What should I do with your strong, manly, spirited Sketches, full of Variety and Glow?

Letter, December 16, 1816, to her nephew, J. Edward Austen. Jane Austen

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More from Jane Austen

But Shakespeare one gets acquainted with without knowing how. It is a part of an Englishman’s constitution.

It is very unfair to judge any body’s conduct, without an intimate knowledge of their situation. Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what difficulties of any individual of that family may be.

There are secrets in all families.

I am fully sensible that an historical romance, founded on the House of Saxe Cobourg, might be much more to the purpose of profit or popularity than such pictures of domestic life in country villages as I deal in. But I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way.

Letter, April 1, 1816, to James Clarke. Jane Austen

We are to have a tiny party here to-night. I hate tiny parties, they force one into constant exertion.

Letter, May 21, 1801, to her sister, Cassandra.