Jane Austen’s fiction has cemented its place in English literature as some of the most romantic love stories in the world. Though she didn’t have a long career (dying at the age of 41) Austen created works of fantastic beauty and wit, revolving around love and the upper class. From Pride and Prejudice to Northanger Abbey, covering themes of classism, true love and deception, and exploring writing styles ranging from Gothic to Romantic, Austen earned her title as one of the most talented writers in literature.
1. Pride and Prejudice, 1813. Austen's most prolific work, Pride and Prejudice creates one of the most beloved couples in English literature. Lizzie and Mr. Darcy must both overcome their own pride and prejudices to find a love that is now world famous. In the background are the themes of class, money, true love and knowing oneself deeply.
Memorable Quote: "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
2. Persuasion, 1817/1818. Anne, a thoughtful, sensitive woman, falls in love with and accepts a proposal from the sea captain Frederick Wentworth, then breaks it after familial pressure forces her to give up the man she loves. Eight years later, Captain Wentworth returns to Anne's life. Anne loves Frederick as much as ever, but he still bears a wounded grudge against Anne. For true love to triumph, Frederick must overcome his pain, and Anne must realize that only she, and no one else, can make her decisions for her.
Memorable Quote: "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you."
3. Northanger Abbey, 1817. In Austen's Northanger Abbey, the young Catherine Morland is fascinated by Gothic novels. This paints her conception of the world with an interesting brush. It very nearly causes her to loose the love of Henry Tilney, but their relationship remains strong. Together, their love overcomes his father's objections to Catherine as a match for Henry.
Memorable Quote: "There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature."
4. Sense and Sensibility, 1811. The Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, represent the two very different sensibilities. The sensible Elinor and emotional Marianne find themselves living with their mother in a new neighborhood and soon are each involved in the trials and tribulations of love. The honorable Edward Ferras, the romantic rogue John Willoughby and the quiet, steadfast Colonel Brandon enter their lives and promptly turn everything upside down.
Memorable Quote: "Yes, I found myself, by insensible degrees, sincerely fond of her; and the happiest hours of my life were what I spent with her."
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