As everyone and his dog - or perhaps that should be Pug - reflects on the continuing popularity of Jane Austen, we thought we'd take a look, over the next few weeks, at some of the things that give her books long lasting appeal.
The books are some of the funniest ever written, and even if they hadn't been love stories, they would still have stood the test of time, as other humorous books such as Three Men in a Boat have done.
Here are some of my favourite lines:
From Mansfield Park:
"the expectation of his return must be a very anxious period to my mother; and if we can be the means of amusing that anxiety, and keeping up her spirits for the next few weeks, I shall think our time very well spent, and so, I am sure, will he. It is a very anxious period for her.”
As he said this, each looked towards their mother. Lady Bertram, sunk back in one corner of the sofa, the picture of health, wealth, ease, and tranquillity, was just falling into a gentle doze.
“We do not call Bermuda or Bahama, you know, the West Indies."
Mrs. Musgrove had not a word to say in dissent; she could not accuse herself of having ever called them any thing in the whole course of her life.
From Sense and Sensibility:
"We do not live a great way from him in the country, you know, -- not above ten miles, I dare say."
"Much nearer thirty," said her husband.
"Ah! well! there is not much difference."
And from Pride and Prejudice:
"I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible. My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female, intending to plague you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart."
"You are uniformly charming!" cried he, with an air of awkward gallantry; "and I am persuaded that, when sanctioned by the express authority of both your excellent parents, my proposals will not fail of being acceptable."
What are your favourite humorous lines or moments?