Lady Susan by Jane Austen- The Word View #1

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to take all the time that I would typically spend mindlessly scrolling, and spend it reading instead. In order to better track where this journey takes me, and how this change impacts my life, I’ve decided to share just a little but of what I gleaned from each work I read throughout the year. Enjoy!

Lady Susan

Describe it in one word: Amusing

Describe it in one sentence: Recently widowed mother uses her winning personality to wreak havoc on her brother’s family–spoiler alert: it backfires. 

A quote I loved: “I am tired of submitting my will to the caprices of others—of resigning my own judgement in deference to those to whom I owe no duty, and for whom I feel no respect.” – Lady Susan Vernon

Favorite character: Lady Susan, although I really tried hard not to like her. We don’t have very much in common, and it was really fascinating to watch her cunning plans unfold, and to see the ways that other people viewed her. She’s also SO DIFFERENT to any other protagonist in works of the time…she’s cunning, vicious, artful, and unashamedly hunting down men half her age. 

Favorite moment: When Reginald finally gets up the courage to show Lady Susan the door. It was about time, man!

One thing I wasn’t crazy about: The way the ending leaves things undecided between Frederica and Reginald. So ambiguous!

Overall impression: I was amazed, after reading Lady Susan, that I hadn’t heard more about it before, considering how well written a novel it is. The epistolary form (the entire novel is written out in a series of letters written by the various characters involved in the plot) keeps the plot moving swiftly along, without losing any of the juicy details. Another bonus of the characters writing to their most trusted friends and family members about matters of the heart, is that you get to catch a glimpse into what they’re really thinking, which is so often the absolute OPPOSITE of what they say to one another’s faces.

Trailer for “Love and Friendship” (AKA Lady Susan)

There is a film adaptation, I’m told, although I haven’t seen it yet, called “Love and Friendship” (not to be confused with another of Jane Austen’s works, that has LITERALLY the same name). After reading such a sweet, juicy, dramatic novel, it’s definitely on my list! 

All in all, I was very pleased, and will absolutely be picking Lady Susan up again sometime soon!


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