I have often written of how inspiring I find Jane Austen quotes. When I can, I like to include one that fits nicely with an underlying premise of my ‘what-if’ story as the preface. While looking over my library of paperbacks, I came across eleven instances in which I kicked things off with an Austen quote. I have highlighted a few below, complete with pics. As creating pretty pictures is one of my favorite means of procrastination, I simply could not resist. 😉
In He Taught Me to Hope, book one in the Darcy and the Young Knight’s Quest series, the hope tie-in to the featured Austen quote is rather self-explanatory. There is, however, an equally strong tie-in to the notion of patience in the story as well. Here is an excerpt that illustrates my point.
Would it be terribly rude of me simply to stand from the table and take my leave? Would that I could persuade Elizabeth to join me?
One can always wish, he considered, having pondered the implications of such a scandalous notion. Darcy looked about at the members of the dinner party as they sat around the table heavily laden with platters of meats, vegetable dishes, assorted fruit, and superb wines. It is a blessing Lady Catherine harbours the antiquated rule about husbands sitting next to their wives. Otherwise, that ridiculous parson might be seated next to me. Instead, to have Elizabeth seated beside me is better than anything I could have wished for at the start of the evening It is most pleasant to have her by my side.
It is worth it just to be able to reach over and touch her or perchance brush my hand against hers as we reach for something at the table. How I wish for some time alone with her this evening! How on earth will I bring that about? Darcy then considered from the moment of Elizabeth’s arrival, Geoffrey Collins had not ventured from her side by more than a few inches. The gentleman seems as possessive of Elizabeth as his brother seems solicitous of my aunt.
One can hardly blame him, Darcy considered. If she were mine, I would not trust another man to be with her either. Patience man, Elizabeth will see Collins for the man he is not in due time.
Spoiler Alert: Darcy’s patience pays off.
Miss Elizabeth Bennet stands to inherit a fortune in A Lasting Love Affair thanks to an estranged wealthy aunt, Lady Vanessa Barrett, who seeks to heal the longstanding breach with her brother, Thomas Bennet. Here’s a snippet.
Elizabeth nodded, and soon Betsy was gone. Her purpose in sending Betsy on her way accomplished, she was finally at leisure to do the one thing that satisfied her more than anything else: capture her thoughts in a missive to her dearly beloved sister, Jane. Afterwards, there would be time enough for her escape from the manor house for a brisk stroll about the lovely grounds, which she credited as being, by far, the finest she ever recalled seeing. The grounds alone were enough to spur enthusiasm over her new life.
She settled comfortably at her desk and began writing where she had earlier left off.
The first part of my journey was suffered in too much melancholy over the prospect of my leaving my beloved Longbourn to occasion any measure of pleasantness. But as I drew towards the end of it and beheld the magnificence of the country I am to inhabit for the indeterminate future, I began to appreciate my fate—to be the means of healing the breach between my father and his sister, to reside with her here in Bosley, and to be the heir apparent to all her worldly possessions pursuant to my fulfilling her expectations of all that her niece and heir ought to be.
Should Elizabeth succeed, wouldn’t that be a relief to her dear mother?
In Love Will Grow, Miss Anne de Bourgh is intent on marrying her cousin Darcy, and she reaches out to Elizabeth for help. The two young ladies become friends. There’s one problem with Anne’s scheme. Darcy only has eyes for Elizabeth.
With a dismissive wave of his hand, Darcy said, “You are upset. However, I urge you to be sensible. We will move beyond this. I shall speak with Bingley when I return to town. I shall convey your entire account of your sister’s anguish. I shall confess my role in separating them, as well as my motives, if you believe it will help. Perhaps it will be enough to persuade him to call on your sister, especially if she is still in town.” He laced his voice with condescension. “Will that make you happy?”
“Whether or not it makes me happy is of no consequence, Mr. Darcy. It is my sister who was aggrieved. It is her happiness that matters most to me.”
“Then consider it done. Our own life together, as man and wife, is what concerns me most. Please, end my suspense at once. Say you will be mine.”
She shook her head. “I cannot. I will not. Your interference in my sister’s life is not my only objection, sir. Another reason exists—one that you ought to know better than anybody.”
His mind flashed back to their dance at the Netherfield ball when she took a particularly keen interest in George Wickham’s affairs. It would be just like the scoundrel to attempt to poison her mind against me. He narrowed his eyes and stepped closer. “Surely your grievances against me do not revolve around any of Wickham’s lies and scurrilous accusations. I would think you too sensible to believe a word from the likes of him.”
“No, my sentiments are not affected by Mr. Wickham’s assertions. My reasons are formed by Anne’s sufferings. It is inconceivable that I would accept the man who has not shown the decency to declare his intentions, or rather lack thereof, to the woman who professes her ardent devotion—devotion founded on the basis of a tacit engagement and sealed by the promise of obligation and duty.”
Once again, her accusation set the wheels of his mind in motion as he endeavoured to list all the women of their mutual acquaintance whose given name was Anne. Nothing came to mind.
“Your cousin—Anne! Do you deny that your family expects you to marry her?”
Poor Anne. Talk about disappointment. It seems as though her dear cousin doesn’t even know that she’s alive.
This charming featured quote is a wonderful tie-in with an underlying theme of So Far Away, book two in the Everything Will Change series. Elizabeth Bennet finds herself with two families: one steeped in aristocracy and the other of modest means as well as connections in trade. In endeavoring to adapt to her abrupt change in circumstances, she is often reminded of the horrendous event that led to her situation.
Now alone in her room, sitting at her desk, she opened her drawer and took out her miniature of the late duke. Papa hates His Grace. Am I meant to hate him as well?
After months of living with the people who had been harmed by him the most and even having some idea of the aftermath of what he had done to all of them – her papa’s apathy, her mama’s nervousness and Jane’s shyness – Elizabeth still could not bring herself to bear any lasting ill-will towards the late duke. At least not to the extent that those around me expect, she considered. She had seen too much of goodness in him to allow even now that he might have been less than she thought him to be when he lived.
Elizabeth threw a reflective glance over the whole of the past few months. How far she had come from where she thought she would be at this point in her life … the granddaughter of a powerful well-respected peer, which surely counted for something.
All that was not to imply that the late duke was perfect. He was, at times, haughty, officious, and outright dictatorial—indeed the sort of man who liked to have his own way. Were she to be truthful, she would confess to thinking herself rather blessed that she had escaped being married to the young man whom His Grace had chosen for her, but then that would be entirely too selfish on her part. The man had died after all.
She frowned. Why am I dwelling on those aspects of the past when the remembrance gives me no pleasure at all, when really there is so much of both gladness and triumph for me to ponder?
What was done was done and, despite the years of torment, sadness, and pain that her Bennet family had endured having had their child stolen away from them, now was a time for healing, for reconciliation, for forgiving. As much as Elizabeth loved knowing that she had a whole other family, she also loved the family she already had. Nothing would change that, ever.
In Almost Persuaded, Miss Mary King is head over heels in love with the dashing Lt. Wickham. Her companion, Miss Anne Heston, has her hands full trying to persuade her besotted young charge to be wary of the gentleman’s sudden interest. Here is an excerpt.
Mary had enjoyed another perfectly agreeable morning with Mr. Wickham. As usual, she found herself pleading his case to Anne on the heels of his leave-taking. Mary paced the floor whilst Anne sat calmly on the faded sofa. “You are far too apt to find fault in Mr. Wickham and for no other reason than he is exceedingly handsome. I contend handsome young men are every bit as honourable as the plain.”
“No—it is more than that as you well know. I had no objections to the gentleman prior to the unfortunate incident of your grandfather’s passing. But there seems to be an indelicacy in his directing his attentions towards you so soon after the event.”
“You are aware of his circumstances. He has not the time for all those etiquettes that others may observe. If I do not object to it, why should anyone else?”
“By all those etiquettes, do you mean conducting a proper courtship with your father’s consent?”
Her mind quite decided on the veracity of Mr. Wickham’s regard, Mary said nothing.
“Mary, you must know what you are about. You must guard yourself against appearing foolish or, heaven forbid, giving rise to gossip and innuendo that you are somehow deficit in either sense or feeling pursuant to your eager reception of his attentions.”
“Are we all not fools even to contemplate falling in love, especially when there are no guarantees? In such case as this, I firmly believe in the notion that nothing ventured is nothing gained.”
Is there any wonder that I find the featured quote so applicable to the story-line?
I love the Jane Austen quote featured in Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth. What an apt opener for a story that picks up where Pride and Prejudice ends. Following is an excerpt from the story.
Early the next day, Elizabeth and her eldest sister were out for a walk. Her sister’s calm serenity was just the diversion Elizabeth needed. “Jane,” she began, “I always suspected you were a true angel. Now I have irrefutable proof.”
“Dearest Lizzy, to what do I owe such high praise?”
“Owe it to the fact that you have managed to live so close to Longbourn – to Mama – and you have not succumbed to madness. Mama has been here for less than a full day, and I am at my wits’ end.”
“Trust me, Lizzy, I am unworthy of such admiration. The truth is that Charles and I have been secretly plotting our escape from Hertfordshire for months. Nothing would bring us more joy than to be settled nearby to you and Darcy. That is but one of the reasons we plan to stay on after the festivities. Charles intends to speak with Darcy and solicit his help in locating a suitable estate here in Derbyshire.”
“Oh! That is the best thing I could have possibly heard. I should love it.”
“It pleases me that you are delighted with the news, for I should hate to think that our residing in such proximity to Pemberley would be a cause for displeasure.”
“I do not suppose Mama will be pleased to be robbed of the satisfaction of knowing one of her daughters is the mistress of Netherfield.”
I began this post by mentioning my library of paperback books. I’m always looking for a reason to give away copies. I invite you to comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth. One winner will be chosen. A US mailing address is required to receive the paperback. Otherwise, an eBook edition will be awarded to the winner. The giveaway contest ends on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.