6 Lessons From Jane Austen's Novels - On Love, Life & Writing

6 Lessons From Jane Austen – On Love, Life And Writing


Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this post, we write about 6 lessons from Jane Austen on love, life, and writing.

We all know and love novels like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Mansfield Park. Jane Austen is one of the most iconic authors in the English language. In today’s post, we will explore six universal lessons she’s taught us from her novels.

I have always loved Jane Austen. I even chose to write about her many, many years ago at university. But why do we love her stories? Why are they timeless?

Many would argue that Jane Austen is simply historical chick lit and they wouldn’t be wrong. But chick lit gets a bad rap most of the time. It is not all fluff and nonsense, and like writers in any genre, some authors are better than others. Jane Austen is a master of this one.

Austen creates believable, flawed characters who are easy to relate to and she puts them in difficult situations. Times have changed but human nature has not. We’ve all behaved badly, meddled when we should not have, and judged others without the facts. Her characters show us how to learn and grow from this. And most importantly, we all want to love and be loved – just like the characters in her six novels.

6 Lessons From Jane Austen – On Love, Life & Writing

Here are six universal lessons Jane taught us from each of her novels.

  1. Northanger Abbey: Keep a sense of wonder alive. Life is an adventure. Be curious. The young heroine, Catherine is just learning about herself, her world, and the people she wants in it. She has to learn to be open to change and growth. If we don’t, we assume things based on what we have been taught rather than what really is in front of our eyes.
  2. Mansfield Park: Money is not everything. We have to understand the difference between being entertained and being happy. Maria Bertram marries Mr Rushworth because of his fortune, and because she just got snubbed by Henry Crawford. Her story does not end well, but our stories are what make us human. Listening to someone’s stories and bearing witness is the highest way of acknowledging our humanity. Poor, quiet, heroine, Fanny Price has to learn that we don’t always get what we want.
  3. Persuasion: Be honest. Think for yourself. Unconditional friendship serves no one. Anne Elliot breaks off her engagement with Frederic Wentworth on the advice of her friend, Lady Russel, which results in years of heartache. Anne learns about the values of community and friendship, which are harder to find and hold on to as we age.

I think these universal truths are part of reason why Jane Austen is as popular now as she ever was.

If you enjoyed this post, read How did Jane Austen learn to write?

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

by Amanda Patterson

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This article has 3 comments

  1. nour

    Good Article

  2. Lester Matthews

    I enjoy your comment.I attended your writing courses.Iam writing a novel and would appreciate your comments.Lester Matthews

  3. Emily Belisle

    I really loved reading this article. It was well descriptive and stayed true to what each individual novel Jane Austen had written represents and means. I also Loved reading this article because I not only love reading Jane Austen books but, Jane Austen is also 1 of my favorite authors of all time.

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