Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sandition and Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Written by Austen in 1817 but never completed
What a shame that Austen passed away before she could complete this book. Within months of her death, she was still able to bring something new to a story and not lose a bit of her trademark wit. This is the story of the development of a town by some of it's wealthier inhabitants. Once again there are the characters and situations fans of Austen are so fond of--the wealthy widow and those that fawn over her, much gossiping, and great fun at the expense of the upper class. At a mere 58 pages, it was over much too quickly.
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Published in 1871 but probably written much earlier
Lady Susan is a much different character than any other written by Austen. A selfish widow who is looking to find both herself and her daughter a husband, Lady Susan is also carrying on an affair with a married man. Certainly moral character has been an issue with other Austen characters, but Lady Susan is in a class by herself. She has no redeeming features. She is a cold mother, greedy, manipulative--in short, she's a fascinating character. Austen must have felt a little sorry for Lady Susan, though, not being nearly as hard on her in the end as she was with later characters
Whew--in a week of Austen, I have raced to the finish of the Everything Austen Challenge just in time. And without one single movie this time. Although I'm disappointed not have have read any more of the novels. Next year!