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The not so well to do young woman is taken to a resort by comparatively well to do relatives and is invited by the master of the Northanger Abbey, the father of the young and eligible gentleman who has a mutual attracted to her and courting her, to stay with him and his family, under the impression the she is going to inherit the relatives' money.
The character of this father, the rich owner of the home that is the title, unfolds, and there are confusion, test of virtue and character, and separations and misunderstandings.
The young man however has excellent character and fortunately realises what is what, and love triumphs even without money.
If one never knew anyone of this sort, one would think the character is entirely invented. At that it is not that uncommon to come across men who deal with their own children, especially daughters, this cruelly or worse, but they are excused or even pressured to be this cruel and admired for it in various cultures (not excepting west or US for that matter) while women are usually this cruel with children of other women, say a lover's wife or a sister in law. But the character therefore is entirely possible, especially in an era when a woman could only obtain wealth and consequence by marriages her own and her relatives'; and the only area she could use her mind however sharp was in fields related to intrigues of social sort, marriages, love affaires, and so on, especially gossip and vile gossip about other women. This unfortunately is what far too many women and even men use their minds for, even now, for sport and not for want of subjects that could use the sharp minds. Sometimes it is the heart of such a gossiper and mud thrower that is at fault seriously in that destroying another person is the pleasure, and use of mind and other facilities is merely a means.
Lady Susan comes as a surprise therefore not because of the subject but the author who chose to write it, since Jane Austen usually is as clear as a sunny day in desert about virtues and vices, and condemning not only the latter but even faults of character that might seem only human today but do lead to follies or tragedies even today often enough unquestionably.
Here Austen chooses the letter form prevalent in her time, and avoids commentary, except in letters of another character, giving equal voice to two opposite characters as it were. The story ends well as all Austen tales do to reward virtue, protect innocent and punish vice or folly only in measure.
A window as always to her time, and informative in that as well.
One wishes she had had time to write it up as she did others; here is an outline written in her green years.
This barely begins before it ends. One wishes Austen had lived long enough to finish these few and write some more books as well of course.
“Ot's ok...i guess”luna wrote this review Thursday, June 2, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Mildly funny and easily forgotten.”Clementine B wrote this review Thursday, September 2, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wonderful.”BookObsession; dreamingfiction wrote this review Tuesday, March 16, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The Watsons had promise, but I didn't like the main novel.”Megan S wrote this review Wednesday, February 10, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Being used to Austen's more subtle but still nasty satire in her later novels, I loved how blatant she was in Northanger Abbey. instead of just having a vibe that she was making fun of something, she's pretty direct in this one, which is pretty hilarious. I recommend this oxford world's classics edition if you aren't super familiar with victorian fads, as that's a good bit of what she pokes fun at. The annotations in this student edition are very helpful.”Becca V wrote this review Wednesday, February 3, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Excellent read. Perhaps my favorite after Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. It's so nice to meet an Austen hero with a sense of humor!”Erin C wrote this review Tuesday, July 14, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book, so far, is my favorite of Jane Austen's works. It is amazing! But I am really into supernatural and no edge books so I would like this book:P
It is not really supernatural, but it does have that sort of feel to it when the main character is staying in Northanger abbey”
“It is clear that Austen was experimenting and searching for her voice in these short stories. Its very interesting to see her progress.”gita e wrote this review Thursday, October 9, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is not the best Austen, you can tell it is an early work. The characters are rather one-dimensional, the storyline thin. The wonderful portrayal of society and of relationships that we have come to expect from her later works, is lacking: the critical eye is already there, but there is very little compassion for human frailty. The satirical voice of the narrator does not seem to come naturally, and the characters remain cardboard figures. Still, if you like Austen, it is no hardship to finish this one.”mjacobs wrote this review Wednesday, August 27, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No