Jane Austen discussion

General Discussion > Which to read?

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message 1: by Cristina (new)

Cristina Cassar (crissie3898) | 5 comments Aloha all! I need your advice. I am a young reader and I never read an Austen novel before (gasp!). Which book do you suggest to read first?

message 2: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 503 comments What fun to be starting at the beginning! Many people’s favorite is Pride and Prejudice, but for young readers I often think Northanger Abbey is a good starting place because the heroine is a little younger and kind of a fangirl.

message 3: by C (new)

C (fightingfromafar) Haha, yes, Catherine Morland really is the ultimate literary fangirl. Anyway, I agree, P&P or NA are both good places to start. It really depends on what you prefer. Northanger Abbey is the funniest of the two in my opinion

message 4: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 304 comments I read them first as a teenager and I like Northanger much better now than I did then.

I'd say Pride and Prejudice is the best one to read first.

message 5: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments I agree with Louise. I didn't like Northanger Abbey much as a girl.

message 6: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
I'd say start with Pride and Prejudice first as well.

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ After struggling with both Emma & S&S when very young, I'd say don't start with those ones! I'd go so far as to say leave Emma till last when you have hopefully fallen in love with her writing & can appreciate what a masterpiece it is.

I would start with Northanger, but P& P also a good choice.

message 8: by Bookworm (new)

Bookworm | 21 comments Pride and Prejudice! and N.A. is a close second.:)

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

My suggestion is also Northanger Abby! It was my first Jane Austen book followed immediately by P&P. The heroine is a really great character to relate to and she is the ultimate fangirl which helps get to know her!

message 10: by Cristina (new)

Cristina Cassar (crissie3898) | 5 comments I think I will start with Northanger Abby. Thank you all! :)

message 11: by Paul (new)

Paul Dinger | 16 comments Why has no one suggested Mansfield Park? This book made me an Austin fan because of it's dark humor.

message 12: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 123 comments Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey both took some time for me to appreciate, but I started Austen in middle school, so maybe that makes a difference?

message 13: by C (new)

C (fightingfromafar) Mansfield Park seems to be the novel that truly divides Austen-fans. Some love it (myself included), whereas others find its heroine boring, too meek, or too stereotypically good to be entirely believable. MP may be the book that cements your love of Austen's works, or it may be slightly off-putting, which is why it is kind of risky as your first Austen novel.

message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanhoneybee) | 1 comments I think Pride and Prejudice is a good place to start...it is beautifully written and nearly anyone can relate to at least one of the characters in the novel...

message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 50 comments I'd recommend Pride and Prejudice. Northanger Abbey is a satire of works that aren't know nowadays, which can be a bit hard to cope with.

Persuasion is also great, but the heroine is older so P&P first.

message 16: by Cristina (new)

Cristina Cassar (crissie3898) | 5 comments Hello all! thank you for your suggestions. Just to let you know, I brought Pride and Prejudice first since the bookshop did not had Northanger Abbey at the time. I've read the novel and I really did enjoy it! Thank you all! :)

message 17: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
If you are interested in joining in a group discussion, we have just started Persuasion today. It is about self-determination, relationships, family, and has so many social elements of the time that is makes a great read and discussion -- social class, snobbery, the Bath social scene, the men of the Navy, and more. Although, it is believed that Jane would have further edited the story had she lived and been able -- it shows that a manuscript of Jane's is still a fine thing to have in hand.

message 18: by Don (new)

Don Jacobson | 8 comments And I am a fan of Mansfield Park! Strong commentary on social justice and classism.

Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 169 comments Don,

I'm a fan of "Mansfield Park" as well.

I get the feeling that this isn't one of JAs more popular titles.

message 20: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 503 comments Hey, Don, we have that in common as well! I was on Team Anne for many years, but in the past five years or so I’ve been moving over to Team Fanny. I like her strength from a position of weakness. And of course, there’s nothing like Mary Crawford’s naughty dialogue!

message 21: by Trix (new)

Trix Wilkins (marchandlaurence) | 4 comments I would recommend Pride and Prejudice first, very humorous and romantic - if you're after an admirable hero, Darcy proves himself to be a stellar gentleman. Emma is also hilarious - a woman who tries to set everyone up but it doesn't really go according to plan (I can relate to this) - the movie Clueless was based on this book, so if you look into both at the same time that could be quite a fun girls' night in!

Persuasion is one of my personal favorites - the letter at the end of the book by Frederick Wentworth is one of the most passionate in all literature... If you're a romantic, definitely give this a go! Passion, romance, patience, angst, confusion, misunderstandings. (Just get past the first few pages of what looks like to be family genealogy - it gets very interesting.)

message 22: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Trix, we were just talking about that very same thing in the group read... The method of how the story was introduced in Persuasion. lol

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