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Jane Austen. Her name is practically synonymous with classic, understated romance, as well as comedies of manners with a subtle, sly sense of humor.

And Austen's "The Complete Novels" brings together the full complement of Austen's finished novels, from the little-known "Lady Susan" to the classic bestseller "Pride and Prejudice" (and everything in between). This collection is flled with lovably flawed heroines, beautiful formal prose, and some rather unconventional love stories.

"Pride and Prejudice" become a problem when Elizabeth Bennett takes a dislike to the handsome, aloof Mr. Darcy -- and her prejudice against him builds after he sabotages her sister's love match, and the charming Wickham drops some shocking claims about Darcy's nastiness. But the facts are very different -- and when scandal hits the Bennett family, Darcy may be their only hope. And "Sense and Sensibility" clash when the two very different Dashwood sisters, smart Elinor and romantic Marianne, both fall in love -- one with a man she can't have, and the other with a guy who may be horribly unsuitable.

Anne Elliott has a problem with "Persuasion," since she was once engaged to the impoverished sailor Frederick Wentworth, but was persuaded to break it off. Now he's returned from war as a wealthy hero... and Anne still loves him. "Mansfield Park" is the backdrop for shy Fanny's life with her rich relatives, who usually treat her as a servant -- except for her kindly cousin, Edmund. But when the flirtatious, fashionable Crawfords arrive in the neighborhood, it unbalances the lives of everyone at Mansfield Park.

And "Northanger Abbey" is a fitting location for Austen's spoof on gothic romances, in which the hyperimaginative Catherine Moreland is taken under the wing of the Tilney family, and especially handsome Henry -- and learns a lesson about the difference between fantasy and reality. "Emma" is a frothy romantic comedy about a rich, somewhat spoiled young lady who tries to arrange the lives of people around her so that everyone is happy. The problem is, life isn't that simple -- and neither is love. And as an addition to Austen's main body of work, this edition includes the novella "Lady Susan," who is sort of the evil sociopathic twin of Emma -- a brilliant and manipulative widow who seduces, plots and schemes. Yummy stuff.

The omnibus collection displays the range and depth of Austen's writing skill beautifully; though each story is very unique they're laced together by common themes. Except for "Lady Susan," each story is a love story, tempered with some clever commentary on the society of Austen's day (example: entailment, which plays a part in several plots), and a biting, sharp-edged wit (the mockery of the toadying Mr. Collins and the obnoxious Elliott family).

And despite the formal stuffiness of the time, Austen painted her stories vividly -- there's a bit of roughness in "Lady Susan" and "Persuasion," but nothing too dramatic. Each one has powerful emotions and vivid splashes of prose ("The wind roared round the house, and the rain beat against the windows"), as well as deliciously witty dialogue ("I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine"). But she also weaves in some intensely romantic moments as well ("Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you").

Austen also had an interesting range of heroines -- quiet ones, melodramatic ones, intelligent ones, naive ones, and mildly spoiled ones who think they know best. But each one has a major character flaw that must be overcome before she can find true love and happiness And she has an equally fascinating range of love interests: the quiet shy Colonel Brandon, the sexy and clever Henry Tilney, the blunt Mr. Knightley, the generous and honest Edmund, and especially the smart, sexy Mr. Darcy (who has a flaw of his own to overcome alongside Lizzie).

Jane Austen's "Complete Novels" draws together all her major finished novels, and let readers explore the mannered society and obstacle-filled love lives of her heroines.
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on 19 January 2012
Some of the reviewers here are plain wrong. There IS a Table of Contents. It can be accessed very easily by using the Kindle "Go To" function on the menu page. Clicking on titles listed in the contents takes you straight to your book. This seems to be standard for compilation e-books - for example, the Charles Dickens collection works the same way.
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on 28 May 2009
I have been looking for some time for a book which contained all of Austen's stunning work. My search has ended. This book is visually magnificent and has all 7 novels unaltered. It also is a fabulous price you could scarcely buy 1 novel for this money especially not one as visually dynamic. On arrival I was shocked at the size and thickness of this book when reading it in school my peers often mistake it for a bible! and in due fact it is thicker. Although it is a collosal book it is actually rather light and is easily transported without weraing the owner down. The content cannot be criticed and the writting is unlike other books of this kind as it is easily read. Overall I believe this to be a superb buy which I would recomend to anyone!
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on 19 July 2011
I'm pretty familiar with Jane Austen's six great novels, but not the "minor and unfinished" works. This fantastic collection gives you all of JA except for her juvenile writings. The main reader is Juliet Stevenson. Being the accomplished actress she is, "she do all the voices" and brought the characters to new life for me. Minor characters like Mrs Elton, Mr and Mrs Weston, Lady Bertram, General Tilney, and Mr Collins are all given their own individual accents, tones and nuances of personality. You know that Mrs Elton is vulgar and bossy from the text but as voiced by Juliet Stevenson you really feel just how pretentious she is and how keen to queen it over Emma, Jane, "Knightly" and the other inhabitants of Highbury.

"Lady Susan", "the Watsons" and "Sanditon" were new to me and an added bonus.

It's taken me about two months to listen right through, and the question now is whether I start over right away or wait a few weeks before listening again. Naxos audiobooks are first rate but this time they have surpassed themselves.

This collection may seem like a big investment but in terms of hours of top-rate entertainment I thought it was great value.

Highly recommended.
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on 8 May 2008
Just thought I'd mention that this item is not a set of individual books (as I had personally assumed), but instead it's actually one very large book containing all the stories in one, which wasn't what I personally had in mind..

It may have just been a silly mistake on my part but I don't think the synopsis is particularly clear so just thought I'd post a warning to others just in case you make the same assumption!

Still, the item itself is none-the-less lovely quality, just be aware :)
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on 23 April 2009
This was a present for my youngest daughter, who is at University. She had always wanted to read the works of Jane Austen. So, I bought this complete works as it is very easy for a student to transport around and she can dip into it any time. She loves it and is now a great Austen fan.
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on 19 May 2010
This is a wonderful edition to my Jane Austen collection. The typeface is clear and the paper is of a good quality. The illustrations are delightful. The book was prinrted in China but this has not affected the quality of the collected works.
Any Austen fan would be proud to have this book on their shelves (providing the shelves are deep and high enough of course).
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on 6 July 2009
I bought this as a present for a friend who loves Jane Austen's books. The illustrations are beautiful and the text is a good size. The book is large (obviously since it's the complete novels!) so probably ends up being flicked through and appreciated rather than read while curled up on a sofa. A book to keep.
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VINE VOICEon 25 February 2010
This is a huge doorstop-sized edition of Austen's novels. The print is quite large and pleasant but I guess people studying her for exams would prefer to buy the novels individually for easier handling.

I'm not sure this is really a deluxe edition, as stated on the cover, as the pages are rough-cut, making it look more like a bargain version. The front-cover illustration is a little strange as well, as it shows a man and woman indulging in a passionate kiss - hardly something the author is famous for depicting. Also, the entertaining, unstuffy introduction by Karen Joy Fowler (author of The Jane Austen Book Club) paints Austen as an anti-romantic, so perhaps something more decorous would have been fitting.

Overall, this is a good buy for anyone wanting to purchase all Austen's novels in one fowl swoop.
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on 22 December 2010
I'm a huge Jane Austen fan, but have trouble with my eyes so too much reading, is out of the question. As a result I love Audio Books and these are a gem. With audio books the voice is so important and these readings are perfect. Lovely mellow tones fit beautifully with Austens subtle writing and wit and its just the perfect combination.

Relaxing and so enjoyable, I heartily recommend this product to anyone who loves Jane Austen, and anyone who wants to re-live their childhood by listening to someone reading out loud.

This product would definitely be my choice for taking with me to a deserted Island....
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