Di Muzio
Love this post Sophia! Austen’s humor is well represented here!! Love the quotes, especially the ones from Mary Crawford. She sounds like a Kardashian… Interesting connection?? Thanks for sharing!
Haha! Yes, she does strike me as the flashy girl of the Austen ladies. Though, Lydia and Kitty if they had wealth would be Kardashian-like. Love her wit!