Quotation by Jane Austen

I am fully sensible that an historical romance, founded on the
House of Saxe Cobourg, might be much more to the purpose of
profit or popularity than such pictures of domestic life in
country villages as I deal in. But I could no more write a
romance than an epic poem. I could not sit down to write a
serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and
if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax
into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be
hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to
my own style and go on in my own way.
Jane Austen (1775–1817), British novelist. Letter, April 1, 1816, to James Clarke. Jane Austen's Letters, Oxford University Press (1952).
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