Maureen's Reviews > Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon

Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon by Jane Austen
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's review
May 05, 08

bookshelves: classics
Read in May, 2008

Northanger Abbey was SOOO funny! I would love to go out and have a couple drinks with Henry Tilney, what a hoot. Poor Catherine is so naive, she's completely taken in by Isabella who could not be more two-faced and self-serving. Well, with the possible exception of Lady Susan. Might be fun to put Isabella Thorpe and Lady Susan in a room together and watch them try to out-schmooze eachother while planning the other's untimely demise. What a shame Ms. Austen wasn't able to finish Sanditon, I found myself really liking the characters and the setting, the whole idea of the resort town and trying to find tourists to fill the rentals. I am unendingly amazed at the range of situations, characters, and ideas Austen portrayed in all her books. Such a shame so many read her books at a purely surface level, as fluffy romances.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mary-Jane (new)

Mary-Jane "Such a shame so many read her books at a purely surface level, as fluffy romances."

True, but at least they read 'em at all. I figure if we can get people to open the cover often enough, maybe one day something will pop and they'll understand the width and breadth of what Austen was doing, of what all the great writers are capable of if you give 'em the chance. Anyway, you've convinced me - .N. Abbey is at the top of my summer reading list now.

Maureen Sure hope you like it now! I have to read all the notes on the text and any explanatory material to really understand how things worked back then. I read a lot of regency romances in high school (Alexia and I went through a Georgette Heyer phase!) so the language and the way of speaking is familiar (i.e., "Can not you..."). It's such a fascinating glimpse into a way of life that is so foreign to us, but would need no explanation to JA's contemporaries. All the references to popular novels of the day which would have been instantly understood by folks back then take a little explaining these days. Heyer's books are full of detailed descriptions of dresses and settings, whereas Austen (mercifully) does none of that. Probably most regency romance authors do the same, which is likely why so many of Austen's fans fixate on minutiae like that, rather than seeing the bigger picture. After a few of Heyer's books I'd had my fill of that genre and never read another one ;)

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