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Lady Susan Plays the Game [Kindle Edition]

Janet Todd
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A must-read for any devotee of Jane Austen, Janet Todd’s 'naughty-Austen' reimagining of the epistolary novel Lady Susan will capture your literary imagination and get your heart racing.
Austen’s only anti-heroine, Lady Susan, is a beautiful, charming widow who has found herself, after the death of her husband, in a position of financial instability and saddled with an unmarried, clumsy and over-sensitive daughter. Faced with the unpalatable prospect of having to spend her widowed life in the countryside, Lady Susan embarks on a serious of manipulative games to ensure she can stay in town with her first passion — the card tables. Scandal inevitably ensues as she negotiates the politics of her late husband’s family, the identity of a mysterious benefactor and a passionate affair with a married man.

Accurate and true to Jane Austen’s style, as befits Todd’s position as a leading Austen scholar, this second coming of Lady Susan is as shocking, manipulative and hilarious as when Jane Austen first imagined her.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 546 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader; 1 edition (15 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DB3T27K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #163,572 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Lady Susan is Jane Austen's youthful epistolary novel featuring her most deliciously immoral and manipulative anti-heroine. Here Janet Todd has taken Austen's brief work and expanded it, filling in the back-story before Austen's own work opens, and then running alongside it. Where Austen is, inevitably, silenced, Todd says things that she couldn't have (`[Susan] went to some trouble to avoid [children] by urging her spouse to use a pig's bladder. Frederick protested - it was a device fit only for prostitutes'), and follows our heroine into the privacy of her bedroom while she is conducting an affair with the married Manwaring.

Todd is a brilliant scholar of women's writing, and a hugely empathetic biographer: her books on Aphra Behn, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Fanny Wollstonecraft are some of my favourite biographies. But I'm less sure that fiction is her forte. By turning an epistolary novel centred on the voice of Lady Susan into a 3rd person narrative she loses some of the energy of the youthful original.

So this is an interestingly modern take on Austen and her world, one centred on female deceit and deception, and the inevitable commodification of marriage. Oddly, however, this book seems to de-claw Susan to some extent making her less of the subversive anti-heroine than she is in Austen's original.

Recommended but with reservations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly good read. 31 July 2013
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Austen spin-offs are ten a penny, but this really stands out from the crowd. Jane Austen’s short epistolary novel Lady Susan is the most daring and startling of her early works, bolder than any of the novels she published as an adult: a tale of a beautiful, unprincipled, and relentlessly successful heroine who skilfully manipulates both men and words. Janet Todd, a world-renowned Austen expert, fleshes out the story, converting it into a fast-paced and witty narrative of a sophisticated mother cursed with a morally upright teenage daughter, and taking the heroine into areas of sexual experience and unconventionality that Austen could not even hint at. A brilliantly good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tongue in cheek book 8 Aug. 2013
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It could be said that this novel is a predictable trek through very familiar territory but it was an enjoyable read. I kept smiling as the author shamelessly used Jane Austin style prose to move the plot along. You knew what would happen to all the main characters but an amusing twist was added. A holiday read when you need to unwind.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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I loved this. Having read everything by Austen I was curious as to what the foremost scholar of her work would imagine in this story. Here I found not only the Austen of the books, but also the letters too. I found it engaging, witty and hugely emotionally intelligent, and recommend this to any lover of Austen's works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 Jun. 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars And what a game it is! 25 Jun. 2014
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Janet Todd achieves a brilliant take and interpretation on Austen's Lady Susan, which, in fact, I found truly compliments the original. But be warned - it is racy! - In a way that Austen just couldn't, and wouldn't, have been, of course. It is a real piece of fun, amusing and thoroughly entertaining writing. Highly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 29 Dec. 2013
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I was very disappointed with this book, it was not at all what I expected.
I felt it was very predictable what was going to happen next, I read it all the way through
hoping it would pick up but I'm afraid I wasted my time..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect period fiction 14 Oct. 2013
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After reading much of Janet Todd's work during my studies, this piece is exciting and true to period. The character of Lady Susan is formidable and daring. The plot line is tense and full of interesting twists and turns. It was an enjoyable read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Lady Susan doesn't play
This just shows how badly some of the so called upper classes treated people. Parts were good others not so. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sue W
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable romp
Janet Todd is a well-known academic who particularly focuses on female authors from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Read more
Published 16 months ago by H. M. Holt
3.0 out of 5 stars good story but not always well written
I like the story and got into it quickly. Lady Susan is an interesting and strong character but after a while I realised that I had to reread some sentences as, grammatically, they... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rawfoodster
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of my favourites
Enjoyable enough and an easy read but I can't say I noticed any likeness to Jane Austen. The characters were generally not likeable and I think I missed whatever humour there was. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Thistleflower
1.0 out of 5 stars More Barbara Cartland than Jane Austen
I love the novels of Jane Austen and bought this because people likened the writing style to hers. What a load of nonsense. Read more
Published 17 months ago by G A Norton
5.0 out of 5 stars Enticing read
I discovered that I was looking forward to seeing how Lady Susan received the due results of her awful behaviour - and wasn't disappointed. Most entertaining.
Published 17 months ago by MRS
4.0 out of 5 stars A light summer read
I enjoyed Lady Susan - it was perfect for a light holiday read. The comparisons to Jane Austen flatter however!
Published 17 months ago by Deirdre O'Halloran
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but no threat to Miss Austen
Clunky written style and a plot it was hard to care about- none of Austen's cleverness or wit- but passed a few hours reasonably.
Published 17 months ago by Mary Plain
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertainning.
I was totally absorbed in this book, loved the way it was written, and the characters were fasinating. I hope she writes more books.
Published 17 months ago by Gillian
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