Lady Susan

by Jane Austen


Lady Susan is a short epistolary novel by Jane Austen, possibly written in 1794 but not published until 1871. This early complete work, which the author never submitted for publication, describes the schemes of the title character.
Although the theme, together with the focus on character study and moral issues, is close to Austen's published work (Sense and Sensibility was also originally written in the epistolary form), its outlook is very different, and Lady Susan has few parallels in 19th-century literature. She is a selfish, unscrupulous and scheming woman, highly attractive to men, who is perfectly unashamed of her relationship with a married man. She subverts all the standards of the romantic novel: she has an active role, she is not only beautiful but intelligent and witty, and her suitors are significantly younger than she is. Although the ending includes a traditional reward for morality, Lady Susan herself is treated more leniently than the adulteress, Maria Bertram, in Mansfield Park, who is severely punished.
Excerpted from Lady Susan on Wikipedia.

person AuthorJane Austen
language CountryUnited Kingdom
api GenreEpistolary fiction, Psychological fiction
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book coverOriginal Image: Emile Eisman Semenowsky (1857–1911)
headphones AudioThanks to Librivox | Internet Archive:
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