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Lady Susan Paperback – 24 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (24 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1497435536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1497435537
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,631,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inspired by "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", and written in a similar epistolary form, Lady Susan is one of Jane Austen's earliest finished works. In it, she reveals all the caustic wit and brilliant social satire of her later novellas. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Inspired by Les Liaisons Dangereuses and written in a similar epistolary form, Lady Susan was one of Austen’s earliest finished works. In it she reveals all the caustic wit and brilliant social satire of her later novels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 23 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
Though Lady Susan is considered part of Jane Austen's "juvenilia," having been written ca. 1805, it was not published till well after Jane Austen's death and is still not counted among her "six novels." In fact, this seventh novel, though not as thoughtful or thought-provoking as the "famous six," is one of her wittiest and most spirited. Written in epistolary style, it is the story of Lady Susan, a beautiful, recent widow with no conscience, a woman who is determined to do exactly what she wants to do, to charm and/or seduce any man who appeals to her, and to secure a proper marriage for her teenage daughter, whom she considers both unintelligent and lacking in charm.

Lady Susan, the character, has no redeeming qualities, other than her single-mindedness, and her problems, entirely self-imposed, show the extremes to which an unprincipled woman will go to ensure her own pleasure and ultimately a more secure, comfortable life. As Lady Susan manipulates men, women, and even her young nieces and nephews, her venality knows no bounds, and when she determines that her daughter Frederica WILL marry Sir James, a man who utterly repulses her, Lady Susan's love of power and her willingness to create whatever "truth" best suits her purpose become obvious.

Austen must have had fun writing this novel which "stars" a character who to appears to be her own opposite. While this novel is not a pure "farce," it is closer to that than anything else Austen ever wrote. Containing humor, the satiric depiction of an aristocratic woman of monstrous egotism, her romantic dalliances and comeuppances, and her ability to land on her feet, no matter what obstacles are thrown in her path, the novel is a light comedy in which the manners and morals of the period are shown in sharp relief--Lady Susan vs.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
With an introduction by Margaret Drabble this collection contains the epistolary novella, Lady Susan and two uncompleted novels. Lady Susan is a complete tale but was never published in Austen's lifetime. Possibly the reason for this is that anyone who has read a lot of epistolary novels will know that the genre most definitely has limitations, and some of the devices used to circumvent these limitations can be rather bizarre. Also this type of novel had started to fall out of fashion, thus possibly deciding Austen to leave it in the drawer as it were. Despite all this though, the story is good. Lady Susan tries all her wiles and machinations to ensnare her a new husband now that she is a widower, also she decides who she wants her daughter to marry. Trying to put on a friendly and nice act doesn't always work when people find out about what she is up to, especially as one of the men she captivates is stil married.

The Watsons is the next story in this book, and is a fifty page or so fragment from an uncompleted novel. Emma Watson alas finds herself restricted in who she can marry, due to a lack of funds and that bugbear, pride. The last story is another fragment of about sixty pages and is called Sanditon. Sanditon is a wannabe seaside resort, it could be big as the developers say - after all it is one mile closer to London than Eastbourne. There are those who want to speculate and make money out of this new seaside resort, as well as the ailing hypochondriacs who want to improve their health. Alas Jane dies before she could finish this, which by what is available to us would have promised to have been a great novel, with lots of comedy, also it would have offered an insight to how such places grew and became the resorts that we still know today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found these three works fascinating. Lady Susan is a completed novella about Lady Susan Vernon written almost completely in the form of letters. What emerges is a picture of a self-centred, manipulative and unpleasant fashionable impoverished lady. This is Jane Austen at her spikiest as Lady Susan is far worse than Mrs Norris in Mansfield Park or Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice. In fact lady Susan makes those two evil ladies look very tame.

The Watsons is a fragment of a novel whose heroine is Emma Watson - returned from many years living with an aunt who it was hoped would have left her a fortune. Unfortunately the aunt had re-married. Emma is invited to one of the local assemblies and soon attracts the attention of several gentlemen. It is unclear from this 50 page fragment whether Emma would have ended up with Mr Howard - the local clergyman - or with Lord Osbourne - the local landowner. She is unimpressed by the heartthrob Tom Musgrave who seems to attract her sisters.

Sanditon is my favourite of the three because it seems to provide much material for Jane Austen's satirical pen. It is a great pity she was not able to finish it before her untimely death in 1817. Sanditon is a seaside village which the two local landowners - Mr Parker and Lady Denham - are hoping to expand into a fashionable resort. Cheerful optimistic Mr Parker has two hypochondriac sisters and a hypochondriac brother. Mr and Mrs Parker invite Charlotte Heywood to stay with them in return for her parents caring for Mr Parker after a carriage accident. It is clear Charlotte is to be the heroine of the novel but not yet clear who the leading man is going to be when the fragment comes to a close.

The book contains a useful introduction and notes on the text as well as a further reading list.
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