Jane Austen's Lady Susan

  • by Emily Allen
  • Narrated by Emily Allen
  • 0 hrs and 30 mins
  • Other

Publisher's Summary

Jane Austen writing an “improper” novel? Find out why her overlooked Lady Susan, which depicts the exploits of England’s worst coquette, is worth experiencing; how its presence fits in the larger context of the 18th-century novel’s development; and why it can be considered Austen’s literary “road not taken.”


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The Best Great Courses Lecture I've Come Across

Would you listen to Jane Austen's Lady Susan again? Why?

I would absolutely listen to this lecture again. This is an informative, insightful take on Austen's short epistolary novel Lady Susan. Allen's performance is engaging, and I was surprised by a lot of what I learned. Highly recommend!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jane Austen's Lady Susan?

I completely agreed with Allen's take on Lady Susan as a lovable villain. She charms the reader as easily as she charms her acquaintances with wit, cunning, and humor, despite her compromised moral compass. I also enjoyed Allen's emphasis on Lady Susan as a female-driven work. Not only is Lady Susan smarter than everyone else in the novel combined, the men are mostly clueless and peripheral.

Which scene was your favorite?

Allen's speculation on how Austen's career (and 19th century Brit Lit generally) would have differed if she'd published Lady Susan when written was especially interesting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this lecture in one sitting and would have listened to much more! I will be looking up Allen's other lectures.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-15-2012
  • Publisher: The Great Courses