‘Jane Austen’s Little Book of Wisdom’ Features Hundreds of the Author’s Most Iconic Quotes

Did your favorite line make it in?
Did your favorite line make it in? / (Book cover) Hampton Roads Publishing/Amazon; (Background) Tuomas A. Lehtinen/Moment/Getty Images
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that the first seven words of Pride and Prejudice have been parroted in so many intros that they’ve basically become their own cliché. But considering that this article is literally about Jane Austen quotes, we hope you’ll forgive us for keeping the trend alive.

Any self-respecting Austen-ite can probably recite the line in its entirety: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Easily debunkable, sure, but still a tidy encapsulation of the socioeconomic dynamics that ruled British life during the Georgian era, and that Austen chronicled so incisively. And while money-driven matchmaking may not necessarily hang heavy over your own choices, it’s tough to argue against the timelessness of themes like searching for human connection and feeling obligated to your family. (Not to mention that Austen was an absolute master of the will-they-or-won’t-they trope.) 

In short, Austen’s novels continue to occupy an important place in contemporary pop culture for many reasons—one of which is that it’s pretty fun to mutter “Too true” to yourself after reading a line that was written more than 200 years ago. If you’ve ever done that, you’ll probably appreciate Jane Austen’s Little Book of Wisdom: Words on Love, Life, Society, and Literature, a collection of hundreds of quotes from Austen’s novels compiled by writer Andrea Kirk Assaf. 

pages from 'jane austen's little book of wisdom'
Too true. / Hampton Roads Publishing/Amazon

The quotes are organized by theme, from “Love & Longing” to “Friendship” to “Art & Literature.” It’s a lovely way to spend a little time each day revisiting and reflecting on Austen’s beloved works without embarking on a full re-read—and also to test your ability to peg each isolated quote to specific events in its respective story. Feel free to invite your fellow Austen-ites over and turn it into a full-fledged trivia game.

Hampton Roads Publishing will release Jane Austen’s Little Book of Wisdom on Wednesday, March 1, and you can currently pre-order it for $18 from Amazon.