Beautiful, flirtatious, and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks an advantageous second marriage for herself, while attempting to push her daughter into a dismal match. A magnificently crafted novel of Regency manners and mores that will delight Austen enthusiasts with its wit and elegant expression.
Lady Susan is a quick, fun read. A story told through the correspondence between friends and family quickly grabbed my interest and held it. The letters are short and full of gossip about how Lady Susan is spending her time, after becoming widowed not so long ago.
Described as a 35-year-old woman who passes for 25, Lady Susan is the type of woman you’d love to be friends with, as long as your husband isn’t her type. Her current suitors include a married man, and two men very much her junior; one she tries to pawn off on her timid daughter, the other her somewhat brother-in-law(?). What do you call your husband’s brother’s wife’s brother? Lady Susan is manipulative, loves to be the centre of attention, and is exactly the person you want in your group of friends if only to live vicariously through. She’s probably not the friend you’d trust with all of your secrets, though.
Less than 100 pages, the writing is to the point, or as to the point as letter-writing in the 1800s could ever be. Sometimes I regret our evolution to email and direct messages but there were quite a few sentences or paragraphs I had to reread to make sure I understood the point Jane Austen was trying to make. So in support of reading comprehension, I think we’ve moved in the right direction as a society. For the most part.
So for a quick window into the life of a recently widowed woman in the 1800s with a married boyfriend and a gaggle of suitors, I highly recommend Lady Susan. Full of gossip and drama it packs a big punch in a limited number of pages.