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Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  521 ratings  ·  99 reviews
A fun treat for Jane Austen and Whit Stillman fans alike
Impossibly beautiful, disarmingly witty, and completely self-absorbed: Meet Lady Susan Vernon, both the heart and the thorn of Love & Friendship. Recently widowed with a daughter who's coming of age as quickly as their funds are dwindling, Lady Susan makes it her mission to find them wealthy husbands--and fast. But wh
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company
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Kerry CS Literary Jewelry
I was very excited to see that there was a new Jane Austen movie coming out. The film, Love and Friendship, was based on the Whit Stillman book, Love and Friendship, which was in turn based upon the Jane Austen novel, Lady Susan. Since I hadn’t read either of the two books, I decided it would be interesting to read them both before seeing the movie so I could see how the different versions compared with each other.

ABOUT THE BOOKS: Lady Susan, in its original form, is a short novel, told mostly
After just completing both a re-read of Lady Susan and re-watching of Love & Friendship, I thought it was high time that I read the movie adaption's companion book.

It was meant to be read with an understanding that the author has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek and as such I knew it would be best not to take it too seriously. I also realized as I barely got started that it was a very good thing to read this book after experiencing the movie and the Lady Susan novella as it assumes the re
Ostensibly written by Lady Susan Vernon's nephew by marriage in 1858, this is an attempt to vindicate Lady Susan, who, in the original novella, is the most awful mother and an accomplished flirt. The nephew claims that anonymous spinster maligned his aunt by making up certain situations and dialogues. He attempts to remedy that with his own memories - and fails. The dialogue is terrible. It's stilted and unnatural but in the movie, it's funny! The actors can pull it off and make it seem funny. T ...more
29th Dec 2016: Watched Love and Friendship in the cinema and enjoyed it very much.

9-10th Jan 2017: Reading the first 22% of the book while always wishing that I could re-read Lady Susan before continuing with this version.

11-13th Jan 2017: Realizing that Lady Susan is in the appendix and reading 60-100% of the book. (the original is so much better)

13th/16th Jan 2017: Reading 22-60% and getting more and more frustrated about this silly defender of Lady Susan.. He's getting on my nerves! And this
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jane-austen
Lady Susan by “A Partial, Prejudiced, and Ignorant Historian”

(Note: This review is coming from the perspective of someone who has not yet had the pleasure of seeing the movie, Love and Friendship, but has previously read Jane Austen’s epistolary novel, Lady Susan.)

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Retelling, Epistolary Novel

SETTING: England, 1794 (Surrey, Kent, and London to be specific)

MAIN CHARACTERS: Lady Susan Vernon, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Vernon, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, Miss Frederica Vernon, Mr. Reg
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had never read Jane Austen's "Lady Susan" and wanted to read it. I happened to pick this book up from the new release section in the library. The pretense of "Love and Friendship" is that Lady Susan's nephew is accusing the, "spinster authoress', Jane Austen of slandering his aunt's reputation and he intends to clear her name. His excuses and explanations fall flat and really serve to make her look even more devious and the foolish characters even more foolish. Both of the books were written w ...more
Emilie Morscheck
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This strange volume was a won in a twitter giveaway along with tickets to the movie. I say strange because I don't know who the target audience for this book is. To any Austen fan, Stillman's interpretation is condescending. The footnotes, which I initially found humorous and very "meta" become patronizing and irrelevant. However, a more narrative version of the story would not aid newcomers to Austen as it is no more accessible than the original story. My biggest gripe with this book, and I ver ...more
I'm sorry to say I didn't enjoy the book as much as the movie. While all(nearly all?) the lines in the movie are in the book, the book has a Collins like narrator who I found tedious. My mood was not the best when reading it, so perhaps the fault is all mine. I'm glad I saw the movie first! Barely 2.5-2.75
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really glad I did not give up on this book. Especially cracked up reading about the semi colon (p.132)." if we learn to master the semicolon we would expect to be successful in whatever path you chose in life"
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Both Austen's original and Stillman's additional defenses of the story are poignant and the best form of satire.
Neha Patel
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Janeites
A Delightful Gem With Austen's Flair for Wit and Charm

I bowled over laughing after reading every sentence written in this outstanding Austen re-creation! Whit Stillman is at his very best comical self with Love and Friendship, and I can very well imagine his book being applauded the world over for its ingenious and sparkling humor! Lady Susan Vernon is not vindicated at all, and therein lies the intelligent irony of this novel. Austen would be very proud! This book is a must-read for everyone wh
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An adaptation of Jane Austen’s unpublished novel Lady Susan, re-written from a different perspective by the writer and producer of the recent movie adaptation of the same title. The novel takes the form of a written defense of Lady Susan Vernon as written by her nephew much later in life. Stillman introduces his hilariously hapless narrator but wisely lifts Austen’s knowledge of the setting, manners and mannerisms of her own time direct from the original.
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: jane-austen
As I said in my review of Lady Susan, this is one of the rare cases where I prefer the movie to the book. ...more
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well done. Very well done. A pleasing companion to the movie that I suspect also works on its own, with an added narrative layer that provides a lot of fun.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love and Friendship is a sharp and witty reimagining of Jane Austen’s novella, Lady Susan. I love the entire title which is “Love and Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon is Entirely Vindicated. Concerning the Beautiful Lady Susan Vernon, Her Cunning Daughter & the Strange Antagonism of the DeCourcy Family.” The novel is “written” by Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca, nephew of Sir James Martin. He has taken offense at the “spinster authoress” Jane Austen’s take on Lady Susan ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Who better to capture Austen’s witty social commentary than filmmaker and writer Whit Stillman? His first film, Metropolitan, was one of my favorites from the 1990s, but I confess that I didn’t catch its similarities to Mansfield Park until many years later. Now Stillman has written a companion piece to his latest film Love & Friendship in straight narrative form. He introduces a new character to the story: Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca, Lady Susan’s nephew. Rufus has penned his “true nar ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Clever satire rather than satisfying romance. Lady Susan is a recent widow with a teenage daughter. The widow is widely suspected of clever and immoral machinations designed to snare unsuspecting men (married and otherwise) into matrimony or indiscretions. That she succeeds spectacularly on all fronts despite justifying all of the negative gossip shows the power of marrying an immensely stupid man with 10,000 pounds per year. Readers of any Austen novel should also read Thomas Piketty's CAPITAL ...more
#30 A book coming out as a film in 2016

I loved this reworking of Jane Austen's epistolary novella Lady Susan. The title evokes her hilarious juvenilia Love and Freindship, although the first part of the novel is not written in letters, but ostensibly by the nephew of Lady Susan as a narrative vindicating her in the face of the scandalous version given by the spinster authoress (Jane Austen). This nephew writing about his aunt deliberately evokes the biography of Austen written by her nephew. The
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Books based on Jane Austen's work and I have a love/hate relationship. Mostly hate. I adore the characters and works she creates so I try to peer back into the world she wrote. Usually it fails spectacularly and I'm left wondering who these characters are supposed to be. I loved this book. For one thing it's the right length. Lady Susan was short, so is this retelling. We don't have pages and pages of fluffy filler. It's told from the perspective of Lady Susan's smitten nephew by (second) marria ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a re-telling of Lady Susan and I'm not quite sure why it's called Love & Friendship. That aside, it's a clever take on the original story line... a novelization both of the movie of the same name and of the original epistolary novella by Jane Austen herself. The novel succeeds in filling out the plot and characters while keeping the sharp witty tone of the original villain, Lady Susan Vernon. It's refreshing to see an Austen adaptation that's not focused on the love story; instead the fo ...more
Aug 20, 2016 marked it as gave-up-on
While I loved the movie, there are too many characters and the dialogue is too quick for me to keep up with the story in book form. I HATE saying this, but if I hadn't seen the movie first I might have been more motivated to read through the book.

2nd edit: After reading several reviews- I'm wondering if this is even the same story? This is written from the nephews perspective. Maybe I'll give it another go after I finish Inspector Gamache's fourth book ;)

3rd edit: I'll definitely give this one a
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I was confused about how to tackle this book but decided to read it from 'front to back'. This meant that I read the original text last and therefore was not always sure what the 'snippy' remarks and foot notes were intended to convey. Perhaps I should have read the chapters and letters concurrently. There was an interesting plot woven around the original story but I did feel some of the asides and commentary were too trivial and petty to be interesting but perhaps this was the authors intention ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
At times reads like a screenplay, overwhelmingly dialogue-based; at times though, sounds like WS is overwriting. For this case, I think the Jane Austen epistolary is more enjoyable and direct. I've to say too, that I'd enjoyed the movie more. My single qualm, how can a young boy know so much 'insider's' views and detailed events and in particular, the sentiments of a strictly adult world. Thus the weak positioning of the narrator.
Gina Dalfonzo
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A witty novelization that adds a good deal to the experience of watching the movie. Stillman is good at capturing the voice of the self-centered, narrow-minded, self-righteous narrator . . . a little TOO good, actually. He reminded me so strongly of people I've known who are just like that, it sometimes set my teeth on edge!
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm so happy this exists
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
A four star book bumped up to five as I'm a huge fan of Whit Stilman's and am still laughing over the part about peas.
Hilarious commentary to accompany Lady Susan. Just wish it were longer.
Susan Mather Barone
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I checked out Whit Stillman’s “Love and Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon is Entirely Vindicated” after seeing the trailer for the movie recently on Amazon Prime. I’ll admit I had a few false starts when I first started reading. Stillman’s re-telling is not long at 153 pages, so it wasn’t length, but I wasn’t engaging with the content. The few pages leading to the actual story felt like reading someone’s thesis – and maybe that’s precisely how the content is meant to appear to ...more
Mike O'Connor
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very much like Stillman's previous novel THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO, WITH COCKTAILS AT PETROSSIAN AFTERWARDS, in which rather than give us a straight novelization of his screenplay, he takes another character and gives us the film's story from their perspective. In this case, the stakes are a bit higher in that he leaves behind his typical east coast young people upper class milieu, and gives us an adaptation of Jane Austen's LADY SUSAN. And like his film, this novel is a tremendous success and a ve ...more
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Whit Stillman (born John Whitney Stillman) is an Academy Award-nominated American writer-director known for his sly depictions of the "urban haute bourgeoisie" (as he terms the upper-class WASPs of the U.S. socio-cultural elite).

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