The 9 Best Jane Austen Quotes About Love

It’s not even February yet but when I walked the aisles of my local market today, there was already an entire area devoted to all things Valentine’s Day. Instead of yelling “too soon!” and throwing a sea of conversation hearts on the floor, I am embracing the early celebration of v-day with Jane Austen. I know I’m asking for trouble with the title of this post, and I welcome it whole-heartedly. Please disagree with me in the comments.

  1. Sense and Sensibility 

  2.  Pride and Prejudice 
    At the time this sort of statement was revolutionary (at least for a woman to say out loud). Marrying was the only way for a woman to secure her future. If, like Austen, you did not marry, you were sure to be poor, obscure, and pitied. Choosing potential spinsterhood over a comfortable, but loveless, marriage makes Elizabeth Bennet a Georgian superhero.

  3. Northanger Abbey
    I think we call agree that Isabella Thorpe is a mostly detestable person who uses Catherine to get to her brother James (whom Isabella thinks will inherit a lot of money). I can forgive her for some of this back-handedness, because lord knows being a poor, unmarried lady in the Regency must have been terrifying. Regardless, the above really rings true for me.

  4. Mansfield Park
    Everytime I read this, I want to shout at the top of my lungs, “DAMMIT EDMUND, GROW A PAIR.” But I have to admit, the sentiment rings true. If someone loves you, they should treat you like you’re the sun and stars. Above all, the feeling should be mutual.

  5. Northanger Abbey
    I’m partial to Henry Tilney because he’s very 3-dimensional and modern. Teasing Catherine Morland to within an each of her life, making fun of love, all the while falling for her. It is too sweet for words.

  6. Pride and Prejudice
    Austen perfectly describes the sensation of falling in love: it sweeps you off your feet and creeps slowly up on you simultaneously. This line actually reminds me a lot of that now-famous quote from The Fault in Our Stars, “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once.” Perhaps John Green was paraphrasing Jane Austen all the while?

  7. Emma
    Mr. Knightley says this to Emma when he finally professes his love and I go weak in the knees every time. (Jeremy Northam probably doesn’t hurt the situation either.) There’s something about a guy struggling to articulate his feelings, am I right?

  8. Sense and Sensibility 
    This is pretty much the definition of mutual affection. Sigh.

  9. Persuasion 

BRB there’s something in my eye…

Alright, now that we’ve counted down Austen’s love quotes, get ready to see her life in a whole new light with Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen. I think a lot of readers are so intrigued by Austen because of her ability to write beautiful love stories without ever being in love herself. Aerendgast rewrites history and gives Jane Austen a story worthy of one of her novels. Coming out this February, stay tuned for details!

Okay, now let’s debate!

7 Responses

  1. gailw

    I love your choices, Rachel. And #1 always brings a tear to my eye. Boy, that lady sure could write!

  2. Christina Boyd

    I am in absolute agreement. Well done.

  3. Deborah

    I agree with your, especially with #1 as well as 2-9.

  4. karen

    #3 I might have put at #1, given my knowledge of the novel. To think that Knightley – who I see as smooth and elegant, fair and kind, sophisticated and articulate – to see him bumbling his words in his attempt to tell Emma how he feels about her – well, it’s an amazing combination of character and dialogue. I also love the Mansfield Park one – that book is tough to read, but there are some real gems in it.
    Great list!

  5. Kate

    #8 “I am determined that only the deepest love will induce me into matrimon…” it is not Jane Austen’s quote! Elizabeth Bennet never said that, it was all Adrew Davies doing!

  6. Debra

    I agree with #1, and move #2 and #6 to the bottom because they imply that pleasing the man is more important than loving him, and that will be enough. Maybe it would have then, but my modern sensibilities, I guess, rebel. I agree with previous comment on #8, it is from the 1995 A&E/BBC production not the book.

  7. Rachel Berman

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I can’t believe I quoted Andrew Davies! He is one of favorites when it comes to adaptations, so I will forgive myself this time…