Austen Read Along: Lady Susan, Letters 23-24

Austen Read Along: Lady Susan, Letters 23-24

LadySusanGraphic badgeWelcome, once again, to Jane Austen Read Along Wednesday! I have been thoroughly enjoying rereading this tale. Lady Susan is just so delightfully evil! Last week I think we saw a good dose of her evilness displayed in her last letter after Frederica had pled her case with Mr. De Courcy. As I said in the discussion, she reminded me a bit of Cruella De Vil vowing that her daughter would regret the interference!
This week we have two letters. Both are from Mrs. Vernon to Lady De Courcy. The first is a letter of great joy. Reginald is to leave Churchhill! He is not happy with Lady Susan, and Mrs. Vernon is delighted. Lady Susan, however, is not, and in true Lady Susan fashion weaves another web with which to ensnare the poor man, leaving a very disappointed and somewhat angry Mrs. Vernon to write another letter to her mother.
I have to wonder if Lady Susan wished to reconcile with Mr. De Courcy because she did not want her conquest to be only partial. Or, if, knowing that Frederica likes Reginald and despises Lady Susan’s choice of Sir James for her, Lady Susan only wishes to keep Reginald there to torment her daughter by showing her that she will never have what she wants because Mama will make certain of it?

What do you think about these two letters? Were you as delighted as Lady De Courcy must have been at the news that Reginald was leaving Churchhill? Were you as devastated as she must have been after learning he was not? How much longer can Lady Susan keep her deceit going before something starts to unravel? And isn’t Mrs. Vernon’s name for Lady Susan “Mistress of deceit” awesome? (I admit I laughed out loud at that one.)

Happy reading! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the discussion!


Letter XXIII

Mrs. Vernon to Lady De Courcy


Let me congratulate you, my dearest Mother! The affair which has given us so much anxiety is drawing to a happy conclusion. Our prospect is most delightful, and since matters have now taken so favourable a turn, I am quite sorry that I ever imparted my apprehensions to you; for the pleasure of learning that the danger is over is perhaps dearly purchased by all that you have previously suffered. I am so much agitated by delight that I can scarcely hold a pen; but am determined to send you a few short lines by James, that you may have some explanation of what must so greatly astonish you, as that Reginald should be returning to Parklands. I was sitting about half an hour ago with Sir James in the breakfast parlour, when my brother called me out of the room. I instantly saw that something was the matter; his complexion was raised, and he spoke with great emotion; you know his eager manner, my dear mother, when his mind is interested. “Catherine,” said he, “I am going home to-day; I am sorry to leave you, but I must go: it is a great while since I have seen my father and mother. I am going to send James forward with my hunters immediately; if you have any letter, therefore, he can take it. I shall not be at home myself till Wednesday or Thursday, as I shall go through London, where I have business; but before I leave you,” he continued, speaking in a lower tone, and with still greater energy…

Continue reading and join our discussion at the Writer’s Block. Letters 23-24

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