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Lady Susan

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  19,954 Ratings  ·  1,935 Reviews
A great example of the epistolary genre (where a story is told through letters, documents, etc.). Jane Austin displays her mastery of the language and the epistolary form in this work. Published after her death from a manuscript she left behind.
Paperback, 88 pages
Published March 14th 2008 by Tark Classic Fiction (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
Henry Avila
May 20, 2015 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 looked ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

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
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
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'
I haven't read an Austen novel that I disliked.

I mean, she's good enough to turn what should be an epistolary slog through social mores into a delightful and spiteful and nearly-tragic romp. Who else can do that?

The voices of each character in each letter evokes such verve and personality and a great sense of persistent presence that I'm frankly quite shocked. The plot was rather simple. It's about making good matches and getting involved in other's love-lives. *shock* *no* *say it isn't so*

Nov 04, 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


Reading this wonderful novel I felt as if I were holding a multifaceted prism, and with each new epistle, I was twisting it to another of its sides, and looked in wonder into wonder it.

With every slight shift in viewpoint, the light unveiled a different aspect: of the engaging story; of the captivating characters; of the elusive nature of fiction; of the actual art of narration.

Not only was each letter advancing a plot but it also made me wonder if there was an unmediated way
Nov 08, 2016 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, historical
Lady Susan. What an interesting character- stirring up trouble, flirting, scheming, lying, plotting, seducing and trouble making...quite a contrast to Elizabeth Bennett!
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
Kjell (Rebel-Belle)
Jane Austen never lets me down! This epistolary novel was so much fun to read and I'm saddened that this is my last novel by Jane Austen. I've read all seven of them now!

The main character, Susan Vernon, is just awful and Jane Austen writes her so well. Definitely pick this one up if you love Austen's work!
Mar 02, 2017 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread -- I read it in this edition:

If Northanger Abbey is considered a Minor work, then this is a minor Minor work, with Northanger Abbey being a major Minor.

Austen's writing here reminds me of her juvenilia (see Love and Freindship), though here it's much more accomplished (especially considering how young she still was at the time of its writing) and not as (purposely) silly and over-the-top as the juvenilia. With her early work one sees the process of
Apr 22, 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
Feb 05, 2017 Hirdesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, in-shelf
Jane Austen's every book is just a Milestone.

Extraordinary , extravagant piece of writing !
That was the realness of English language and its impact and effective shown in the book with a lovable theme and Gratefulness.
Great decorum of Lady Susan.
She was not only understood superiority of family intellects but, also how to engaged in their perspective relations.
I've been still remember each dialogue of Lady Susan and her daughter.
Despite of loss of her husband, she moved forwards with her superf
Nov 01, 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
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
April (Aprilius Maximus)
I can't wait to see the movie 'Love and Friendship', based on Lady Susan! It looks fantastic!
Dec 04, 2015 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
Apr 28, 2017 Lata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, auth-f, 2017-read
Funny and awful at the same time, Lady Susan Vernon (of the title) crashes her sister-in-law's after Susan's husband dies, and causes raised eyebrows and tut tutting. This is after all the gentry of the early 1800s who live highly mannered lives, and the idea that a 35-year old widow would be laughing and attracting mens' admiring attention, well, that was just not done. The sister-in-law, Catherine Vernon, is concerned since her brother is making googly eyes at Susan, and Catherine just knows t ...more
Apr 17, 2017 Pink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot to review this. It's not my favourite Austen, but I don't think it should be overlooked in favour of her novels, as this has its own charm. Also, the story was a lot bolder than I was expecting, which was a pleasant surprise.
Frannie Pan
Nov 30, 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
Mar 12, 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
Mar 30, 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
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
Nov 12, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-purchase
Not Jane Austen at her best, but still glimmers of those things that make her great. A good sense of humor, irony, and a society in which most people are just navigating the facade to try to reach the truth. There is little depth or character development to this story, and the epistolary style doesn't really suit Austen for me. Still "I liked it" pretty much sums it up, so 3-stars.
l a i n e y
My first epistolary novel, quite fun infact. I thought it would be unengaging but no, Austen managed to be her witty self and created such wicked titular character, Lady Susan Vernon.

Eventhough the ending was little rush and not as I would have liked, I still like it, big part of it because I like Lady Susan herself. (view spoiler)
Nov 07, 2016 Hope rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, novella
Actual footage of me whilst reading this novella:

I'm sorry, Jane Austen. But I had zero interest or cares in this novella. While the series of letters between different peoples was a cute idea, it got old really fast. There was way too much telling and no showing in this- I can't watch exchanges and banter between characters (which was what made Pride and Prejudice so wonderful!) because everything is told after the fact from a biased point of view. And Lady Susan isn't a very nice character- ho
May 04, 2016 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely quick summer read and my was this masterfully done!

The device of the letters works in nuance and plotting beyond normal narration or conversations in company.

Jane Austen was marvelous in her insight and her flow of language is delicious.

Spoiler: Lady Susan deserved James Martin. And Frederica? Does she develop more backbone? I wish there was a two year down the line "afterwards".
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
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
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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
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.” 26 likes
“Facts are such horrid things!” 20 likes
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