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By Joseph Glantz


Jane Austen
​Jane Austen was born December 16, 1775 and died July 18, 1817. She lived and died in England. Austen who wrote in a realistic style with biting social commentary, has become, after her death, one of the most read and loved English writers. Many of her works have been made into movies and drama.

So how are you getting along you’re your fellow dead dudes?
I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal. 
(Letter to her sister Cassandra 1798-12-24 )

What’s the key to happiness?
Next week I shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend. (Letter 1798-10-27)

Hats, got it. So happiness is something you can prepare for?
Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. (Pride and Prejudice; 1813)

...why did we wait for any thing?--why not seize the pleasure at once?--How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation! (Emma; 1815)

And what causes unhappiness?
There are people who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves. (Emma)

OK. Still gotta ask – hats?
It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire. (Northanger Abbey; 1817)

You wrote a lot about how men are lacking? Any thing good to say about men?
One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty. (Pride and Prejudice)

Why do women love dancing and men hate it?
To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love. (Pride and Prejudice )

So men and women are equal?
One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. (Emma)

And which side understands better?
She was of course only too good for him; but as nobody minds having what is too good for them, he was very steadily earnest in the pursuit of the blessing... (Mansfield Park;1814)

So women have it better?
To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain for the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive. (Northanger Abbey)

Let’s shift gears slightly. What did you think of the issues in the last campaign? 
...from politics, it was an easy step to silence. (Northanger Abbey)

Presidential elections in general?
It was, perhaps, one of those cases in which advice is good or bad only as the event decides. (Persuasion; 1818)

Did you choose a side in the last one?
Here I am once more in this scene of dissipation and vice, and I begin already to find my morals corrupted. (Letter August 1796 On arriving in London) 

How about we get your spin on a few events that have transpired since your passing. Global Warming?
I will not say that your mulberry-trees are dead?, but I am afraid they are not alive. (Letter 1811-05-31)

Anything else?
What dreadful Hot weather we have!—It keeps one in a continual state of Inelegance. (Letter 1796-09-18)

Advantages of growing old?
It is a lovely night, and they are much to be pitied who have not been taught to feel, in some degree, as you do; who have not, at least, been given a taste for Nature in early life. They lose a great deal. (Mansfield Park)

What do you think of underdogs winning the Super Bowl?
Surprizes are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable. (Emma)

Have you had a chance to see the World since you died? 
We do not look in great cities for our best morality. (Mansfield Park)

Your view of sex?
Could they be perpetrated without being known, in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing, where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies, and where roads and newspapers lay everything open? (Northanger Abbey)

The great simile/metaphor debate?
I begin already to weigh my words & sentences more than I did, & am looking about for a sentiment, an illustration, or a metaphor in every corner of the room. Could my Ideas flow as fast as the rain in the Store closet it would be charming. (Letter 1809-01-24)

Mark Twain wasn’t a fan of your writings? He once said “Jane Austen's books, too, are absent from this library. Just that one omission alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it”. Mark Twain, (Following the Equator, Mark Twain; 1897) 
Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. (Mansfield Park)

Your last thought before you died?
I shall soon be rested to sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment. (Mansfield Park)

The key to a long life?
People always live forever when there is an annuity to be paid them. (Sense and Sensibility; 1811)

Well, good luck to you. Let’s do this again sometime.
I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (if such young ladies there are) who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time. (Pride and Prejudice)

Copyright 2016 Joseph Glantz