Lady Susan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For my Austen I read Pride and Prejudice in school because I had to, and it has left a bad taste, so I never returned to Austen – even though I know everyone loves the books. I wasn’t really looking forward to Lady Susan, but I was actually very pleasantly surprised by this little novella that she wrote when she was very young.

Lady Susan is manipulating and scheming and a character you love to hate, all of which you get to know from a bunch of letters. I thought this was very entertaining (much more than when I read Pride and Prejudice for school at least).

Lady Susan (Little Black Classics #81)Jane Austen

6 thoughts on “Lady Susan

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  1. I’m certain that high schools making students read P&P ruins it for thousands. If I’d read it in high school I’d never have gone near Austen again, but luckily, my lit teachers ruined different authors for me instead. 😀 Even when I first read Austen in my early 30’s I had to work for it – the audio of Sense and Sensibility made it easier, but it was still years before I could approach P&P. Now I’ve read them all and love them (some more than others) and I got a huge kick out of Lady Susan. I gained such a new appreciation for Austen’s snarky side. 🙂

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    1. Luckily we only had a couple of books we were forced fed in school, so not too much is ruined for me (we skipped all of Victorian literature because our teacher didn’t like Dickens). And while I think I would enjoy it much more if I were to read it now, it is just not calling very hard. Even though I really enjoyed Lady Susan, perhaps also because of the more snarky side 😉

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  2. I’m glad I didn’t have to read Pride and Prejudice at school. I first read it after watching a TV adaptation and loved it. I’ve now read all Jane Austen’s books and agree that Lady Susan is very entertaining. I was completely taken with it – Lady Susan is totally wicked character, who almost manages to fool people for some of the time at least.

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    1. I think there is a very complicated relationship with reading and school. It was just the other day in a tv-show back home where they were discussing that about 25% of the teens at this point can’t really read well – and the numbers have increased a lot in the last 20 or so years. This was specifically for Dutch class, but I think it will be the same for other languages as well.

      I think I was lucky I always had very motivated teachers for Dutch (which unfortunately wasn’t really the case for English) – and probably as a result I don’t have traumas from reading for Dutch as I do for English. We were also allowed to choose our own reads for Dutch – except for a couple of books we read together, but these were the very old ones (16th C Dutch is way more complicated than Shakespearean English for example) which we were then also allowed to put on the final list.

      Sorry, this has escalated a bit into rambling. 😉
      TL;DR : forced reading I think never works, and teachers should at least seem to be happy with the topic they teach if they don’t want to ruin works for their students…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. English Lit was not so very important for us, the main goal of the class was to teach us the language, but I don’t even think we saw anything that was more modern than the WW1 poets.

      Even in Dutch class I remember there was one ‘modern’ book we were reading together, and then the teachers decided we didn’t need to finish it (because they were afraid it would put us off from reading for ever – it was indeed, not very good… I am not really for modern Dutch literature)… But then, we were allowed to choose what to read for Dutch lit, we didn’t even have to read THE Dutch work of literature, although I did (and also THE Flemish one).

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