Jane Austen
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Quotes for
Jane Austen (Character)
from Becoming Jane (2007)

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Becoming Jane (2007)
Jane Austen: If I marry, I want it to be out of affection. Like my mother.
Mrs. Austen: And I have to dig my own damn potatoes!

Tom Lefroy: How can you, of all people, dispose of yourself without affection?
Jane Austen: How can I dispose of myself with it?

Jane Austen: My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire.

Cassandra Austen: [regarding 'First Impressions', which will later become 'Pride and Prejudice'] How does the story begin?
Jane Austen: Badly.
Cassandra Austen: And then?
Jane Austen: It gets worse.

Jane Austen: [regarding Mr. Wisley] His small fortune will not buy me.
Eliza De Feuillide: What will buy you, cousin?

Jane Austen: Cassie, his heart will stop at the sight of you, or he doesn't deserve to live. And, yes, I am aware of the contradiction embodied in that sentence.

Tom Lefroy: I think that you, Miss Austen, consider yourself a cut above the company.
Jane Austen: Me?
Tom Lefroy: You, ma'am. Secretly.

Tom Lefroy: Was I deficient in propriety?
Jane Austen: Why did you do that?
Tom Lefroy: Couldn't waste all those expensive boxing lessons.

Tom Lefroy: You dance with passion.
Jane Austen: No sensible woman would demonstrate passion, if the purpose were to attract a husband.
Tom Lefroy: As opposed to a lover?

Jane Austen: [she has just kissed him] Did I do that well?
Tom Lefroy: Very. Very well.
Jane Austen: I wanted, just once, to do it well.

Tom Lefroy: I am yours. Heart and soul, I am yours. Much good that is.
Jane Austen: I will decide that.

Mrs. Radcliffe: Of what do you wish to write?
Jane Austen: Of the heart.
Mrs. Radcliffe: Do you know it?
Jane Austen: Not all of it.

Jane Austen: Could I really have this?
Tom Lefroy: What, precisely?
Jane Austen: You.
Tom Lefroy: Me, how?
Jane Austen: This life with you.
Tom Lefroy: Yes.

Tom Lefroy: I depend entirely upon...
Jane Austen: Upon your uncle. And I depend on you. What will you do?
Tom Lefroy: What I must.

John Warren: And the famous Mrs. Radcliffe, is she as Gothic as her novels?
Jane Austen: Not in externals. But her internal landscape is, I suspect, quite picturesque.
Mr. Wisley: True of us all.

Tom Lefroy: Miss Austen...
Jane Austen: Yes?
Tom Lefroy: Goodnight.

Lucy Lefroy: [Interrupting Tom and Jane] What kind of trouble?
Jane Austen: All sorts of trouble.

Tom Lefroy: [reading from Mr. White's Natural History] Swifts, on a fine morning in May, flying this way, that way, sailing around at a great hight, perfectly happily. Then -
[checks he has her attention and nods to let her know this is what he meant]
Tom Lefroy: Then, one leaps onto the back of another, grasps tightly and forgetting to fly they both sink down and down, in a great dying fall, fathom after fathom, until the female utters...
Jane Austen: [breaking out of trance] Yes?
Tom Lefroy: [looks at her for a moment, then continues reading] The female utters a loud, piercing cry...
[he looks up at her again]
Tom Lefroy: ... of ecstasy.
[smiles tantalisingly]
Tom Lefroy: Is this conduct commonplace in the natural history of Hampshire?

Tom Lefroy: Was I deficient in rapture?
Jane Austen: In consciousness!

Tom Lefroy: I have been told there is much to see upon a walk, but all I've detected so far is a general tendency to green above and brown below.
Jane Austen: Yes, well, others have detected more. It is celebrated. There's even a book about Selborne Wood.
Tom Lefroy: Oh. A novel, perhaps?
Jane Austen: Novels? Being poor, insipid things, read by mere women, even, God forbid, written by mere women?.
Tom Lefroy: I see, we're talking of your reading.
Jane Austen: As if the writing of women did not display the greatest powers of mind, knowledge of human nature, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour and the best-chosen language imaginable?

Henry Austen: What do you make of Mr. Lefroy?
Jane Austen: We're honoured by his presence.
Eliza De Feuillide: You think?
Jane Austen: He does, with his preening, prancing, Irish-cum-Bond-Street airs.
Henry Austen: Jane.
Jane Austen: Well, I call it very high indeed, refusing to dance when there are so few gentleman. Henry, are all your friends so disagreeable?
Henry Austen: Jane.
Jane Austen: Where exactly in Ireland does he come from, anyway?
Tom Lefroy: [coming up behind Jane] Limerick, Miss Austen.

Henry Austen: Careful, Jane, Lucy is right. Mr. Lefroy does have a reputation.
Jane Austen: Presumably as the most disagreeable
[writing]
Jane Austen: "... insolent, arrogant, impudent, insufferable, impertinent of men. "
Jane Austen: [pauses] Too many adjectives.

Tom Lefroy: Was I deficient in rapture?
Jane Austen: Inconsciousness!
Tom Lefroy: It was... It was accomplished.
Jane Austen: It was ironic.

Jane Austen: This, by the way, is called a country dance, after the French, contredanse. Not because it is exhibited at an uncouth rural assembly with glutinous pies, execrable Madeira, and truly anarchic dancing.
Tom Lefroy: You judge the company severely, madam.
Jane Austen: I was describing what you'd be thinking.
Tom Lefroy: Allow me to think for myself.
Jane Austen: Gives me leave to do the same, sir, and come to a different conclusion.

Tom Lefroy: If there is a shred of truth or justice inside of you, you cannot marry him.
Jane Austen: Oh no, Mr. Lefroy. Justice, by your own admission, you know little of, truth even less.
Tom Lefroy: Jane, I have tried. I have tried and I cannot live this lie. Can you?
Tom Lefroy: [turns Jane's head towards himself] Jane, can you?

Cassandra Austen: You'll lose everything. Family, place. For what? A lifetime of drudgery on a pittance? A child every year and no means to lighten the load? How will you write, Jane?
Jane Austen: I do not know, but happiness is within my grasp and I cannot help myself.
Cassandra Austen: There is no sense in this.
Jane Austen: If you could have your Robert back, even like this, would you do it?

Tom Lefroy: Hampshire, your home county.
Jane Austen: It was.

Tom Lefroy: If you wish to practice the art of fiction, to be the equal of a masculine author, experience is vital.
Jane Austen: I see. And what qualifies you to offer this advice?
Tom Lefroy: I know more of the world.
Jane Austen: A great deal more, I gather.
Tom Lefroy: Enough to know that your horizons must be... widened.

Jane Austen: [after Tom loses a boxing match] Forgive me if I suspect in you a sense of justice.
Tom Lefroy: I am a lawyer. Justice plays no part in the law.
Jane Austen: Is that what you believe?
Tom Lefroy: I believe it. I must.

Lucy Lefroy: Laverton Fair. Vastly entertaining. Monstrous good idea, Jane.
Tom Lefroy: Yes, Miss Austen, not exactly your usual society, I'd say.
Jane Austen: Show a little imagination, Mr. Lefroy.

Tom Lefroy: ...your horizons must be... widened, by an extraordinary young man.
Jane Austen: By a very dangerous young man, one who has, no doubt, infected the hearts of many a young... young woman with the soft corrup...
Tom Lefroy: Read this
[hands Jane a book]
Jane Austen: -tion...
Tom Lefroy: and you will understand.

Jane Austen: [her reading for Cassandra] "The boundaries of propriety were vigorously assaulted, as was only right, but not quite breached, as was also right. Nevertheless, she was not pleased."

Mrs. Austen: Hurry along, Jane! We'll be late!
Jane Austen: When Her Ladyship calls, we must obey.

Tom Lefroy: Miss? Miss? Miss...
Jane Austen: Austen.
Tom Lefroy: Mr. Lefroy.
Jane Austen: Yes, I know, but I am alone.
Tom Lefroy: Except for me.
Jane Austen: Exactly.

Tom Lefroy: [after reading an excerpt about swifts] Your ignorance is understandable since you lack... What shall we call it? The history?
Jane Austen: Propriety commands me to ignorance.
Tom Lefroy: Condemns you to it and your writing to the status of female accomplishment. If you wish to practice the art of fiction, to be the equal of a masculine author, experience is vital.

Jane Austen: I have read your book. I have read your book and disapprove.
Tom Lefroy: Of course you do.

Tom Lefroy: Vice leads to difficulty, virtue to reward. Bad characters come to bad ends.
Jane Austen: Exactly. But in life, bad characters often thrive. Take yourself.

Jane Austen: [at Laverton Fair] Trouble here enough.
Tom Lefroy: And freedom, the freedom of men. Do not you envy it?
Jane Austen: But I have the intense pleasure of observing it so closely.

Tom Lefroy: What rules of conduct apply in this rural situation? We have been introduced, have we not?
Jane Austen: What value is there in an introduction when you cannot even remember my name? Indeed, can barely stay awake in my presence.

Mrs. Radcliffe: Of what do you wish to write?
Jane Austen: Of the heart.
Mrs. Radcliffe: Do you know it?
Jane Austen: Not all of it.
Mrs. Radcliffe: In time, you will. But even if that fails, that's what the imagination is for.

Jane Austen: A novel must show how the world truly is, how characters genuinely think, how events actually occur. A novel should somehow reveal the true source of our actions.

Lady Gresham: My nephew, Miss Austen, condescends far indeed in offering to the daughter of an obscure and impecunious clergyman.
Jane Austen: Impecunious? Your Ladyship is mistaken.
Lady Gresham: I am never mistaken.

Tom Lefroy: I have no money, no property, I am entirely dependent upon that bizarre old lunatic, my uncle. I cannot yet offer marriage, but you must know what I feel. Jane, I'm yours. God, I'm yours. I'm yours, heart and soul. Much good that is.
Jane Austen: Let me decide that.
Tom Lefroy: What will we do?
Jane Austen: What we must.

Jane Austen: [after leaving Tom in London and to Mrs. Austen] I'm sorry to have been so disobliging in the past.

Tom Lefroy: I... I depend entirely upon...
Jane Austen: Upon your Uncle. And I depend on you. So what will you do?
Tom Lefroy: What I must. I have a duty to my family, Jane. I must think of them as well as...
Jane Austen: Tom... Is that... Is that all you have to say to me?
Jane Austen: Goodbye, Mr. Lefroy.

Jane Austen: It's something I began in London. It is the tale of a young woman. Two young women. Better than their circumstances.
Cassandra Austen: So many are.
Jane Austen: And two young gentlemen who receive much better than their deserts as so very many do.

Jane Austen: You asked me a question. I am ready to give you an answer. But there is one matter to be settled. I cannot make you out, Mr Wisley. At times, you are the most gentlemanlike man I know and yet you would...
Mr. Wisley: "Yet". What a sad word.

Jane Austen: Tell me about your lady, Mr. Lefroy. From where does she come?
Tom Lefroy: She's from County Wexford.
Jane Austen: Your own country. Excellent. What was it that won her?. Your manner, smiles and pleasing address?

Jane Austen: How many brothers and sisters do you have in Limerick, Tom?
Tom Lefroy: Enough. Why?
Jane Austen: What are the names of your brothers and sisters?
Tom Lefroy: They...
Jane Austen: On whom do they depend?

Mr. Wisley: The good do not always come to good ends. It is a truth universally acknowledged.
Jane Austen: [writing] "... that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. "

Jane Austen: [reading Pride and Prejudice] "She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was a union that must have been to the advantage of both. By her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved, and from his judgment, information and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance. But no such happy marriage could now teach the admiring multitude what connubial felicity really was."

Jane Austen: [after John Warren proposes] Are there no other women in Hampshire?


Miss Austen Regrets (2008) (TV)
Fanny Austen-Knight: You like Mr. Haden!
Jane Austen: He has very good teeth.

Mme. Bigeon: [late at night, both in nightgowns; strong French accent] My friend in Paris has read a wonderful new book called 'Raison and Sensibilite'
Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility?
Mme. Bigeon: My friend says, whoever the woman is who wrote this book, she knows more about love than anyone else in the world
Jane Austen: Like someone who can't cook writing a recipe book
Mme. Bigeon: Passion is for the young. It fades so quickly.
Jane Austen: [wistfully] Not in our dreams
Mme. Bigeon: Comfort remains, friendship remains, if you are lucky as I was.
Jane Austen: Happiness in marriage remains a matter of chance
Mme. Bigeon: But the fuss we make about who to choose. And love still dies and money still vanishes. And, spinster, lover, wife, every woman has regrets. So we read about your heroines and feel young again. And in love. And full of hope. As if we can make that choice again.
Jane Austen: And do it right this time
Mme. Bigeon: This is the gift which God has given you.
[Jane Austen looks up sharply]
Mme. Bigeon: It is enough, I think.

Jane Austen: [reads to Cassandra from first draft of Persuasion] More than seven years were gone since this little history of sorrowful interest had reached its close;
Jane Austen: She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.She had used him ill, deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shewn a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure. She had given him up to oblige others.
Jane Austen: She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! alas! she must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.
Cassandra Austen: I don't know how you have say it without tears.
Jane Austen: I don't cry at anything that pays me money

Jane Austen: [Reads to Cassandra from first draft of Persuasion] More than seven years were gone since this little history of sorrowful interest had reached its close;
Jane Austen: She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.She had used him ill, deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shewn a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure. She had given him up to oblige others.
Jane Austen: She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! alas! she must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.
Harris Bigg: I don't know how you can say it without tears.
Jane Austen: I don't cry at anything that pays me money

Jane Austen: What if you do meet him
[the right man]
Jane Austen: and he doesn't have any money?
Fanny Austen-Knight: But if I love him then nothing else matters!
Jane Austen: What in heavens name gave you that idea?
Fanny Austen-Knight: It says so in all your books.
Edward Austen Knight: [gravely] If that's what you think they say, my dear, perhaps, you should read them again.


Northanger Abbey (2007) (TV)
[last lines]
Catherine Morland: He thought I was rich?
Henry Tilney: It was Thorpe who misled him at first. Thorpe, who hoped to marry you himself. He thought you were Mr. Allen's heiress and he exaggerated Mr. Allen's birth to my father. You were only guilty of not being as rich as you were supposed to be. For that he turned you out of the house.
Catherine Morland: I thought you were so angry with me, you told him what you knew. Which would have justified any discourtesy.
Henry Tilney: No! The discourtesy was all his. I-I have broken with my father, Catherine, I may never speak to him again.
Catherine Morland: What did he say to you?
Henry Tilney: Let me instead tell you what I said to him. I told him that I felt myself bound to you, by honor, by affection, and by a love so strong that nothing he could do could deter me from...
Catherine Morland: From what?
Henry Tilney: Before I go on, I should tell you there's a pretty good chance he'll disinherit me. I fear I may never be a rich man, Catherine.
Catherine Morland: Please, go on with what you were going to say!
Henry Tilney: Will you marry me, Catherine?
Catherine Morland: Yes! Yes I will! Yes!
[They kiss, and she backs him into a wall in her passion]
Catherine Morland: [voiceover]
The Voice of Jane Austen: To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of 26 and 18 is to do pretty well. Catherine and Henry were married, and in due course the joys of wedding gave way to the blessing of a christening. The bells rang and everyone smiled. No one more than so than Eleanor, whose beloved's sudden ascension to title and fortune finally allowed them to marry. I leave it to be settled whether the tendency of this story be to recommend parental tyranny or to reward filial disobedience.