Favorite Quotes from “Persuasion” by Jane Austen

As you may have read, I recently participated in a read-along of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Amber over at Seasons Humility put together some wonderful posts full of quotes, discussion questions, and great observations. (you can check them out here) Oh, and we had some fun discussions on Twitter with the hashtag #InspiredbyAusten. And watched the 1995 movie adaptation. July was a month of Jane Austen for me!

This book is FULL of wonderful quotes. Jane Austen had such wit and skill with prose! I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes with you here. If you are unfamiliar with the story, may I suggest you read it? Or at least watch one of the movie adaptations? The 1995 version is very true to the book, while the 2007 version has a dreamier Captain Wentworth (it’s just the truth!). (Kara has compared some characters from each one in this fun post!)

Favorite Quotes from Persuasion by Jane Austen

“It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before…” from chapter 1

“A lady without a family was the very best preserver of furniture in the world.” from chapter 3 (oh, Sir Walter is SO dramatic!)

“Anne hoped she had outlived the age of blushing; but the age of emotion she certainly had not.” from chapter 6

“…there could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, on feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved. Now they were as strangers; nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted. It was a perpetual estrangement.” from chapter 8

“I knew that we should either go to the bottom together, or that she would be the making of me. – Captain Wentworth, from chapter 8, speaking of his ship. (I think this such a neat parallel to he and Anne. While their relationship failed, his naval achievements were a success.)

“One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.” – Admiral Croft, from chapter 13

“She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.” from chapter 17

“A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not, — he does not.” -Captain Wentworth, from chapter 20

“…and Anne, –but it would be an insult to the nature of Anne’s felicity to draw any comparisons between it and her sister’s; the origin of one all selfish vanity, of the other all generous attachment.” from chapter 20

“At nineteen, you know, one does not think very seriously.” -Mrs. Smith, from chapter 21

And then we have Captain Wentworth’s letter ♥ in chapter 23! The whole thing is quotable, but here is my favorite part: “I am half agony, half hope.” 

“Such a letter was not soon to be recovered from.” from chapter 23

“…and soon words enough had passed between them to decide their direction towards the comparatively quiet and retired gravel walk, where the power of conversation would make the present hour a blessing indeed, and prepare it for all the immortality which the happiest recollections of their own future lives could bestow.” from chapter 23

“There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their reunion than when it had been first projected; more tender, more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other’s character, truth, and attachment; more equal to act, more justified in acting.” from chapter 23

“At last Anne was at home again, and happier than any one in that house could have conceived.” from chapter 23

What about you? Are you a fan of Jane Austen? Do you have more favorite quotes from Persuasion? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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9 thoughts on “Favorite Quotes from “Persuasion” by Jane Austen

  1. Courtney, you collected some wonderful quotes! This story was chock-full of them, wasn’t it? I loved all the ones we got to share with each other along the way. 🙂

    Here are some of my other favorites:

    – “There could be only the most proper alacrity, a most obliging compliance for public view; and smiles reined in and spirits dancing in private rapture.”

    – “How she might have felt had there been no Captain Wentworth in the case, was not worth enquiry; for there was a Captain Wentworth; and be the conclusion of the present suspense good or bad, her affection would be his forever.”

    – “Here was that elasticity of mind, that disposition to be comforted, that power of turning readily from evil to good, and of finding employment which carried her out of herself, which was from nature alone. It was the choicest gift of Heaven.”

    – “She ventured to hope he did not always read only poetry, and to say, that she thought it was the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly.”

    – “The navy, I think, who have done so much for us, have at least an equal claim with any other set of men, for all the comforts and all the privileges which any home can give.”

    (Sorry for the reverse chronological order – I went back through my posts from newest to oldest. 🙂 )

    I’m so glad you joined in the read-along and were willing to go all in for a Jane Austen month! Oh, and I agree with your assessment of the movie adaptations. 😉

    ~Amber

    • Oh, I love these quotes, too! Thank you for sharing, Amber. Especially the “had there been no Captain Wentworth…” one. It is FULL of quotable things. I’m thinking some of these would be really cute as “printables”…. now my thinking cap is on!

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  3. Thanks for the shout-out! Persuasion is just so quotable, isn’t it? 🙂 I love all the ones you shared. Here’s a couple I liked that haven’t been mentioned yet:

    “Scenes had passed in Uppercross which made it precious. It stood the record of many sensations of pain, once severe, but now softened; and of some instances of relenting feeling, some breathings of friendship and reconciliation, which could never be looked for again, and which could never cease to be dear. She left it all behind her, all but the recollection that such things had been.”

    “Anne wondered whether it ever occurred to him now, to question the justness of his own previous opinion as to the universal felicity and advantage of firmness of character; and whether it might not strike him that, like all other qualities of the mind, it should have its proportions and limits. She thought it could scarcely escape him to feel that a persuadable temper might sometimes be as much in favor as a very resolute character.”

    “…Anne…felt some comfort in their whole party being immediately afterwards collected, and once more in motion together. Her spirits wanted the solitude and silence which only numbers could give.”

    “On the morning appointed for Admiral and Mrs. Croft’s seeing Kellynch Hall, Anne found it most natural to take her almost daily walk to Lady Russell’s, and keep out of the way till all was over; when she found it most natural to be sorry that she had missed the opportunity of seeing them.”

    “They knew not each other’s opinion, either its constancy or its change, on the one leading point of Anne’s conduct, the subject was never alluded to; but Anne, at seven-and-twenty, thought very differently from what she had been made to think at nineteen.”

    Great post, Courtney! I loved our read-along. All of you ladies made it SO enjoyable and fun! 🙂

    • Agreed, the read-along was awesome! Thank you for sharing some of your favorite quotes, too! As I just replied to Amber, I’m thinking some of these lesser-known quotes would make fabulous printables….I’m thinking I may have to break out photoshop!

      I have thoughts on this quote: “Scenes had passed in Uppercross which made it precious. It stood the record of many sensations of pain, once severe, but now softened; and of some instances of relenting feeling, some breathings of friendship and reconciliation, which could never be looked for again, and which could never cease to be dear. She left it all behind her, all but the recollection that such things had been.”

      I don’t think I really noticed it when reading Persuasion!!! I love it. It so perfectly shows how emotions/memories are attached to a place. I must go include this in my book journal!!! 🙂 🙂

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