Lady Susan

By Jane Austen
Produced by Alcazar AudioWorks
Read by a full cast

2.95 Hours 02/01/2005 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781455182114

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    ISBN: 9780786182060

Jane Austen’s earliest known serious work, Lady Susan is a short, epistolary novel that portrays a woman bent on the exercise of her own powerful mind and personality to the point of social self-destruction. Lady Susan, a clever and ruthless widow, determines that her daughter is going to marry a man whom both detest. She sets her own sights on her sister-in-law’s brother, all the while keeping an old affair simmering on the back burner. But people refuse to play the roles assigned them. In the end, her daughter gets the sister-in-law’s brother, the old affair runs out of steam, and all that is left for Lady Susan is the man intended for her daughter, whom neither can abide. Told through a series of letters between the characters, the work concludes abruptly with the comment: “this correspondence…could not, to the great detriment of the Post Office revenue, be continued any longer.”

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Summary

Summary

Jane Austen’s earliest known serious work, Lady Susan is a short, epistolary novel that portrays a woman bent on the exercise of her own powerful mind and personality to the point of social self-destruction.

Lady Susan, a clever and ruthless widow, determines that her daughter is going to marry a man whom both detest. She sets her own sights on her sister-in-law’s brother, all the while keeping an old affair simmering on the back burner.

But people refuse to play the roles assigned them. In the end, her daughter gets the sister-in-law’s brother, the old affair runs out of steam, and all that is left for Lady Susan is the man intended for her daughter, whom neither can abide.

Told through a series of letters between the characters, the work concludes abruptly with the comment: “this correspondence…could not, to the great detriment of the Post Office revenue, be continued any longer.”

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Lady Susan’s character is more extreme than we expecte from Jane Austen...Here Jane Austen is showing us the mind of a ‘wicked woman’ in action, from within, an exercise which she was not to attempt again. She was to attempt folly and frivolity and immorality, but never so directly did she attempt to portray vice. Lady Susan, with her...cruelty to her daughter and her ruthless selfishness, is unique in [Austen’] work.” Margaret Drabble
“Lady Susan is a strange work, psychologically speaking, in part because its youthful author seems undecided about whose side she is really on...to be sure, Lady Susan is a villain...But she is also a survivor, a woman who refuses to be a passive victim...Lady Susan continues to excite interest for just this reason.” Terry Castle, literary scholar and professor
“[Lady Susan] stands alone in Austen’s work as a study of an adult woman whose intelligence and force of character are greater than those of anyone she encounters, and who knows herself to be wasted on the dull world in which she is obliged to love.” Claire Tomalin, literary biographer and journalist
“Lady Susan, the herione of anti-heroine, inhabits a world in which men control propery and woman must make property of men. A female rake, she is a handsome egotistical widow who enjoys her own energetic duplicity, her sexual allure and above all her manipulative eloquence.” The Cambridge Compaion to Jane Austen

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jane Austen

Jane Austen (1775–1817) is considered by many scholars to be the first great woman novelist. Born in Steventon, England, she later moved to Bath and began to write for her own and her family’s amusement. Her novels, set in her own English countryside, depict the daily lives of provincial middle-class families with wry observation, a delicate irony, and a good-humored wit.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 2.95
Audience: Adult
Language: English