Welcome to The Writers’ Block by Austen Authors!
Jane Austen’s Reading Salon is the board where we freely showcase our writing: short stories, excerpts, deleted scenes, poetry, and other assorted samples, both Austenesque and beyond Austen’s world. This is a “read-only” board. Read to your heart’s content and check back periodically for new posts.A A A
January 16, 2015
Hope you enjoyed the ‘Lady Susan’ read-along. I’m still giggling and can’t help feeling this is saucy Austen at her best. Especially the concluding paragraphs. How Frederica would become part of the de Courcy family once Reginald could be ‘talked, flattered and finessed’ into falling in love with her. How normally it would take a young man about 3 months to go through the stages of getting over a failed relationship, vowing never to fall in love again, determined to detest the whole womankind – but it would take Reginald 12 because his feelings were ‘lasing and lively’. Not to mention the wicked humour of Miss Mainwaring splashing on new clothes to secure Sir James, only to be ‘defrauded’ by an older woman. And Sir James left to ‘all the pity anybody could give him’.
Beautiful, poetic and wicked justice, to have someone of Lady Susan’s calibre – an incisively intelligent woman, however unscrupulous – tied for life to someone as glaringly dull and dumb as Sir James. A fitting end to all her machinations, and as rewarding as the manner in which her schemes were revealed and her duplicity exposed. What a brilliant mind Jane Austen must have had, to concoct all this and deliver it in such a clever fashion at an age when she was expected to know precious little of human nature and relationships. And how she went on to prove her genius time and again. If only she lived as long as her mother and sister, what treasures she would have given us still!
I’m relieved that Lady Susan has finally received her due. I’ve always wondered about the friendship between her and Alicia. I know a few people like Lady Susan, and most of them struggle to keep female friendships. Sure enough, Alicia abandons her because she can’t stand the thought of having to live in the country. That part made me laugh, but I find it’s also a typical result for women like Lady Susan. I almost feel sorry for her, but then reading Leenie’s comment, I don’t at all.
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