It is a truth universally acknowledged... that by bringing her into Derbyshire had been the means of uniting them – First and Last LinesI think Austen has a wonderful talent for, in particular, openings and endings. So here are here wonderful opening and closing lines to her six novels.
Pride and Prejudice:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
"... and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them."
Sense and Sensibility:
"The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex."
"...though sisters, and living almost within sight of each other, they could live without disagreement between themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands."
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."
"But, in spite of these deficiencies, the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union."
"Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage..."
"She gloried in being a sailor's wife, but she must pay the tax of quick alarm for belonging to that profession which is, if possible, more distinguished in its domestic virtues than in its national importance."
"No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine."
"...I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience."
"About thirty years ago Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park..."
"Fanny had never been able to approach but with some painful sensation of restraint or alarm, soon grew as dear to her heart, and as thoroughly perfect in her eyes, as everything else within the view and patronage of Mansfield Park had long been."