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Lady Susan

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  18,983 Ratings  ·  1,828 Reviews
Lady Susan is a selfish, attractive woman, who tries to trap the best possible husband while maintaining a relationship with a married man. She subverts all the standards of the romantic novel: she has an active role, she's not only beautiful but intelligent and witty, and her suitors are significantly younger than she is. Although the ending includes a traditional reward ...more
Kindle Edition
Published November 30th 2008 (first published 1871)
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Petra Eggs
This is a very clever book indeed. Quite different from the rest of Austen's oeuvre, it is not the sort of book that you can imagine a teenager might be able to write. To conceive the character of a woman of 35ish and her use of sexual attraction and seduction for a 19 year old, as Jane was when she finished this, shows remarkable powers of observation and deduction. How much harder in the more sheltered world of the 18thC than the tell-all media-driven world of now?

Unlike all Austen's other boo
...more
Henry Avila
Jan 12, 2017 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lady Susan Vernon, 35, but looks much younger, is exceedingly pretty , gentle, with great manners, well spoken, intelligent, the perfect woman, until you know her... newly widowed from a kind man, Mr.Vernon, ( no first name is given) he had foolishly let her spend, all his money... a daughter 16, Frederica, almost as beautiful, as she, who the Lady ignores , hates, and torments, a bothersome thing. The notorious flirt, has chased men both married and single, throughout England, (her late husband ...more
Sherwood Smith
I've noticed over the years that a lot of Austen fans (the ones who tend to want to confine Jane Austen to a tiny box of preciousness, or who only value her as a romance writer, or who have only seen the films) seem oblivious to this tight, short, ninety-percent-finished epistolary novel. Or they pretend it doesn't exist, because it is not very romantic.

I understand there's to be a movie version, which gives me deep misgivings. If it's played seriously, with a Dangerous Liaisons overlay of postm
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
description

This early epistolary (written in letters) novel by Jane Austen follows the young, attractive and recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon, as she schemes her way through England, leaving emotional wreckage in her wake. Lady Susan is a unique main character for Austen, devious, mean-spirited and amoral ... yet witty and intelligent.

Lady Susan is trying to marry off her young daughter Frederica, whom she despises as stupid and insipid (she is pretty insipid, actually...), to Sir James, a rich young ma
...more
Diane
This is a clever and delightful novella from Jane Austen that wasn't published until decades after her death. I was excited to read it after Whit Stillman adapted it into the movie "Love & Friendship."

The story is told in a series of letters, with the main character being the beautiful, selfish and manipulative Lady Susan Vernon. Lady Susan is skilled at making men fall in love with her, and is used to getting her way. In the story, she is trying to catch a husband for her daughter, but she'
...more
Helle
Sep 13, 2015 Helle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where there is disposition to dislike motive will never be wanting.

This epistolary novella about the conceited coquette, Lady Susan, is delightful and reminiscent of Choderlos de Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Even the acidic, viper-like tongue of our main character has something in common with the scheming, self-absorbed Mme Merteuil of that novel. Though the tone may be harsher, the character of Lady Susan darker, than what was to come, it is clearly the precursor of the irony and satire t
...more
Gary  the Bookworm
Jul 22, 2013 Gary the Bookworm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Janeites rejoice! Lady Susan is a winner. I've been saving this for a rainy day and today it rained. I had a difference of opinion with a new goodreads friend who wrote that she found Austen's endings to be predictable.(view spoiler) Well Traveller, take a trip with Lady Susan because she's a lot of things, but predictable she's not. Lady (aka Saucy) Susan, is a recent widow who ...more
Trish
Nov 05, 2016 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most people don't even know that Jane Austen ever wrote this book. Yes, it is a book indeed. Only 80 pages long, which is next to nothing when compared to the other 6 novels, but, in only 80 pages Jane Austen manages to build a great stage for yet another funny, witty, sarcastic and engaging tale through a series of letters back and forth between several people.

The situation is that the titular Lady Susan, a widow, is a terrible flirt and apparently a master match-maker. We discover her flirtin
...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
I can't wait to see the movie 'Love and Friendship', based on Lady Susan! It looks fantastic!
Kim
Mar 14, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this excellent audiobook version of Jane Austen's epistolary novel narrated by Harriet Walter, Kim Hicks and Carole Boyd. It's so short that I was able to complete it by listening to it at the gym and then on my way to work and home again in the course of a single day. The novel is very different from Austen's other works. The central character is an anti-heroine: the amoral Lady Susan Vernon, a predatory widow who endeavours to seduce a married man and arrange
...more
Naomi Sarah
Wow, I really liked this! It's sooo much like the movie, 'Love and Friendship' (which I went to see two days ago) and it's filled with wittiness and unique characters. I HATE Susan. I love Frederica. I sort of like Reginald. I love Mrs Vernon too - and her gossipy letters to her mother. It was very good - very funny. :-D
Pepa
Mar 31, 2016 Pepa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clasicos, jane-austen
Apenas un relato de sesenta páginas escrito de forma epistolar.
Tiene su qué.
Primero por la corta extensión de la novela y lo bien que consigue Jane Austen plantear y desarrollar la situación.
El tono mordaz de muchas de las epístolas me ha gustado mucho, así como el fiel reflejo de ciertos personajes tópicos de su época
Otra vez queda patente la importancia del matrimonio
Alex Farrand
Lady Susan is AMAZING. I have read Jane Austen's biography by Jon Spence, which notes this book. This novel premise is about Jane's brother and cousin's relationship. She wrote it because she hated their relationship and didn't want them together. Jane Austen saw her cousin for who she really was, this manipulative, deceitful, flirtatious woman. Therefore, this novel was created to cope with her brother's decision.

Completely different from Jane Austen's other novels. Lady Susan, the heroine, is
...more
Kerry
Feb 03, 2016 Kerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book although not as much as Austen's more popular novels. It feels rather unfinished and lacking a bit of polish in comparison. The narrative is predominantly told via letters from different characters to their friends and family. They are relating events surrounding Lady Susan and her daughter Frederica. Lady Susan is rather a piece of work all told and attempts to manipulate the people around her for her own benefit. It's intriguing to witness this from the perspectives of diff ...more
Becky
Apr 26, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Lady Susan, you minx, you. You delight in causing misery in others while pitying yourself when they go contrary to your designs. Not very nice. Not nice at all.

This was another delightful Austen story. This was written as an epistolary novel, and we essentially get the full picture from everyone's differing views. Jane has a way with descriptions so that you feel like you're sitting right there, writing the letter, or maybe reading it over the writer's shoulder, or maybe the recipient. I lov
...more
Natalie Vellacott
This is obviously not comparable to Austen's better known works. I listened to it on a public domain website.

The story consists of a series of letters that are exchanged between various characters. The sophisticated, witty, elegant and recently widowed Lady Susan is on the hunt for a second husband. Dragging her unloved and neglected daughter in her wake she proceeds to visit the households of a number of relatives in order to pursue a match. Her flirtatious behaviour and carelessness with the
...more
Frannie Pan
Dec 03, 2016 Frannie Pan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2016, classics
I had never read an epistolary novel before but I. Adored. This.

I'll be honest, it might be because lately I've been obsessed with letters, I've been writing so many over the past few months and I loved every second of it, so I wanted to try to read something in the same fascinating format.
Plus, the movie Love & Friendship was coming out and as a reader I must check out the book before watching the movie adaptation, right?

It was lovely. Jane Austen's writing style is elegant and timeless and
...more
Léa
La relecture de ce court roman épistolaire de Jane Austen a été un vrai plaisir. Si la forme diffère des autres romans de l'auteure, son talent y est tout aussi présent. Et que dire de la conclusion pleine d'ironie ? Savoir en plus que Jane Austen a écrit ce roman à 18 ou 19 ans, ne fait que renforcer l'admiration que j'ai pour son immense talent.
Moonlight Reader
I am a woefully underread Janite, as it turns out. Sure, I've read the big six - her half-dozen beautifully written novels - many times. But in all of the years I've been reading Austen, I had never ventured into her other, sadly scarce, works. Laziness, maybe. Haughtiness, maybe. I'd read the best, why would I go backwards from there?

Well, at least in the case of Lady Susan, because it was freaking awesome. This is Jane Austen at the beginning of her career - rumor has it that she wrote Lady Su
...more
Hanne
Sep 30, 2012 Hanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, chicklit
I can understand why this Jane Austen novel isn't as famous as most of her other ones. It just isn't as good as her other novels.

This book follows Lady Susan Vernon, her daugther Frederica and her sister-in-law Mrs Vernon; and it is the first time with a Jane Austen novel that i find myself cheering for the downfall of the lead character.

What bothered me the most about this book is not so much the story or the characters, but the method she used to write this book: via letters. We get to see let
...more
Abigail Bok
Imagine a Jane Austen heroine who is not a young virgin, but rather a recent widow in her thirties, in the midst of an affair with a married man. Imagine her at the same time scheming to separate another woman from the man she loves so that she can maneuver him into marrying her own daughter against her will. Doesn’t sound very Austenesque? Well, this is Jane Austen, the early edition.

In 1793 and 1794, when Austen was still in her teens, she penned a novelette in letters that is known today as L
...more
Meli
Feb 27, 2015 Meli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy sarcástico y muy entretenido.
Me sorprendió Lady Susan, tremenda bruja se mandó Jane con ese personaje. Buenísimo, el personaje más despreciable de Austen me parece. Tiene varios con complejo de bruja, pero manipuladores e insensibles como esta señora ninguno!
Celeste
Nov 03, 2016 Celeste rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lady Susan is the fifth story I’ve read from Ms. Austen, and it is the fifth that I loved more than I expected. Lady Susan is a beautiful, intelligent, flirtatious, selfish, conniving, manipulative widow on the prowl for her second husband. She is also a neglectful, borderline abusive mother to a teenaged daughter, viewing her only as a burden and possible leverage into a better life through marrying said daughter off against her will. Lady Susan sees no value in the lives and opinions of others ...more
Laurel
Jan 11, 2010 Laurel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An early work that is outrageously fun and artfully melodramatic

Jane Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan has never received much attention in comparison to her other six major novels. It is a short piece, only 70 pages in my edition of The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: Minor Works containing forty-one letters and a conclusion. Scholars estimate that it was written between 1793-4 when the young author was in her late teens and represents her first attempts to write in the epistolary format pop
...more
Ron Nie
Sep 16, 2014 Ron Nie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 18th-c
Lady Susan is Machiavelli in a bonnet.
She's a mean, selfish, manipulative milf - and good god is she fun to read.
This is a super short lil novella (50 ish pages or so) about the aforementioned Lady Susan's many and sundry love affairs, but which finds its center in Susan's good natured 16 year old daughter Frederica. Frederica is the Luke Skywalker to Lady Susan's Darth Vader: almost sickeningly sweet, so kind and earnest, the classical heroine of a sentimental novel.
The plot really sets into
...more
Emily
Aug 06, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I can't give it 5 stars is because I HATE Lady Susan herself. (Seriously though, who doesn't? She's horrid, and intentionally so.) I loved Frederica and Mrs. Vernon though, which made it all worth it. The men were okay; Mr. Vernon seemed kind but far too passive, and I kept wavering back and forth on whether I actually liked Reginald or not. He's definitely not up to the standards of Austen's usual heroes, a la Darcy and Knightley and Wentworth, etc. Still, I enjoyed this novel; ...more
AMEERA
2/5
I don't like it at all
Ahnya
May 13, 2016 Ahnya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jaff
This is the first time I read this. It is a short easy read, written as a series of letters between several characters. It is amazing to think how young Jane was when she wrote this. I cannot help wondering if she actually knew someone like Lady Susan. What a piece of work that woman was. The ending is fairly abrupt. It makes one think what would it be like if Jane lived longer, and finished some of these other works.

I cannot wait to see the film that is based on it. It should be a kick!
Eleonora
4.5
Troppo corto. Troppo, troppo corto. I personaggi di zia Jane mi divertono tanto, anche quando non li sopporto.
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Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry
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More about Jane Austen...

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“My dear Alicia, of what a mistake were you guilty in marrying a man of his age! Just old enough to be formal, ungovernable, and to have the gout; too old to be agreeable, too young to die.” 21 likes
“Facts are such horrid things!” 19 likes
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