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Lady Susan (Hesperus Classics) by Jane…
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Lady Susan (Hesperus Classics) (edition 2006)

by Jane Austen

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848None10,568 (3.63)143
Member:holmes111
Title:Lady Susan (Hesperus Classics)
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:Hesperus Press (2006), Paperback, 95 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, English

Work details

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

  1. 40
    My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (wisewoman)
    wisewoman: These stories share a charming, manipulative villainess.
  2. 10
    Evelina by Frances Burney (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: Also an epistolary novel, written by a woman said to be an influence on Austen's own writing. If I recall correctly, also has an older scheming woman involved in the plot.
  3. 10
    Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Lady Susan by Jane Rubino (sweetiegherkin)
  4. 00
    Lady Susan by Phyllis Ann Karr (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Retells the story without the letters, filling in Austen's gaps.
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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Lady Susan is a short epistolary novel, assumed to be written around 1794, but which was only published in 1871. We quickly learn that the heroine Lady Susan, though reputedly very beautiful, is also a wicked and perverse woman. Recently widowed, though having always been a terrible flirt, she sows discord between a man and his wife when she encourages the man make advances to her. To her particular friend Mrs. Johnson she tells what must be close to her true thoughts, while with everyone else she puts on a show of virtue and motherly love, though we know she's put her daughter in a private London school for girls which has intolerable living conditions, with the sole object of wearing her down, to force her to marry a man she has chosen for her and abhors. It reminded me in some ways of that other famous epistolary novel [Les Liaisons Dangereuses], not least of all because Lady Susan could certainly have competed with the Marquise de Merteuil for undiluted hypocrisy and depravity. It's a short work, just 2.5 hours in audio format, this version being narrated by a fantastic cast of actors. Delightful. ( )
1 vote Smiler69 | Feb 22, 2014 |
Oh, this was delicious devilry. I think I read that Ms. Austen wrote this at 19 or something, and it was not published until after her death. She must have had so much fun creating such an unscrupulous, conniving, manipulative character as Lady Susan, who shamelessly flirts and schemes in order to secure a wealthy marriage for herself and her daughter. The book is epistolary in form, and the ensemble narration was the perfect way to experience Lady Susan's underhandedness, her relations' outrage, her objet d'amour's enchantment, and her poor daughter's helplessness. A quick read, and so much wicked fun!
  AMQS | Feb 18, 2014 |
bookshelves: autumn-2013, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, epistolatory-diary-blog, published-1791, radio-4, fradio
Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read from September 28 to 29, 2013

BBC BLURB: A little known, very early Jane Austen work, performed on the radio for the first time.

A beautiful and scheming widow seeks a husband for both herself and her shy and awkward daughter, while engaged in an affair with a married man.

Who will win the heart of the rich and handsome Reginald De Courcy? And will the truth about Lady Susan ever come out? These are the questions a teenaged Jane Austen posed in this early epistolary novella, published long after her death - the first of her many wise and witty studies of love and marriage, and the games people play.

Read by Emilia Fox, Lucy Robinson and Theo Fraser Steele
Abridged by Eileen Horne
Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4

Juevanlia from Austen. Okay; nothing to write home about. ( )
  mimal | Sep 28, 2013 |
Liked the letter based format but otherwise it bored me. ( )
  wildeaboutoscar | Sep 20, 2013 |
I listened to Lady Susan as a LibriVox audio book, and enjoyed it immensely. What a truly extraordinary work it is -- and how lucky we are that it was eventually published. Miss Austen wrote "Lady Susan" in 1794, when she was only 19, but it was not published until 6 decades after her death.

It is an epistolary novel, consisting almost entirely of correspondence between the various parties. The protagonist (Lady Susan) is a beautiful, scheming widow who seeks to marry off her daughter Frederica to an older man, and to land for herself a wealthy husband. Lady Susan is surely one of the most fascinatingly unlikeable woman of fiction. She is manipulative, selfish, greedy, unprincipled, and utterly without conscience. She has no compunction about flirting with (and possibly seducing) men, married and single alike. She lacks any trace of maternal sentiment, and writes that her daughter is "a stupid girl, and has nothing to recommend her." She tries to force her daughter into a marriage with a man whom Frederica finds abhorrent; and foists herself as a guest on a series of victims (including her brother in law and sister in law, whose marriage she had tried to prevent). Watching Lady Susan at work is utterly fascinating, as seen through the letters written by her, her daughter, her relatives, and others with whom she interacts. Here is how Lady Susan describes her best friend's husband: "just old enough to be formal, ungovernable and to have the gout – too old to be agreeable, and too young to die". This is a wonderfully wicked work -- dripping with wit, irony, and satire, and thoroughly entertaining. Granted, it lacks the subtlety of the more mature of Miss Austen's works. But it's an admirable work nonetheless, and all the more impressive, in that it emerged from the mind of a young woman who had never published to that point (and for two decades thereafter).

LibriVox has succeeded magnificently in bringing Lady Susan to life via the audio format. Each written letter is spoken by the character who wrote it, and each of the actors playing the characters has an entirely distinctive voice. The spoken delivery of each is flawless, as the actors capture every nuance of the text.

I strongly recommend this audio version; listening to the text as delivered and acted by this professional group of readers led me to appreciate this work even more than reading the written text. ( )
4 vote danielx | Sep 13, 2013 |
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My Dear Brother,- I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of profiting by your kind invitation when we last parted of spending some weeks with you at Churchill, and, therefore, if quite convenient to you and Mrs. Vernon to receive me at present, I shall hope to within a few days to be introduced to a sister whom I have so long desired to be acquainted with.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486444074, Paperback)

Beautiful, flirtatious, and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks an advantageous second marriage for herself, while attempting to push her daughter into a dismal match. A magnificently crafted novel of Regency manners and mores that will delight Austen enthusiasts with its wit and elegant expression.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:55 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Flirtatious and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks a new and advantageous marriage for herself and at the same time attempts to push her daughter into marriage with a man she detests. The plot unfolds through letters exchanged among Lady Susan, her family, friends and enemies.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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