"The reason no one married her was it was just all too much. Something truly frightening rumbled there beneath the bubbling mirth: something capable of taking the world by its heels, and shaking it."
- Fay Weldon
"Edmund and Fanny are both morally detestable and the endorsement of their feelings and behaviour by the author makes Mansfield Park an immoral book."
- Kingsley Amis
"The art is so consummate that the secret is hidden; peer at them as hard as one may; shake them; take them apart; one cannot see how it is done."
- Thornton Wilder
"Austen reveals so frankly and with such sobriety the economic basis of society."
- W H Auden
"This old maid typifies 'personality' instead of character, the sharp knowing in apartness instead of knowing in togetherness, and she is, to my feeling, thoroughly unpleasant English in the bad, mean, snobbish sense of the word, just as Fielding is English in the good generous sense."
- D H Lawrence
"Here was a woman about the year 1800 writing without hate, without bitterness, without fear, without protest, without preaching. That was how Shakespeare wrote, I thought. And when people compare Shakespeare and Austen, they may mean that the minds of both had consumed all impediments; and for that reason we do not know Jane Austen and we do not know Shakespeare, and for that reason Jane Austen pervades every word that she wrote, and so does Shakespeare."
- Virginia Woolf
"She is mistress of derision rather than of wit or humour. Her irony is now and then exquisitely bitter. The lack of tenderness and of spirit is manifest in Miss Austen's indifference to children, and as children through whom a mother may receive flattery from her designing acquaintance on her sensible friends... in this coldness or dislike Miss Austen resembles Charlotte Bronte."
- Alice Meynell