Cult-filmmaker Whit Stillman cleverly re-imagines Jane Austen's unfinished early novella Lady Susan.
Jane Austen's funniest novel is also her least known-until now. A sharp comedy of manners set in the 1790s, LOVE & FRIENDSHIP centers on Lady Susan Vernon: impossibly beautiful, charming, witty, and completely self-absorbed. Recently widowed, Lady Susan arrives, unannounced, at her brother-in-law's estate to wait out colorful rumors about her dalliances circulating through polite society. While there, she becomes determined to secure a new husband for herself, and one for her reluctant debutante daughter, Frederica, too. As Lady Susan embarks on a controversial relationship with a married man, seduction, deception, broken hearts, and gossip all ensue. With a pitch-perfect Austenian sensibility, Stillman breathes new life into Austen's work, making it his own by adding original narration from a character comically loyal to the story's fiendishly manipulative heroine, Lady Susan.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Whit Stillman was born in Washington, D.C., and attended Harvard, where he was an editor of the Harvard Crimson before working in book and magazine publishing. He has written and directed five films, including the award-winning Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco, and Damsels in Distress, as well as the TV show The Cosmopolitans. His first novel, The Last Days of Disco, won the 2014 Prix Fitzgerald. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Harper's, The Guardian, Vogue, and other publications.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 5 A wonderfully clever re-imagining of Austen’s little-known work, Whit Stillman has set out, through his narrator Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca, to vindicate the perceived ill-treatment of Lady Susan Vernon. Now the widow of a ruined man, and blamed for his ruination by family, Susan has spent time at the Mainwaring’s house until it is rumored that she had turned the heads of both the Lord Mainwaring and his friend, Sir James Martin, who was pursuing the young Miss Manwaring. Being the nephew of Sir James, the narrator is completely beguiled by and seeks to vindicate the reputation of Lady Susan. No shrinking violet, Lady Susan is not pure of heart- her manipulation of circumstances around her to bring notice and affection are amusing, mostly for the clueless reactions of the men in her circle. Oh – and we add in yet another man to the mix, Lady Susan’s daughter Frederica, more family dismayed at Susan’s apparent affections for yet another man, and the desperately earnest attempts of the narrator to vindicate Susan’s reputation. Several tongue-in-cheek moments, ripe with wonderful writing that is all the more hilarious for the moments of deviousness from Susan that pop forward, and Sir James’ inability to not act the besotted fool. Narration is provided by Matt Addis and Helen Johns, and the narrative performance balances the cast of characters with aplomb. While maintaining the balance between the desire of Rufus to vindicate Lady Susan with his obvious admiration, all while presenting the other male characters with tones that are unique and appropriate to their moments. The female voices from censorious in approach to Lady Susan through the voicing of the woman herself with that air of ‘notice me’, despite all of Rufus’ attempts to portray her otherwise. This book is a perfect counterpoint to the original story with a perspective that honors the original while giving this new perspective and its narrative voice a place to shine. I received an audiobook download of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.