Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: Some of Our Favorite Literary Love Quotes

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It probably doesn’t surprise anyone that Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. The media shows us two reactions to this little, commercial holiday: 1) the lovey dovey people feeding each other heart-shaped chocolates into their perfect, air-brushed mouths, and 2) single, bitter people, doubling down on the BOGO chocolate at the local grocery store. Many of us, however, do not adhere to that binary system and enjoy reading love stories, bundling up with chocolate and/or a significant other, and taking the holiday as basically an ordinary day with cheap chocolate. By the way, there are some good deals on boxed chocolate when V-Day finally rolls around.

In spirit of the holiday, enjoy the following collection of love-inspired quotes and the works from whence they came. Books don’t have to fall under the taboo heading of “romance” to have a little of the good stuff, otherwise known as love. Continue Reading ›

February Giveaway: Win a Jane Austen Scarf and $50 in eNotes Homework Help Credit

Enter to Win!

This month we are excited to partner with Literati Club just in time for Valentine’s Day. Enter to win this Pride and Prejudice infinity scarf and $50 in eNotes Homework Help credit! This scarf is a perfect gift for a certain special someone this February 14th–even if that special someone is yourself…

On eNotes Homework Help, you can ask any question about any subject, and our specialized Educators will provide you with fast and thorough answers to help you learn and ace your assignments. $50 in credit gets you up to five questions to ask whenever you need them.

Giveaway entries are accepted until February 7, 2016 at 11:59pm PST. We will notify the randomly selected winner February 8. Simply click the link below to enter (please note: you must be a U.S. resident to enter). If you have any questions please post a comment below, or send an email to dispatch@enotes.com. Good luck!


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Mother’s Day Cards to Famous (and Infamous) Literary Moms

love heart in a book with filter effect retro vintage style

We love our moms, and they love us!

But… more often than not in literature, we see somewhat, er, nontraditional relationships between mothers and their children.

Some of these relationships are too good (or too bad?) not to comment on, so when we started brainstorming our Mother’s Day post, we kept coming back to the idea of the classic Hallmark card with a little twist. Below you’ll find the Mother’s Day card imaginings of famed literary mother-child relationships.

A little bit snarky, and a little bit sweet, we think you’ll find these a real treat. Continue Reading ›

A Writer’s Haven: 5 Authors’ Writing Spaces Reimagined

As bibliophiles can attest, we are all intrigued by the private lives of our favorite authors, often wondering about the ways that they worked creatively, and especially where they chose to write. For many, the choice was obvious, their office or bedroom – a personal space for reflection and inspiration.

At eNotes, we are really interested in embracing creativity and developing tips for success in school and work spaces. Time and time again we encounter articles noting the importance of having an organized, inspiring space to get to work. As we meditate on how to improve our own spaces, we’ve found ourselves wondering how our favorite authors might decorate their offices today. With this in mind, we created today’s blog post: A Writer’s Haven.

We’ve gone through and selected five famous authors from various time periods and have translated their individual preferences into modern takes on their offices. We had a lot of fun putting these together, and we hope you enjoy checking them out and finding inspiration for your own space. Check ’em out below!

Jane Austen:


For Jane’s office we imagined a light and airy space with lots of natural light and creature comforts. We acknowledged her English roots and incorporate a tea pot, because we think that if any of our favorite authors would have had a tea pot in their office, it would have been her. We like to imagine that if Jane were here today, she would be a bit of an introvert, anxious to re-read the great number of books in her built-in bookcase.

Want to learn more about Jane Austen and her writing? Check out this link: http://www.enotes.com/topics/jane-austen

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How to Write Like Jane Austen

Here’s a tip: keep some sheep leather and blue gauls handy…


Yesterday we brought you the recipes to two authors’ favorite meals, so today I give you the recipe to one authoress’ writing success: a good leather bound book and a batch of homemade ink. For those Austen enthusiasts feeling particularly crafty, here is the exact recipe for the ink Jane Austen used, provided by her sister-in-law:

Take 4 ozs of blue gauls [gallic acid, made from oak apples], 2 ozs of green copperas [iron sulphate], 1 1/2 ozs of gum arabic. Break the gauls. The gum and copperas must be beaten in a mortar and put into a pint of strong stale beer; with a pint of small beer. Put in a little refin’d sugar. It must stand in the chimney corner fourteen days and be shaken two or three times a day.

This iron gall ink would then be applied to the page with an old-fashioned quill. But on the quality of the pages themselves, Austen was quite particular. One of her favorites was “a quarto stationer’s notebook… bound with quarter tanned sheep over boards sided with marbled paper. The edges of the leaves [were] plain cut and sprinkled red.” 

Better find yourself some quarter tanned sheep. No self-respecting Austenite would be caught dead without a sheep leather notebook!

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Celebrating 200 Years of Pride and Prejudice (and Darcy, mmmm)

“I want to tell you that I have got my own darling child from London.”

These are the words Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra 200 years ago, on January 29th, 1813. And the “darling child” she spoke of? None other than her firstborn novel, of course–Pride & Prejudice.

The novel was published just a day before, after many years of submissions to and rejections by various London publishers. Austen had completed the manuscript with its original title of “First Impressions” in 1797. From there, so many prospective publishers declined to even see the work that P&P underwent 14 years of heavy editing to become what it is today. At last, the editor Thomas Egerton bought the book for a meager £110, the equivalent of just $172 today.

Thankfully, as it is a truth universally acknowledged, Pride & Prejudice went on to become not only the “fashionable novel” of its time, but one of the most beloved (and borrowed) stories of English literature. 200 years on, it inspires everything from its explicit spin-offs (Death at Pemberley, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, etc), to the more subtly taken chick-lit and movie plots of today. And now, in the week of this milestone anniversary, a slew of articles dedicated to all things Austenesque. So feast your eyes on these literary nibbles, Darcy lovers:

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Pride & Prejudice

The 2 Problems in Pride & Prejudice, According to PD James

Making the case for the best Darcy: will it be Colin Firth, or Matthew Macfadyen?

The Real Face of Jane Austen

Here’s another interesting couple of tidbits I came across today… Ever wondered what Austen’s contemporaries and fellow authors thought of her self-confessed “light, and bright, and sparkling” novel? It seems that Charlotte Brontë was none too impressed, though surprisingly it was on account of the novel’s lack of a characteristic landscape more than anything else:

Charlotte Brontë, in a letter to [the critic] Lewes, wrote that Pride and Prejudice was a disappointment, “a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but … no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck.”

Meanwhile, in 1937 the poet W.H. Auden cheekily mused that Austen was far too experienced for a gentlewoman of her time and social standing:

You could not shock her more than she shocks me,
Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me most uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous effects of ‘brass’,
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society.

So there you have it, a few juicy details surrounding by far the greatest romance plot in British literature. But if you’d like to learn more, there are plenty of eNotes study guides for, you know, all that important academic stuff:

Pride & Prejudice Study Guide

Jane Austen Biography

Historical Context of the Novel

Character Analysis of the Novel

and much more on enotes.com!

Be on the lookout for ways to celebrate the anniversary in your area. With this many Austenites around the globe, there has got to be a Meryton ball somewhere nearby.

How will you celebrate 200 years of P&P?