Seize the Pleasure: Nine Happiness Quotes From Jane Austen

July 18, 2017

Today is the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, at age 41. Her novels have had a lasting impact on the world of literature and have inspired countless fans as well as quite a few books about them and her. Since I wrote this piece, we’ve seen even more Austen-inspired books, essays, celebrations, and so on, come into being. (See below for a link to Signature’s “Essential Guide to Jane Austen,” as well as two fun and free printables.)

In remembrance of Miss Austen, here are nine quotes from her books related to happiness:

From Mansfield Park:

“There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.”

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”

“There is nothing like employment, active indispensable employment, for relieving sorrow. Employment, even melancholy, may dispel melancholy.” 

From Sense and Sensibility:

 “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”

“What have wealth or grandeur to do with happiness?” “Grandeur has but little,” said Elinor, “but wealth has much to do with it.”
“Elinor, for shame!” Said Marianne. “Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it...” 

From Northanger Abbey:

“[I]t is well to have as many holds upon happiness as possible.”

From Emma:

“Why not seize the pleasure at once?—How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!”

 “Perfect happiness, even in memory, is not common.” 

From Pride and Prejudice:

 “I never could be so happy as you. Till I have your disposition, your goodness, I never can have your happiness.” 

Reading Jane Austen makes me happy—it’s a simple pleasure I haven’t indulged in for quite some time. I might choose Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey to read next, because I’m not as familiar with them as I am with Pride and Prejudice or Emma (my two favorites).

Do you have a favorite Jane Austen novel?

Signature's free, downloadable “Essential Guide to Jane Austen”
Jane Austen quote printables
Jane Austen-themed printable bookmarks

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  1. Dear Kathy - Great quotes about happiness from a very talented author. So glad you shared. Hugs!