May 10, 2014

Jane Austen's Life Instructions

Cindy R. Williams

I, like many of you, love all things "Jane Austen."  Today in Deseret Book, I bought a tiny four by five inch purple book for the small sum of $5.95 titled JANE AUSTEN'S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK. Each tiny page makes me smile . . . and think.

Here are a few of her instructions:

  • "One cannot have too large a party."  Mr. Weston, EMMA
  • "Perfect happiness, even in memory, is not common."  EMMA
  • "It is very unfair to judge of anybody's conduct without an intimate knowledge of their situation."  Emma Woodhouse, EMMA
  • "Do not let us be frightened from a good deed by a trifle." Mrs. Norris, MANSFIELD PARK
  • "Do not let your kindness defend what your judgement must censure." Marianne Dashwood, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
  • "Let us not desert one another." NORTHANGER ABBY
  • "There is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than a book!"  Miss Bingley, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
  • "The liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language." NORTHANGER ABBY
  • "How quick come the reasons for approving what we like." PERSUASION

I do say that Ms. Austen has a fine mind. Each of these statements gives one food for deep thought.


  1. Put me in the I-can't-stand-Austen crowd, but these are great comments.

  2. I love the instructions! How fun!


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