The wisdom of Jane Austen is undeniable. Even if you’ve never read one of her novels, you have most likely heard of, or seen a movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and nearly swooned while watching it. Luckily for us, Austen will never go out of style. Her words are just as relevant today as they were 200 years ago. Feeling skeptical? Let’s travel back in time…
Regarding the Aging Process
“It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before.” ~ Persuasion
Jane knew that it’s not all about being the youngest girl at the ball. In fact, being in your early twenties is vastly overrated. It’s all about the late twenties and thriving thirties, mixed with a little #quarterlifecrisis.
“Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor…” ~ Personal correspondence
Sure, sure, we live in a day and age where women proudly make their own way in the world without feeling like they are a burden on their parents or significant others. However, as a single female living in New York City in 2016, I can tell you that I still have the same dreadful propensity for being poor as the young ladies Jane knew. Some things never change.
“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” ~ Northanger Abbey
The similarities continue to pile up. Girls today still seek the comfort of their friends after a breakup, or a disappointment in love. The only difference now is that we can organize a much-needed #girlsnightout and drink as many margaritas as we want. Huzzah!
“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” ~ Sense and Sensibility
Preach. The modern lady requires so much from her partner, and cannot be held back. Now that women have more to aspire to than marriage, it’s a whole new ballgame and boys have to step it up or get left behind. #soundslikeabeyoncesongtome
“If there is anything disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.” ~ Persuasion
Boys still get out of everything: PMS, pregnancy, menopause (though I haven’t given up hope that there will be a cure for that last one by time I go through it). Bodily functions aside, I guess the times haven’t changed all that much if we are still fighting tooth and nail for gender equality in 2016.
“Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.” ~ Northanger Abbey
If that quotation doesn’t scream #FACEBOOKPROBLEMS, I don’t know what will. Everybody is still in everybody else’s business, but in 2016 they know it instantaneously. In Jane’s era, it took a wee bit longer for news to travel between families, so a girl could have a little more time to think about damage control. Now, once it’s posted, it’s out there on the interwebs…FOREVER.
“I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand today. You will kindly make allowance therefore for any indistinctness of writing, by attributing it to this venial error.” ~ Personal Correspondence
We feel her pain. Who hasn’t indulged in too much wine and then had trouble writing…I mean typing the next day? We’re impressed hungover Jane was still writing letters.
Regarding People in General
“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” ~ Personal Correspondence
Jane was undoubtedly a wonderful person who loved her friends and family but she wrote of a universal feeling that is still felt today. Translation: #makingnewfriendsisreallyhard.
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” ~Pride and Prejudice
*Sigh* People still struggle against their feelings today just like they did back in Jane’s time. Mr. Darcy may have been stiff and pompous but he had a good heart and he certainly stole mine. Curse you, Elizabeth Bennet! Love will forever and always be in the air and if you are looking for some romance, read a Jane Austen novel, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may be surprised at how ardently you admire and love it.
Amanda Forker is an NYC based singer/writer. She leads a glamorous life reading, drinking coffee, auditioning, tweeting about life as a temp in NYC and writing for her Jane Austen-themed blog, “Yours Faithfully, Amanda.” You can also follow her on Instagram.