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Lady Susan

Written by: Jane Austen
Narrated by: Harriet Walter, Kim Hicks
Length: 2 hrs and 30 mins

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Audible Editor Reviews

A perfect match! An ensemble piece! A delight! This lesser known Austen novel follows the subterfuge of the recently widowed, beautiful, and flirtatious Lady Susan who attempts to secure a good marriage for herself at the same time that she is forcing a dismal match onto her long suffering daughter. Character is revealed, plot unfolds, suspense builds - all through the device of letters exchanged amongst Lady Susan, her family, friends, and enemies. Each letter writer is performed by a different actor, eliminating the potential for confusion and making this a lively and dramatic listening experience. Flute, clarinet, and piano add an elegant touch, enhancing the flavor of time and place.

Publisher's Summary

Lady Susan was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed. An epistolary novel in 18th-century style, it tells the story of the recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon, intelligent but highly manipulative, who is intent on gaining financially secure relationships for both herself and her wayward but shy teenage daughter Frederica.

Less known than Austen's six great later novels, it demonstrates the wit and sharp observations of Jane Austen - and is shown at its best in audiobook form, with different actresses presenting real characters as they read their letters.

©1871 Jane Austen (P)2001 Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2005-02-03

Fun and mischevious

This is a terrific story. It is a compilation of letters to and from the main characters, which I found very creative and enjoyable. The story itself is mischevious and endearing. And the narrator did a terrific job.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Janice F.
  • 2009-01-04

Not the best choice for audio format

Yes, this is Jane Austin, which is difficult to fault. But this story was meant to be read as written, not audibly, as much of the story revolves around dialog and the point of view. The narrator does her best and if you are familiar with the story already you will enjoy this as well. I would not recommend this as an introduction to audio Jane Austin, however.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. M. T. Schuilling
  • 2019-12-18

Short, Sharp and Satisfying!

This was my first dive into Jane Austen’s work on Audible and I was pleasantly surprised! The language was quite beautiful and the sense of humor was sharp indeed. I’m really looking forward to listening to more of her works and happy to say that they still stay relevant reads if not in period then in entertainment.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • An avid reader
  • 2017-11-26

Harriet Walter as Lady Susan

I’ve listened to a couple of different narrations of Lady Susan and I think that Harriet Walter’s portrayal is the best. She brings true emotions to each letter that she reads and her performance really conveys Lady Susan’s character from word one. The rest of the cast is excellent and Harriet Walter is superb. I highly recommend this version of Lady Susan!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • A reader
  • 2009-09-18

Not her best

That is a juvenalia that was never published in her lifetime... and for a reason. It doesn't have the subtleties of the Austen we love.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cid
  • 2007-05-10

Entertaining

Another entertaining novel by Jane Austin. An easy listen.

1 person found this helpful