Jane Austen: Lady Susan

(1220 words)

Written at the early age of eighteen in the form of a set of letters to and from a large gallery of characters, the book still displays the whimsicality of the Juvenilia, while at the same time experimenting with voices and characterisation through language and dialogue. The protagonist and dispatcher of many of the letters, Lady Susan Vernon is an impoverished yet merry young widow whose sole occupation is to flirt with every man in sight, in hopes of landing a second rich husband. Her unscrupulous seduction of men who are either married or young enough to be eligible as sons-in-law provides the ostensible object of the entire epistolary exchange. Yet while the narrative focus is on her immoral behaviour and on ways of …

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Schneider, Ana-Karina. "Lady Susan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 March 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4171, accessed 07 July 2015.]