10 Memorable Quotes from Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Stamp 2013

Every Pride and Prejudice fan can quote the famous opening line of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” There are lots more gems where that came from, as evidenced by the memorable quotes from Pride and Prejudice on life, love, and marriage that follow.

Jane’s family recognized her talent, and with the assistance of her father and brothers, they sought to find a publisher for Pride and Prejudice. Amazingly considering the book’s iconic status, they met with no success. Soon, they embarked on a similar mission for Sense and Sensibility.

At last, they found a reputable publisher, Thomas Egerton, to print it on a commission basis. Jane was eager to see it in print, regardless of how it might happen, and wrote to her sister, “I am never too busy to think of Sense and Sensibility. I can no more forget it, than a mother can forget her suckling child.”

Sense and Sensibility was published in 1811 and took two years to sell out the edition of one thousand.

Pride and Prejudice was soon after accepted by Egerton with little fanfare and even less favorable terms. The book was published to critical acclaim in 1813, and became one of the most successful novels of the season. Its author identified on the title page only as “A Lady.”

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Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice on Amazon*

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The publisher went through three printings in the course of Jane’s lifetime, but having sold the copyright (which lasted twenty-eight years), she received no further remuneration.

Still, Jane was exceedingly proud of Pride and Prejudice. In a letter written to her sister, Cassandra, January 29, 1813, she wrote: “I feel that I must write to you to-day. I want to tell you that I have got my own darling child [referring to Pride and Prejudice] from London.”

Despite its modest beginnings, P & P has gone on to be one of the cornerstones of English literature. Here’s but a small sampling of the lines that have made this book such a classic, one to return to again and again.

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“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

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“The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”

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Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility stamp 2013
Quotes from Sense and Sensibility
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“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

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“Our scars make us know that our past was for real.”

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“One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.”

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“It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us. Women fancy admiration means more than it does. And men take care that they should.”

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Quote from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

See also: On First Reading Pride and Prejudice

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“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

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“Money is the best recipe for happiness.”

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“How little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue.”

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“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. It is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are about to pass your life.”

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Pride and Prejudice 1995 miniseries


Miniseries and film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice
Why Has Mr. Darcy Been Attractive to Generations of Women?
Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku
Memorable Jane Austen Quotes

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