“Whether Lady Susan was or was not happy in her second choice, I do not see how it can ever be ascertained; for who would take her assurance of it on either side of the question?”
Ah – how true! The “Mistress of deceit” would never allude to any misgivings on her part, (well maybe to her confidant Mrs. Johnson if they are ever on friendly terms again) nor would her malleable new husband utter a whisper of complaint. If Lady Susan treats him as cruelly as her daughter, he will be as intimidated and amenable to her wishes as Frederica was. What I enjoyed most about this story was Austen’s youthful exuberance and unguarded candor. By the time she would re-work her next novel Elinor and Marianne into Sense and Sensibility in 1811, she would have refined her touch and approached the subjects of courtship, money and social position in a witty but reproachful way. Never again would a villainess like Lady Susan not be given her due by the end. We are fortunate that Lady Susan still survives. It is indeed a window into Jane Austen’s teenage mind, and a great counterbalance to her later works.
This is my third novel event here at Austenprose, and this time out I had some help from great guest bloggers who added their expertise and humor to entertain us. A big thank you to author’s Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway for their thoughts on Lady Susan and their new novel inspired by it, Lady Vernon and her Daughter, and Vic (Ms. Place) my co-blogger at Jane Austen Today and her own blog Jane Austen’s World for four great historical posts on Upper Seymour Street & Portman Square, and the Postal Service in 18th-century Britain. And of course, my thanks to all who read along and commented on the group read and other posts. It was a swell party!
And now for the fun stuff! Here are all the winners of the 12 prizes. Congratulations to all, and many thanks to all who participated.
Day 02 – Sep 02 NA, Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sandition – Bluestocking
Day 05 – Sep 05 Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sandition – mystrygirl87
Day 06 – Sep 06 Lady Susan (Audio) – Janeen, Bloggin BB, & Susan
Day 07 – Sep 07 Lady Vernon and her Daughter – Laura’s Reviews
Day 09 – Sep 09 Oxf. Illus. Jane Austen: Minor Works – Fatima
Day 12 – Sep 12 Jane Austen: The Complete Novels – Jenny
Day 13 – Sep 13 Lady Susan, by Jane Austen (Dover Pub) – Marie Burton, Melly S, Midnight Cowgirl, & Becky
Winners – Your prompt reply is greatly appreciated. You have one week to claim your prize! Please e-mail me with your full name and address to (austenprose at verizon dot net) before Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009. If I do not receive a response by a winner by that date, I will draw another name and continue until all of the prizes have a home to mail them to. So sorry to my international participants, but shipment is via USP media mail to US addresses only. Thanks again to everyone for your great contributions. Congrats to the winners, and enjoy!
Adieu, my dearest Susan, I wish matters did not go so perversely. That unlucky visit to Langford! but I dare say you did all for the best, and there is no defying destiny. Mrs. Johnson, Letter 38