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, Austen in Austen is a month long celebration of all things Jane Austen. Books, biographies, movies, whatever. Anything Austen goes! I decided to start off my month of Jane Austen by reading Lady Susan
, mostly because it's the only Austen work I'd never read it before, and also because it's short--only 41 letters long. I've always enjoyed epistolary novels, and this was no exception.
Lady Susan herself was a bit of a surprise; she's such a contrast to Austen's other leading ladies. Known as "the most accomplished coquette in England", she still somehow manages to charm all the men around her. "...her countenance is absolutely sweet, and her voice and manner winningly mild. Unfortunately one knows her too well. She is clever and agreeable, has all that knowledge of the world which makes conversation easy, and talks very well, with a happy command of language, which is too often used I believe to make black appear white." Her sister-in-law despises her, and her own daughter is terrified of her. I found her to be almost a female version of George Wickham: eloquent in speech and lovely to look at, but deceitful, selfish, and scheming. And that's what made this novella so unexpected. And so much fun to read. My August reading Austen is definitely off to a good start.
Here are my goals for the rest of the month:
1. Reread Mansfield Park (because I haven't read it in quite awhile)
2. Check out Austenland on the Big Screen (to see if the movie is better than the book)
3. Read Jennifer Petkus' novel Jane, Actually
about Jane Austen in the afterlife (because the premise is so much fun).
What about you? Got any amazing Austen plans for August? I hope so!