This comprehensive page lists all works of literature mentioned,
quoted or alluded to in Jane Austen's writings.
Search any Jane Austen novel for particular words and phrases.
Sonnet 116 (CXVI)
by William Shakespeare
In the movie, this is Marianne's favorite sonnet
which she and Willoughby recite to each other and
she recites as she looks at his home in the rainstorm.
- Another, more artistic presentation of
In Ch. 16 of the novel, Mrs. Dashwood remarks that they had not finished reading this play with Willoughby.
Selected poems of William Cowper
Marianne asks Edward to read from him and
discusses Cowper with Willoughby when they
first meet after her accident.
The words Edward reads in the movie are from the end of
Marianne also determines Willoughby's opinion of this author at their first meeting.
by Jean Racine
In the movie, Margaret is having a French lesson with Elinor just before
the bomb is dropped that Lucy Steele is now Mrs. Ferrars.
Margaret can be heard repeating "le destin d'Oreste est de venir sans cesse
adorer vos attraits,", which can be found in lines 482 and 483 of Act II, Scene II
The Faerie Queene
Colonel Brandon reads this to Marianne in the movie. The exact words read by the Colonel
may be found in stanza 39 of
Book V, Canto II.
Included at this site are Sonnet 116, Lyrics to The Dreame and Weep You No More Sad Fountains, and part of Hartley Coleridge's Sonnet VII, as recited by Marianne in the movie (Is love a fancy or a feeling?)
Midi file of Weep You No More Sad Fountains.
by Fanny Burney
Mary's comment in Ch. 47 (or Vol. III, Ch. V) that a women's reputation is "no less brittle than it is beautiful" is taken from the end of Letter 39 in this book, from the Rev. Mr. Villars to the title character.
Voi, che sapete
This site has a musical clip and notation from this song from The Marriage of Figaro. This is what Lizzy sings at Pemberley in P&P2.
Bibliography of Ann Radcliffe
Ann Radcliffe is the author of The Romance of the Forest, which Harriet recommended
to Robert Martin.
Short biography of Ann Radcliffe
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
Harriet tells Emma that Robert Martin has read this book.
Midsummer Night's Dream, Act I Scene I
In Ch. 9, after the discussion of riddles and charades leads Emma to conclude that Mr. Elton is in love with Harriet, she quotes:
"The course of true love never did run smooth"
which Lysander says to Hermia in this part of the play. Emma adds,
"A Hartfield edition of Shakespeare would have a long note on that passage."
- Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard
by Thomas Gray
The line "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen", is quoted by Mrs. Elton to
Emma as she "quite raves" about poor Jane Fairfax.
It is in Stanza 14 of the poem.
The Hare and Many Friends
In Vol. III, Ch. 17, Mrs. Elton quotes Lines 41 and 42 in reference to Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax. Just before quoting, she says, "I forget the poem at this moment", which is obvious for, taken in the context of the poem, it is an extremely inappropriate thing to say.
by John Milton
In Volume II, Chapter XVIII, Mrs. Elton somewhat pretentiously quotes this poem to Mr. Weston, saying, "...
he was apt to be in despair, and exclaim that he was sure at
this rate it would be May before Hymen's saffron robe would be put on for us."
The lines alluded to are:
There let Hymen oft appear
In Saffron robe, with Taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique Pageantry,
Such sights as youthfull Poets dream
On Summer eeves by haunted stream.
The Lay of the Last Minstrel
by Sir Walter Scott
In Chapter 9, while visiting Mr. Rushworth's home at Sotherton, the party tours the chapel. Fanny is disappointed with it, and whispers to Edmund:
"This is not my idea of a chapel. There is nothing awful here, nothing melancholy, nothing grand. Here are no aisles, no arches, no inscriptions, no banners. No banners, cousin, to be 'blown by the night wind of heaven.'
She is alluding to these lines:
Full many a scutcheon and banner riven,
from Scott's poem.
Shook to the cold night-wind of heaven,
Around the screened altar's pale
A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
The Hotel at Paris--The Passport
by Laurence Sterne
Contains the lines alluded to when Maria Bertram and Henry Crawford are waiting for Mr. Rushworth to return with the key to the gate at
Sotherton and Maria says, "'I cannot get out,' as the starling said."
- Shakespeare comes up numerous times as the young people try to determine which play they would like to perform.
In Ch. 13, Henry Crawford announces that he "could be fool enough at this moment to take on any character that ever was written, from Shylock (in
The Merchant of Venice) or
Richard III to the singing hero of a farce in his scarlet coat and cocked hat."
- Also in Ch. 13, Edmund is certain that their father will disapprove of the amusement, but Tom disagrees, saying: "How many a time have we mourned over the dead body of
Julius Caesar and to be'd and not to be'd(Hamlet's famous soliloquy,
Act III Scene I) in this very room for his amusement?"
- In Ch. 14:
are all rejected as possible plays to perform.
Acting in Mansfield ParK--why is it considered "wrong"?
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
The young people discuss performing Sheridan's The Rivals and The School for Scandal
Synopsis of the play Lovers' Vows
In Ch. 34, Henry Crawford reads to Fanny from Henry VIII
In the BBC adaptation it is from
Cardinal Wolsey's speech
Act 3 Scene2
Farewell! a long farewell to all my greatness!
Debrett's Baronetage and Peerage
Sir Walter reads about his family's lineage over and over in a book like this.
An online "Navy list" from the Napoleonic Era
such as the one the Musgrove girls pull out when Captain Wentworth comes to dine.
by Lord Byron
Anne and Captain Benwick discuss this poem.
by Eugene Delacroix--inspired by Byron's
"The Bride of Abydos", also mentioned in this discussion
Marmion ( Canto 6)
by Sir Walter Scott
Another poem from Captain Benwick and Anne's discussion
The Lady of the Lake
by Sir Walter Scott
In their discussion, Anne and Captain Benwick discuss whether this poem is to be preferred to
Marmion, and in the movie, they quote together from Canto 3, Lines 390-393
of this poem.
Fare Thee Well
by Lord Byron
In the movie, Captain Benwick quotes from the end of this poem just before Anne suggests
to him that he might want to read more prose!
The Hare and many Friends
Catherine learnt this poem, by John Gay, "as quickly as any girl in England."
- Between lines 55 and 60 in
Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
we see where Catherine learned, from Pope, to censure those who "bear about the mockery of woe""
- Elegy Written in
a Country Church-yard
From Thomas Gray, Catherine has learned that
"many a flower
is born to blush unseen."
These lines (also quoted in Emma) are to be found in
Stanza 14 of the poem
Othello, Act III, Scene 3
"Trifles light as air, are to the jealous confirmations strong as proofs of Holy Writ" is spoken in soliloquy
by Iago as he plots against Othello.
Measure for Measure|
Act III, Scene I
In prison, Isabella tells her brother Claudio that:
"the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
in corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
as when a giant dies."
Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene 4|
When Viola (disguised) is telling Duke Orsino how "My father had a daughter lov'd a man", she says
that her father's daughter never revealed her love for this man, but rather "sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief." This is how Catherine Morland believes that a young woman in love always looks.
by Henry Fielding
John Thorpe considers this to be one of the only "tolerable" novels which have been written.
The Literary Gothic
of online resources concerned with literary Gothicism which may provide insight into
Jane Austen's parody of this genre in this novel.
The Gothic: Materials for Study
Gothic literature: What the Romantic writers read
Gothic Literature Page
Includes links related to this type of literature. For Ann Radcliffe, there is biographical
information, essays, and a fairly long exerpt from The Mysteries of Udolpho
by S.T. Coleridge
of Mysteries of Udolpho, The Monk and other books
Gothic conventions in The Monk
Confessors and Pentients in The Monk
- Cynthia Wolff, in a paper called "The Radcliffean Gothic Model," (in The Female Gothic (Montreal:
Eden Press, 1983)) discusses many topics related to Radcliffe's style of writing including:
In Chapter 7 the young baronet Sir Edward Denham expounds on his (dubious) taste in literature.
by Samuel Richardson
This is just an excerpt from a letter to Lovelace in this book. He is the character referred to
"in the line of the Lovelaces".
The Pleasures of Hope
by Thomas Campbell
Denham says, "Campbell in his Pleasures of Hope has
touched the extreme of our Sensations".
This is an exerpt from the poem, which does not however
contain the lines alluded to:"Like angel visits, few and far between."
- Sir Edward Denham speaks of Robert Burns
and his "Lines to his Mary. This could refer to: