Jane Austen: the self-help guru… Ten life lessons from the pen the world’s wisest author


Letters from Jane Austen - our favourite agony aunt

For generations people have turned to the works of Jane Austen for comfort and wisdom. In Cocktails with Miss Austen, authors from around the world describe some of the lessons they have learned from her—things like perseverance and constancy, how to define the word heroine for yourself, and the joy of platonic friendships.

Here we look at some of the most valuable life lessons in Jane’s writing.

On love…

“There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” — Personal correspondence

On facing challenges…

“None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” —Persuasion

“Want for nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.” —Sense and Sensibility

On being an individual…

“One man’s style must not be the rule of another’s.” —Emma

On enjoying life…

“One cannot have too large a party.” —Emma

“They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for nature early in life.” —Mansfield Park

On creativity…

“Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.” —Pride and Prejudice

On honesty…

“I am sorry to tell you that I am getting very extravagant, and spending all my money, and, what is worse for you, I have been spending yours too.”—Personal correspondence

“Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.” —Emma

On travel and adventure…

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”—Northanger Abbey

Who needs an agony aunt when you have Jane to turn to?

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About Cocktails with Miss Austen

What do you talk about when you talk about Jane Austen?

The authors in Cocktails with Miss Austen talk about all manner of things. They talk about social mobility and the foundations on which those great houses were built. They talk about what it takes to be a Jane Austen heroine (and why that doesn't always have to be Elizabeth). They talk about how Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are alive and well and living in India.

They talk about E.M. Forster, reality television, and Bridget Jones. They talk about war, friendship, and which Austen hero deserves a "Last Word". And, of course, they talk about love. From Asia to Latin America, Africa to Europe, and across North America, they talk about Miss Austen, the world's most beloved author. So sit down, order yourself a cocktail, and join the conversation...

#JaneAusten

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