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Life advice from Jane Austen

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Who needs agony aunts and advice columns when you can turn to the laudable pages of Jane Austen for guidance? She may have died nearly three hundred years ago, but Austen's canny observations on love, men, social standing and even fashion still resonate in the 21st Century. Gems such the recipe for a happy marriage ("a large income") and womanhood ("loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable") are liberally peppered throughout her classic tomes.

With that in mind, we've dusted down the Jane Austen classics from the Stylist bookshelf and researched sayings attributed to the writer herself, for her very best words of wisdom.

Pick your favourite quote from the gallery below.

Picture Credit: Rex Features

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "One cannot have too large a party."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Indulge your imagination in every possible flight."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "A woman, especially if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "One man's style must not be the rule of another's."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor...which is one very strong argument in favour of matrimony... "

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for nature early in life."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Dress is at all times a frivolous distinction, and excessive solicitude about it often destroys its own aim."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "When a woman has five grown-up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Every savage can dance."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Marriage is indeed a manoeuvring business."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Without music, life would be a blank."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time."

  • Jane Austen's Words Of Wisdom

    "No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment."

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