There are some Austen quotes that sound wonderful when presented alone, but their meaning in their respective novel is almost completely opposite or just simply ridiculous. So I’ve taken it upon myself to “fix” some quotes. Feel free to post them on your wall or computer backgrounds in their more “true” form. (Or their original form, I know they are lovely in isolation). Even adding the real speaker instead of writing “Jane Austen” gives me a tip off!
We all know Caroline’s famous line, it’s even on British money and graces the walls of many libraries…..
Let us translate this with what Caroline actually meant to convey. Anyone want to paint this on their wall? After all, Caroline was only holding a book to try and attract Darcy’s admiration:
Now for Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey:
Ah, so lovely! Now let’s fix it with the proper context:
A beautiful sentiment indeed!
This one is particularly popular among those who love a nice, warm drink:
But Sir Thomas was not requesting tea as a preferred drink, he really just wanted the busy-body Mrs. Norris to stop with all her blathering so he could rest after a long journey:
Here is another lovely quote from a not-so-lovely person:
Here, this sounds more like Mrs. Elton:
Fortunately, given her command of satire, I think Jane Austen would get a good laugh out of all these “misquotes” rather than being angry. The joke of Caroline’s quote, as she throws the book aside and yawns, being on promotional materials for libraries is just too good!
And plenty Austen quotes are good in context and without:
“But I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” -Mrs. Croft, Persuasion
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey
“Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart.” -Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more” -Mr. Knightley, Emma
Jane Austen, who else has written so many beautiful sarcastic comments and then had them quoted in earnest? I can’t think of another!
All my works contain repurposed Austen quotes, though I always try to make them true to the original meaning. My first novel, Prideful & Persuaded, has an Austen quote at the beginning of each chapter and it’s almost a spoiler for what will happen if you remember where it’s from!
Check it out on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited: