Lady Susan


By Jane Austen

cover image of Lady Susan

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Jane Austen's Lady Susan (1871) is an epistolary novella centering around the character of an attractive and flirtatious widow who is after a second marriage. Lady Susan Vernon is basically portrayed as a selfish villain and a conniving sociopath who engages in different schemes to realize her vicious ends. Her social life is marked by hypocrisy, manipulation and opportunism. She secretly despises all her liaisons. The reader gradually learns that she even looks down on her own daughter Frederica and considers her to be a sort of impediment for her. Throughout the narrative, Lady Susan does her utmost to get rid of her sixteen-year-old daughter by trying to find a wealthy husband for her. Moreover, she makes use of her seductive strategies to lure noble men who are often younger than her. Single men as well as married ones get entangled in her nets as the plot proceeds to its end. Although the resolution of the story is far from being disastrous for the unscrupulous Lady Susan, it still takes the form of moral rectification when Frederica develops an honest, romantic relationship with the warm gentleman Reginald de Courcy while her mother eventually marries after many a flirtatious adventure. We've also included a concise and informative biography of Jane's works and life at the end of the book. We hope it helps to give a little context and colour about how her life interacted with her art.

Lady Susan