Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lady Susan” as Want to Read:
Lady Susan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lady Susan

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  25,963 ratings  ·  2,560 reviews
Beautiful, flirtatious, and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks an advantageous second marriage for herself, while attempting to push her daughter into a dismal match. A magnificently crafted novel of Regency manners and mores that will delight Austen enthusiasts with its wit and elegant expression.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published November 8th 2005 by Dover Publications (first published 1871)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,963 ratings  ·  2,560 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Ilse
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.

O Lady Susan Vernon, what a juicy jewel of a villainous character you are, a black diamond, repelling and fascinating at the same time, your wicked charm inspiring possibly an uncanny form of envy more than simple revulsion. Deceiving everyone with your angelic face and pleasingly mild manners of hypocrite virtue, your honeyed smile covers up a cold-hearted, calculating, selfish nature – and how cunningly sophisticated and feisty you are in compar
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I read the book then watch the movie for BookTubeAThon 2018 and I have to say... they have some differences and the movie might be a bit better. It's so silly and funny and can't recommend it enough!
Petal X
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 th ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jane Austen's novel about a femme fatale, the lovely and devious Lady Susan.

description

This early epistolary Austen novel follows the young(ish), attractive and recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon as she schemes her way around England, leaving emotional wreckage in her wake. Lady Susan is a unique main character for Austen, two-faced, meanspirited and amoral ... yet witty and intelligent.

Lady Susan is trying to marry off her young daughter Frederica, whom she despises as stupid and insipid - well, she is p
...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
Bradley
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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*

But
...more
Diane
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Trish
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Emma
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lady Susan. What an interesting character- stirring up trouble, flirting, scheming, lying, plotting, seducing and trouble making...quite a contrast to Elizabeth Bennett!
Susana
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clássicos, ingleses
(review in English below)

Gostei mesmo desta minha primeira experiência com a escrita de Jane Austen - que foi também a sua primeira obra.

Retrospectivamente, acho que podia haver alguma caracterização física dos personagens e dos ambientes. Mas, na verdade, durante a leitura não lhes senti a falta.

A história é-nos transmitida apenas através de cartas, trocadas entre alguns dos personagens, com excepção do final (que me desapontou um pouco por causa disso mesmo) mas a autora conseguiu manter uma e
...more
Alex
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
Kalliope
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing



MULTIFACETED PRISM


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
...more
Piyangie
In this epistolary novella by Jane Austen, we are presented with "the most accomplished coquette in England" - Lady Susan. Driven by the necessity to survive in her present status of widowhood, she draws many schemes to advance her position through a second marriage as well as to rid herself of the encumbrance of her daughter. Some of her schemes backfire, but the artful lady nevertheless manages to secure her an advantageous match.

Lady Susan is a selfish, manipulative and a shameless woman. To
...more
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)
Helle
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jason Koivu
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A woman tries to have her cake and eat it too. In Lady Susan a middle-aged woman clinging to her charms make friends and family suffer for her desire to have a last fling. The whole is told in letters. I didn't think I would, but I loved the epistolary approach. It really worked well here. On the whole, the plot could've been a little craftier. It's fairly straightforward, but then it's also very short. Maybe that's to its benefit. This is quite impressive, considering it's believed to be one of ...more
Teresa
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Reread -- I read it in this edition: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

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
...more
Hirdesh
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Celeste
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Petra
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, that was fun. Jane Austen is always a good read.

Lady Susan is such a scheming social climber. She has absolutely no shame. She's self-centered and narcissistic. It's delightful to read through her letters.
Her friends and family's personalities also come through so clearly in these letters. The hidden motives and thoughts wonderfully fill out the storyline.

Jane Austen wrote this when still a teenager. It's amazing how she was able to focus on the thoughts, motives and narcissistic feeling
...more
Lata
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gary  the Bookworm
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Kerry
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it
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
April (Aprilius Maximus)
I can't wait to see the movie 'Love and Friendship', based on Lady Susan! It looks fantastic!
Katie Lumsden
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
I just love this novella. It's hilarious, brilliantly written and such great fun.
Frannie Pan
Nov 30, 2016 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
Sara
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.
Kim
Mar 12, 2013 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
Teresa
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it very much. This was a first read for me for a challenge. Lady Susan truly is the most appalling person and Mother I have come across in a novel. How the men could fall at her feet the way they did, even though she was beautiful, is beyond me. What a shallow lot. They knew she was awful and had heard all the rumours and still they let themselves be 'bamboozled' by her.
For someone so young, as Jane was at the time, it was a marvelous study of human nature. Reading it you could see wher
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Lady Susan, by Jane Austen 3 61 Aug 08, 2018 08:08PM  
Books2Movies Club: Lady Susan 2 21 Apr 17, 2018 04:58PM  
The Readers Revie...: Lady Susan 69 41 Apr 15, 2018 10:25AM  
Discovering Jane ...: Lady Susan 2 7 Jan 27, 2018 03:06AM  
Lettori sui generis: GdL di dicembre: Lady Susan di Jane Austen 7 15 Jan 02, 2018 01:58AM  
Catching up on Cl...: Lady Susan - November 2016 - 54 197 Sep 12, 2017 07:55AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury
  • Cousin Phyllis
  • 101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen: The Truth about the World's Most Intriguing Romantic Literary Heroine
  • Captain Wentworth's Diary (Jane Austen Heroes, #3)
  • A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma
  • Pemberley Shades: A Lightly Gothic Tale of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy
  • Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • The Intrigue at Highbury: Or, Emma's Match (Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries, #5)
  • The Last Man in the World
  • Captain Wentworth's Persuasion: Jane Austen's Classic Retold Through His Eyes
  • A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen
  • Jane Austen For Dummies
  • A Peculiar Connection: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
  • Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World
  • The Lifted Veil
  • Sanctuary
  • Lady Vernon and Her Daughter
  • Charity Envieth Not (George Knightley, Esquire #1)
See similar books…
44,566 followers
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
“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.” 37 likes
“Facts are such horrid things!” 32 likes
More quotes…