Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated

Whit Stillman. Little, Brown, $25 (112p) ISBN 978-0-316-29412-6
Stillman (The Last Days of Disco) cleverly reimagines a little-known Jane Austen character, Lady Susan Vernon from the unpublished novel Lady Susan, following her doting nephew's attempt to clear Aunt Susan's name and restore her reputation. Lady Susan, a recent widow, spends a few months with friends until gossip of a romantic scandal sends her fleeing to her brother and sister-in-law. Marriage plots abound for both Lady Susan and her young daughter, Frederica, as she seeks to establish secure matches that guarantee they will both be well cared for, but it is the means by which Lady Susan procures these proposals that call her character into question. Her sister-in-law, Catherine Vernon (née DeCourcy), and the DeCourcy family are convinced by the gossip surrounding Lady Susan and fear that she means to use her wit and beauty to marry into their family via Catherine's brother, Reginald DeCourcy. A cast of suitors, friends and otherwise, add perspective and dimension to Lady Susan's true motives, and the narrator of the account, Lady Susan's nephew, Martin Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca, brings both quirky and hilarious flavor to Stillman's story. Martin's commentary and frequent interjections, particularly his thoughts on original author Jane Austen (referred to as the Spinster Authoress), serve as both comedic social commentary and a glimpse into the trivial dramas of the English aristocracy. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2016
Release date: 05/17/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-0-316-29413-3
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