Dec 292010

Words, Wit, and Wisdom from Jane Austen

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author


Trifle Bearings is a neatly organized and accessible compilation of Jane Austen quotes. This collection includes quotes from Jane Austen’s popular novels, unfinished works, Juvenilia, and recorded correspondence. Although there are several volumes of Jane Austen quotes published (i.e. The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen compiled by Dominique Enright and Jane Austen’s Universal Truths edited by Susan Hart-Byers), this is the first one I have had the pleasure of reading. I read this collection over the span of one month, reading one or two chapters a sitting. In this review I am going to analyze and critique this compilation’s format, content, and overall execution.


The collection of quotes used in this compilation are conveniently divided and classified into nineteen chapters. The chapters contain a centric theme, whether it be Marriage, Children, Friendship, or Money. The shortest chapter, “Motherhood” is one page in length and the longest, “General Observations” is thirty-two pages. Indicated at the end of each quote is the novel, chapter, or letter in which it is from. In addition, this volume includes a useful glossary that define words like philomel, veniel, and chilbains. At the close of this compilation are three valuable appendices that list: The Works of Jane Austen, Recommended Reading and Websites (in which Austenesque Reviews is included!), and Quotes by Others.


Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing.”

What is right to be done, cannot be done to soon.”

I must keep to my style and go on in my own way.”

This volume is rich in satirical quotes, astute observations, and valuable credos to live by! Readers will be able to find all their favorite Austen sayings and discover a bundle of new ones in this collection. Whether you are searching for a particular quote, in need of some sage advice, or desiring a dose of Jane Austen, Trifle Bearings is a user-friendly reference for Jane Austen quotes.


I took pleasure in the organization and accessibility of this compilation. I think many readers will find the glossary and appendices to be very informative and insightful. One quibble I have is that the “General Observations” chapter felt a little too lengthy; and since it contained miscellaneous quotes it didn’t possess the same central or cohesive theme the other chapters did. Perhaps this large chapter could have been divided into several smaller chapters. In addition, I think double spacing in between quotes instead of single spacing, would have created a more distinct separation of quotes. Regardless of my quibbles, this is a well-executed resource for any Jane Austen fan!

**FYI: this book can be purchased at  as well as

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  One Response to “Trifle Bearings – Edited by Angela Traubel”


    I loved your review as usual. Now if only I could pop out with some of those quotes at the appropriate times without too much thought. I hope to read this sometime in the future.

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