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Lady Susan

by Jane Austen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,9741008,399 (3.59)303
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Lady Susan is the only full novel written by Jane Austen that was not published in her lifetime. Composed in the epistolary form that was popular at the time, the novel is a series of letters primarily between Lady Susan, Mrs Vernon, Mrs Vernon's mother (Lady de Courcy), Lady Susan and Mrs Johnson. The central character is remarkable in Austenian terms as she has nearly no redeeming features. A gorgeous, clever and witty woman, Lady Susan uses her talents for thoroughly selfish ends as she scrupulously scours society searching for "appropriate" husbands for herself and for her daughter.

.… (more)
  1. 40
    My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier (atimco)
    atimco: These stories share a charming, manipulative villainess.
  2. 30
    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. 20
    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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» See also 303 mentions

English (98)  Spanish (2)  All languages (100)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
"Where pride and stupidity unite there can be no dissimulation worthy notice, and Miss Vernon shall be consigned to unrelenting contempt; but by all that I can gather Lady Susan possesses a degree of capitivating deceit which it must be pleasing to witness and detect." ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Mar 19, 2024 |
Austen wrote this around 20, but never published. It isn't as polished as her other books, the epistolary style seems to restrict her writing, and the ending seems to be too brief. Yet the character of Lady Susan is a joy to meet. Austen has a vicious wit for her heroines as well as the minor characters. Here the heroine is deplorable, yet there is a certain respect for Lady Susan for her ability to manipulate those around her to get what she wants. No mild and humble girl, but a woman that is strong and determined to get her way. Unfortunately, she is quite awful in that she lacks compassion of any kind for anyone especially her meek and mild daughter Frederica.
A good read after reading her 7 main works. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Jan 14, 2024 |
This small epistolary novel is a bit different from Austen’s other work. The title character, Lady Susan, is a manipulative selfish woman who is hard to like. She has almost no regard for her daughter Frederica and is doing her best to marry her off to the first man who comes along.

Lady Susan is used to always getting her way. She uses people to further herself and then when she is finished with them she moves on. The story revolves around her efforts to seduce and marry a young wealthy man. Through the observations and letters of those she comes in contact with we learn that everyone is concerned she might succeed. They warn the man in question, but he’s blinded by infatuation.

We don’t have long enough to become attached to any of the characters, but it’s still interesting to see how it unfolds. I thought the ending was wonderfully just and was happy with the book overall.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re an Austen devotee it’s a must. Though the story isn’t as good, it’s fun to see Austen try a different style and exercise her writing skills. For anyone new to Austen I would say skip this one and start with one of her well-known novels.

“Where there is a disposition to dislike, a motive will never be wanting.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 28, 2023 |
This is the less sweet and romantic side of Jane Austen - I liked it. ( )
  mmcrawford | Dec 5, 2023 |
Apart from an epilogue/conclusion this is written entirely in the form of letters. Lady Susan is recently widowed and in the possession of a 16 year old daughter she considers stupid and hateful. Susan is already the subject of much scandal and gossip (having nearly split up one marriage, and managed to break up another engagement through flirting), before she descends on the house of her brother in law for a stay as she believes she has no where else to go until the scandal settles.

Meanwhile she tries to get a suitable marriage for herself whilst trying to get her daughter off her hands by making whatever marriage agreement will suit.

Even more scandal erupts when her sister in law's brother appears and decides he is in love with her, despite the rumours.

Soon however, Susan is back in Town and through various schemes married and her daughter off her hands.

Interesting way of writing a short book, which I believe was one of the first Austen wrote, but never submitted for publication. The main character is entirely mercenary, never out for romantic love either for herself or her friends. She's only out for a suitable marriage and will be entirely two faced to get what she wants. Cant think of another character like her. ( )
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Austenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barrett, JustinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beverley, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brisbin, ShellyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cade, KevinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dayne, BrendaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferreri, KirstenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, KristinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynn, DreamaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Milles, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ordover, HeatherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shallenberg, KaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tyrtle, SageNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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My dear Brother,- I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of profitting 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 within a few days to be introduced to a Sister whom I have so long desired to be acquainted with.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Lady Susan is the only full novel written by Jane Austen that was not published in her lifetime. Composed in the epistolary form that was popular at the time, the novel is a series of letters primarily between Lady Susan, Mrs Vernon, Mrs Vernon's mother (Lady de Courcy), Lady Susan and Mrs Johnson. The central character is remarkable in Austenian terms as she has nearly no redeeming features. A gorgeous, clever and witty woman, Lady Susan uses her talents for thoroughly selfish ends as she scrupulously scours society searching for "appropriate" husbands for herself and for her daughter.

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