Lady Susan was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed. An epistolary novel in 18th-century style, it tells the story of the recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon, intelligent but highly manipulative, who is intent on gaining financially secure relationships for both herself and her wayward but shy teenage daughter Frederica.
Less known than Austen's six great later novels, it demonstrates the wit and sharp observations of Jane Austen - and is shown at its best in audiobook form, with different actresses presenting real characters as they read their letters.
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A perfect match! An ensemble piece! A delight! This lesser known Austen novel follows the subterfuge of the recently widowed, beautiful, and flirtatious Lady Susan who attempts to secure a good marriage for herself at the same time that she is forcing a dismal match onto her long suffering daughter. Character is revealed, plot unfolds, suspense builds - all through the device of letters exchanged amongst Lady Susan, her family, friends, and enemies. Each letter writer is performed by a different actor, eliminating the potential for confusion and making this a lively and dramatic listening experience. Flute, clarinet, and piano add an elegant touch, enhancing the flavor of time and place.
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Well placed in the top 10 of any classic literature works that I own in audiobook form.
How can I differentiate between such excellent performances?
I first, mistakenly, bought another, and very American, version of Lady Susan which was absolutely dreadful and swiftly returned to Audible. It was marvellous to find this beautifully produced and read alternative, and so lovely to be able to acquire one of Jane Austen's lesser known novels in audio form.
I have not read the print version.
Lady Susan - a refreshing change from Jane Austen's whiter than white heroines.
They performed their characters well.
It was gripping at times.
It is a short story.