Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just for Fun: First Lines of Jane Austen

Jane Austen 1775-1817

The works of Jane Austen continue to engage readers 195 years after her death. Her novels are prized for their irony, humor, depiction of English country life, and their underlying serious qualities. She was an unmarried woman of modest means, and therefore understood the hopes and fears of women who had to rely on marriage and family connections to provide them with a home and means to live. She was engaged to Harris Bigg-Wither in December of 1802, but changed her mind the next day and broke it off.

Without further ado, can you match the first lines to the Austen work? Have fun. Answers will be posted tomorrow.

1. 'How often, in answer to my repeated intreaties that you would give my Daughter a regular detail of the Misfortunes and Adventures of your Life, have you said "No, my freind never will I comply with your request till I may be no longer in Danger of again experiencing such dreadful ones." '

a. Lady Susan
b. Love and Freindship
c. Mansfield Park
d. Henry and Eliza

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

a. Emma
b. Mansfield Park
c. Persuasion
d. Pride and Prejudice

3. "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine."

a. Northanger Abbey
b. Sense and Sensibility
c. Lady Susan
d. Emma

4. The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance.

a. Jack and Alice
b. The Watsons
c. Sense and Sensibility
d. Emma

5. "About thirty years ago Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income."

a. Mansfield Park
b. The Three Sisters
c. Lady Susan
d. Emma

6. "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."

a. Leslie Castle
b. Sandition
c. Emma
d. Persuasion

7. "Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed."

a. Henry and Eliza
b. The Watsons
c. The Three Sisters
d. Persuasion

8. "MY DEAR BROTHER,—I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of profiting by your kind invitation when we last parted of spending some weeks with you at Churchhill, and, therefore, if quite convenient to you and Mrs. Vernon to receive me at present, I shall hope within a few days to be introduced to a sister whom I have so long desired to be acquainted with."

a. The Three Sisters
b. The Watsons
c. Leslie Castle
d. Lady Susan

How many do you know? Have you read all six of Austen's novels? I haven't. I will have to rectify that in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had fun.

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