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Joanna

I admit I haven't read Lady Susan, though I am a huge fan of Jane Austen in general and have read all of her published works. I imagine Austen modeled Lady Susan after someone she actually knew in real life (Austen certainly was a keen observer of human nature, wasn't she? I bet she came across all sorts of characters in her social interactions). Lady Susan sounds like an interesting, complex woman, flaws and all (though I think her flaws are what make her so interesting).

Danielle

It's a quickie if you ever get the inkling and actually great fun. I think you're right that flawed/unlikable characters can be much more interesting to read about than really likable ones--well a mix of the two is good. It's interesting to think Austen might have modeled her after someone she knew or came across in a social situation--makes you wonder who she was. I don't think I have all of Austen's juvenilia--and I still have two unread books by her...maybe a good thing, really, to know I still have books by Jane Austen to discover!

Caroline

I'll see if I can get this as well.
I like epistolary novels and it will be interesting to read the very early Austen.

Danielle

I think you would like it--I'd happily read any of her books. I actually still have Emma and Mansfield Park to read. I should really pick up another of her novels sometime this year.

Stefanie

Even though Lady Susan isn't very likeable Austen still make her a bit sympathetic. I mean, poor woman can't go out and work for a living so she has to secure her future somehow. Perhaps if she wasn't so hard pressed she would be a nicer person?

Danielle

But aren't the wicked characters sort of fun sometimes? :) Actually Lady Susan is sort of admired by her SiL, but she is pretty nasty to her daughter. But you're right that she really didn't have many options open to her. Such an interesting Austen character!

litlove

Lady Susan is the one Austen I've never read (Mansfield Park doesn't count - I've read half of it!) and it sounds intriguing. I am always surprised when I remember that Austen IS an 18th century author as I know just what you mean - in her novels she comes across as much more modern than that. And this sounds intriguing in the way that her characters were a bit sharper and harsher in her early writings. I guess she learned how to use sympathy and compassion to enormous effect - that's how I always think of Austen, those dreadful relatives all rendered comic and endearing. Lovely review, Danielle.

Danielle

Thanks Litlove. I really enjoyed this the second time around--more than the first actually. The book does feel quite different from her other works--something most definitely happened along the way comparing this with her other novels. I still have Emma (have read half...) and Mansfield Park to look forward to. Though in the Peter Lovesey book I am reading--there are references to letters found that were written by Jane Austen--very fun!

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