#AusteninAugustRBR 2015: Lady Susan & Wrap Up

Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon

Oxford World’s Classics edition, 2003 (Oxford University Press)

Paperback

Source: Personal copy

I wasn’t in the mood for Northanger Abbey after all, so I decided to read Austen’s unfinished works. I only got as far as Lady Susan, which was finished but unpublished.

I like to read the introduction to classic novels before I read them to get some context. This edition’s introduction (and notes) is by Claudia L. Johnson. According to the introduction, a novel in letters was considered a classic novel when Austen began this in the 1790s. She wondered what the scheming villian of Clarissa would be like as a woman. Lady Susan tricks the Vernon family into giving her money, while writing to her confidante about how awesome she is at tricking people. Catherine Vernon knows about her reputation, and therfore suspects Lady Susan of not being sincere. Catherine describes her terrible behavior in letters to her mother.

Writing an epistolary novel was difficult for Austen, as she ends the story with a third-person “Conclusion.” If the same story was in third person, it probably would have focused on Catherine knowing her husband was being duped, and being powerless to stop it until the end. Overall, I liked this story.

           Wrap-Up

I enjoyed my first Austen in August! Even though I didn’t enter any giveaways, I liked reading other people’s posts on Austen and her works. I’m looking forward to sharing more thoughts next year!

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#AusteninAugustRBR Announcement and Reading List

 

AusteninAugust

I just found out about this meme by way of The Classics Club‘s Twitter feed. It was created by Adam at Roof Beam Reader and is an annual event! I’m a fan of Austen’s books and anything related to her work, so I’m excited to join!

My picks are:

Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon by Jane Austen:

9780192840820

This is the 2003 Oxford World Classic’s edition I bought in college when I read Northanger Abbey for a Gothic Literature class. It also has her unfinished works, which I didn’t read then. I understand the titular Lady Susan is a good villain. Hank Green and Bernie Su adapted Sanditon into vlog form on YouTube a couple of years ago, like they did with Pride and Prejudice (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) and Emma (Emma Approved). I enjoyed Lizzie Bennet and Emma Approved but didn’t want to watch Welcome to Sanditon until I’d read Sanditon itself.

Austenland  by Shannon Hale:

Austenland

An Austen-obsessed American woman looking for love goes to a (fictional) Regency theme park in England. I discovered Hale when I was still in the kidlitosphere, as she also writes for kids. This book sounds fun! It was made into a 2013 movie.