Tag Archives: decency

Debunking “A Thought From Jane Austen”?

I may do this quote-thing weekly, for as long I can find interesting quotes. I plan to do my longer post tomorrow. Anyway, here it is:

“You say the book is indecent. You say I am immodest. But Sir in the depiction of love, modesty is the fullness of truth; and decency frankness; and so I must also be frank with you, and ask that you remove my name from the title page in all future printings; ‘A lady’ will do well enough.”

–  common online quote attributed to Jane Austen 


Originally I had a remark about this quote that treated it as if Jane Austen had actually written this, but as commenters below pointed out, there is no evidence that Jane Austen actually wrote this. Therefore, this post will now be a post to inform readers to take the quote with extreme skepticism (as I notice my blog post comes up quite high in the search results when you search for this quote).  Considering I found it in at least one library book attributed to Jane Austen, I think a warning might be useful here.

If I continue with the quote-a-week format, I will do a future post on how people’s actual words can get reduced to pithy aphorisms over time, and how the online world likes to make quotes up if the person never actually said anything clever at all. Apologies to all and hope this will help clear up any confusion!


Filed under Quotables