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Lady Susan

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,077 Ratings  ·  1,204 Reviews
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 Churchhill, 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. My kind frie ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1794)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Petra X
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Avevo letto questo libro qualche anno fa, nell'edizione della Newton Compton insieme a Sanditon e I Watson, ma non mi ricordavo molto della storia.
Questo è un romanzo epistolare in cui, tramite le lettere dei vari personaggi coinvolti, conosciamo Sua Signoria Lady Susan Vernon, vedova recente e gatta morta di prima categoria.
La parte migliore del libro, a mio avviso, è la fine, in cui interviene direttamente la Austen:

"Questa corrispondenza, per l'incontro di alcuni e la separazione di altri, no
Damla Ü.
Jul 06, 2015 Damla Ü. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane Austen'ın ömrünün vefa etmesini ve daha çok kitap yazmasını o kadar isterdim ki. Zekasını bu kadar takdir ettiğim ve üslubuna bayıldığım başka bir yazar yok. Leydi Susan bol entrikalı, eğlenceli, bir oturuşta bitirilecek bir kitap. Aşk ve Arkadaşlık'taki gibi karakterlerin birbirlerine yazdıkları mektuplar yoluyla ilerliyor. Diğer romanlarının aksine ana karakterimiz Leydi Susan fettanlığın tam karşılığı. Bu da hoş bir farklılık olmuş. Sonunda bir şey daha beklerdim sadece, onun dışında Jan ...more

This is a quick, easy, and interesting read. I like that this is formatted as a series of letters because it allows for multiple people to have a first person POV.


As with many books, I am forced to listen to books because Bubble Guppies and Minions Rush are very distracting. The Audible version that I thought was for Immersion Reading was narrated by an American. Call it snobby if you want to, but I just can't listen to a Jane Austen novel/novella that is being narrated in anything o

Come back, my dear Vicomte, come back...

Er, scrap that. Wrong novel.

I confess that I was so totally taken aback by the heading of the first chapter in this novel, which read: "Lady Susan Vernon to Mr Vernon," and by the epistolary format that I paused and closed the book and went back to observe the cover to make sure I'd not made a mistake and instead picked up Choderlos de Laclos in a moment of distraction whilst packing books for my holiday
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
Jan 05, 2014 MRB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll join fellow reviewers in warning potential readers that the romance in Lady Susan is minimal. It's the Austen least likely to make you swoon (did I just use the word 'swoon'?! I really have been reading too many classics lately!), but in many ways I think Lady Susan features Jane Austen at her most purely clever, sharp and satirical.

As others have noted, the book takes place entirely in the form of letters that various characters exchange, but rest assured that there's still a lot of Austen
Chiara Pagliochini
"Romanzo epistolare che vede al centro la figura di Lady Susan, vedova ancora giovane, affascinante e amante dei raggiri, la cui massima aspirazione è piegare tutti gli uomini che incontra alla sua volontà. Mr Manwaring, Sir James e Reginald De Courcy sono solo alcuni della lista. Offuscata dalla sua ombra è la figlia Frederica, che la madre si impegna a denigrare con ogni mezzo. Ma la scaltrezza di altre donne che hanno compreso la vera natura di Lady Susan restituirà a ciascun personaggio il g ...more
E. Chainey (Bookowski)
İşte bu! Beklenen kitap geldi...
Lady Susan is not your typical Jane Austen’s character, she is actually quite despicable, an anti-heroine, who lies and schemes.
I didn’t expect this, as usually Jane Austen’s protagonists are good and honest, but I have to say it made this short story interesting.
However the book has its happy ending… at least for some of the characters.
Jan 06, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, british
Lady Susan è un romanzo breve, scritto quando l'autrice aveva appena diciannove anni e considerato spesso ancora una sperimentazione.
Mi è piaciuto rileggere dopo tanto tempo un romanzo epistolare, che, per sua natura, presenta diversi punti di vista. Inoltre, questa tecnica narrativa permette al lettore di scoprire con chiarezza l'ipocrisia della protagonista: a differenza delle altre eroine austeniane, Lady Susan è cattiva, manipolatrice e scaltra.
Leggere queste lettere è stato estremamente div
Me gustó 3,5
Aug 27, 2015 LunaBel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
contains spoilers

Manipulation at its Finest

Do not think me unkind for such an exercise of my power...

Lady Susan would not have things any way other than hers. She has powers. She knows how to exert them on others, and she does not prevent herself the glory emanating from them no matter how ill-used they are. She does not care about anything or anyone other than herself, and she is ready to sacrifice anyone to fulfill her aims, which are either directed toward greed, glory, or feeding her pride
Inspired Kathy
Mar 23, 2010 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
And I thought the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was such an original book. Little did I know Jane Austen wrote a book solely in letters long ago. This book is quite short, less than 80 pages. An easy, enjoyable, one sitting read.
I like epistolary novels, but I didn't enjoy re-reading Lady Susan. I'm afraid my maind wasn't into it this time.
Still, the short novel is graciuos and pleasant, a light reading to introduce yourself to the Austen world.
Short story but the length was perfect; not rushed, not slow. Stories that are narrated through letters can be tricky, but here it works excellent. I like how different this little book is from her other books, yet when you are reading it, it is obvious it is Jane Austen. Her MC is a villain, a very charming yet cunning one. I almost was rooting for her during the whole story, because the characters that surrounded her were nice, but very weak (Frederica) and silly (Reginald... and well, basical ...more
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
Feb 25, 2010 Misty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I, who has spent many years making mockery of all things Jane Austen, am afraid I must admit to having enjoyed this book. I actually have never managed to make it through a single Jane Austen book, although I've started Pride and Prejudice about 50 times I just couldn't get into it.

So, what changed, you may ask? Well, I found myself with a library fee and needing a new book. I can download audiobooks from the library without paying the fee, so I started perusing the selection. It's quite limite
Jan 08, 2014 Ritesh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Am I being objective in my rating of this book? I don't think so. I am bringing in my biases about how I perceive the world ought to be.

I found the protagonist, Lady Susan to be a horrid person, and I suppose the author achieved what she had set out to do. The genius of the author however, is in the fact that she's left me questioning about whether this is the unequivocally case. She seems to be driven by her desire to be sufficiently provided for in a world where it was really difficult for a
Feb 19, 2013 Sketchbook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lady Susan makes me think of Lee Radziwill, who takes comfort in the cold-blooded sport of carnal manners even when her husby is bumping junk at an Other Bar.

Age 35 or so, Lady S has a sexual-social allure, along w a young daughter. To support a life-style, she's an intrigante. She's not trying to join any club, rather she's a member already who, you might say, cheats at cards. Milady has no pointless badness. Her badness, like her selfishness, has a purpose. (Very Lee).

This early novella, based
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Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) 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 fr
More about Jane Austen...

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“Facts are such horrid things!” 13 likes
“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.” 7 likes
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