I think I just don't get Jane Austen. Whenever I encounter passages from her books quoted in other books or articles, or when writers I love write about her, I think, "Wow, that's so good I need to read some Jane Austen." But then I do and I always end up feeling somehow unsatisfied.
I read Pride and Prejudice, and I think Sense and Sensibility though I'm not sure, and I'm struggling through Persuasion right now. It's not a long book and I only have about 30 pages left but I am finding it such a chore, I don't even think I'll finish it. Seriously it's so boring I can hardly make myself sit down and finish it. The story is dull. None of the characters are sympathetic. They're either silly and vain (and we're supposed to not like them) or they're tedious and judgmental and just annoying.
All the things people say Jane Austin is so amazing at: the social observation, the critique of manners, etc., George Eliot does with as much bite and humor as Austin -- and, I would argue, more subtlety -- and her books have passion and warmth, sorrow and beauty. What is it I'm not getting?