Rethinking Jane Austen’s lady Susan. The Case for Her Failed Epistolary Novella

Author: Owen, David
Year:2010
Pages:208
ISBN:0-7734-3646-4
978-0-7734-3646-6
Price:179.95
A full-length study of Lady Susan. The work refutes the long-accepted, unchallenged critical view of the novella put forward by Austen scholars that largely deems the work to be unsatisfactory and marginal. Eschewing the idea that this novella is stylistically regressive, the study argues that Lady Susan was left unfinished for political and commercial reasons.

Reviews

“. . . Owen redresses the slights that Lady Susan has suffered . . . [The author’s] analysis demonstrates how the polyphonic nature of the epistolary mode works in conjunction with the direct narrative of the concluding paragraphs to make Lady Susan Jane Austen’s first ‘completed’ masterpiece.’ ” – Prof. Laurie Kaplan, The George Washington University England Centre

“The book is admirably lucid, the prose exact, declarative, and jargon-free, and the unfolding of the argument unusually transparent and accessible.” – Prof. Juliet McMaster, University of Alberta

“. . .[a] provocative study of the period.” – Prof. Andrew Monnickendam, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

"It is clear that Owen has spent a significant amount of time with this text, and his effort to recuperate acclaim for it is well founded." -- Prof. Katie Gemmill, Columbia University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Laurie Kaplan
Acknowledgements
Note on the Editions of Austen’s Works
Permissions
Introduction
PART ONE
Learning through the Epistolary: Catharine and Lady Susan
Chapter 1: Catharine
1.1 Catharine, or The Bower
Chapter 2: Lady Susan
2.1 Voices of Critical Censure
2.2 Voices of Critical Approval
Chapter 3: Improving on Catharine
PART TWO
Abandoning the Epistolary: “To the Great Detriment of the Post Office Revenue”
Chapter 4: Form and Politics
4.1 The Influence of Form
4.2 The Influence of Politics
Chapter 5: Austen the Reader, Austen the Writer
5.1 The Influence of Reading
5.2 The Influence of Commercial Concerns
Conclusions
Appendix: Critical Studies on Austen’s Epistolary Writing
Notes
Bibliography
Index