The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

Jane Austen quote explanation

This quote is attributed to Jane Austen, a renowned English novelist known for her works such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility.” The quote reflects Austen’s perspective on the enjoyment and intellectual value of reading novels.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel” suggests that regardless of one’s gender or social status (“gentleman or lady”), if an individual does not find joy or satisfaction in reading a well-crafted and engaging novel, they are being described in a particular way.

“must be intolerably stupid” is a strong assertion implying that a lack of pleasure in reading novels is equated with a lack of intelligence or discernment. Austen uses the term “intolerably stupid” to emphasize her belief that a person who cannot appreciate the pleasures of a good novel is missing out on a valuable and intellectually enriching experience.

In essence, the quote expresses Jane Austen’s conviction that a good novel has universal appeal and that those who dismiss or disregard the enjoyment of such literature are, in her view, demonstrating a lack of intellectual curiosity or understanding. It reflects a belief in the inherent value of literature and the notion that a well-crafted story has the power to captivate and enrich the mind.

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