Posted by MaryC on August 03, 1997 at 18:48:50:
In reply to Re: Discovering Lady Susan posted by Laraine on July 30, 1997 at 10:37:42
] ] Ya wanna know somethin'? The first time I read the novel, I was extremely angry at Frederica for being so stupid and rebellious--because I believed LS implicitly. Whatever she said about her daughter was fact. And that was that. I also believed what she said about everybody, and skimmed over the testimonies of her wrong-doings. I was a willing dupe, just as much as any man. I can't remember exactly at which point I decided that LS wasn't exactly the most truthful person, but I'm sure it was way after I ought to have. :-)
] ] Kathy
] I think your response is really true and really interesting, Kathy.
] Did you expect Lady Susan to be basically good because she was an Austen heroine? I know I did. I thought we had an Emma Woodhouse precursor ("a heroine nobody but myself will much like"). But Lady Susan isn't as complex as Emma (even though many people never do like Emma). I suppose a lot of that can be put down to this being a youthful effort and a MUCH shorter book.
] I've often wondered if Austen was exploring the limits of female power with Lady Susan or if she was just having fun...
Lady Susan is a real piece of work; and many of us probably have come in contact with someone just like her; single-minded, focused on herself, taking charge yet blaming others for her own failures, poor and expecting to be rescued (she would have loved Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society' programs. I've been wondering which acquaintance Austen used to develop Lady Susan. Since she drew her characters from her own society, she must have run into someone like LS and decided it would be worth exploring. I am also fascinated how the story is told entirely in letters.
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