The Art of the Novella
(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)
1794 (1st written); 1871 (1st published)
2011, Melville House Publishing, 84 pgs
"Thus high-spirited tale, told through and exchange of letters, is unique in Jane Austen’s small body of work. It is the story of Lady Susan, a brilliant, beautiful and morally reprehensible coquette who delights in making men fall in love with her, deceiving their wives into friendship and even tormenting her own daughter, cruelly bending her to her will.
Austen clearly delighted in her wicked heroine — tracing Lady Susan’s maneuverings to remarry yet continue on with her lover, and to marry off her young daughter, with great wit, zest and unfailing panache."
Received a copy as part of this month's Bookclub selection. The publisher has given us two light-hearted books with purple covers for Spring time reading. I read most of Austen as a teenager but am not a fan of her now. I basically find her bantering between the sexes and stories of women looking for a man to be "fluff". This story was no different in my mind. I was delighted to see this short novella written in the epistolary fashion though, as that is one of my favourite forms to read and the letters helped speed along the read while also causing Austen's usual bantering between sexes to be told in a one-sided narrative that helped me to not become vexed with the characters so. I did not like any of the characters in the book, but only felt sorry for the neglected and emotionally abused daughter Frederica. An OK story from an author I do not appreciate, as the masses do.