Friday, March 18, 2011

Sanditon and Other Stories by Jane Austen (Part Two)

Lady Susan by Jane Austen was written before her published novels but published posthumously. An epistolary novel, I couldn’t help feeling that it was somewhat influenced by Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses.  The titular character is a widow, a woman who is not unaware of her sexual charms and uses them to manipulate the emotions of those around her, especially the younger men who seem compelled to fall under her allure.

The novel is really more a novella, very short, and lacks much of Austen’s typical wit.  Her understanding of character motivation and human psychology is evident but little else seems to lend this story a recommendation.  It is more interesting to read than necessary, I suppose, in that it is interesting to see where her narrative skills began and how beautifully they eventually became in her maturity.  Probably only a “must read” for the die hard Janeite.

4 comments:

  1. This was actually a required read for an English I took in college. The professor didn't want us reading the better known works of some American writers. I remember very little but if I recall correctly it was very slow.

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  2. And clearly forgettable, for the most part, if the only thing you remember is that it was slow. I think Austen wouldn't have wanted this story to see the light of day. Don't most writers have a collection of things they don't share because they are either immature or incomplete?

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  3. Must be an enjoyable read Lady Susan by Jane Austen. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

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  4. Rohit, I enjoyed reading it but I think only Austen fans will really get any real pleasure from doing so. I'd love to read your thoughts if you post a review or you can even drop them in a comment here.

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