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Lady Susan, the Watsons, Sanditon [Format Kindle]

Jane Austen , Margaret Drabble
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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An excerpt from Lady Susan

Letter 1

Lady Susan Vernon to Mr. Vernon

Langford, December

My dear brother,

I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of profiting by your kind invitation when we last parted, of spending some weeks with you at Churchill, and therefore if quite convenient to you and Mrs. Vernon to receive me at present, I shall hope within a few days to be introduced to a sister whom I have so long desired to be acquainted with. My kind friends here are most affectionately urgent with me to prolong my stay, but their hospitable and cheerful dispositions lead them too much into society for my present situation and state of mind; and I impatiently look forward to the hour when I shall be admitted into your delightful retirement. I long to be made known to your dear little children, in whose hearts I shall be very eager to secure an interest. I shall soon have occasion for all my fortitude, as I am on the point of separation from my own daughter. The long illness of her dear father prevented my paying her that attention which duty and affection equally dictated, and I have but too much reason to fear that the governess to whose care I cosigned her, was unequal to the charge. I have therefore resolved on placing her at one of the best private schools in town, where I shall have an opportunity of leaving her myself, in my way to you. I am determined you see, not to be denied admittance at Churchill. It would indeed give me most painful sensations to know that it were not in your power to receive me.

Your most obliged and affectionate sister

Susan Vernon

An excerpt from The Watsons

The first winter assembly in the town of D. in Surrey was to be held on Tuesday October the thirteenth, and it was generally expected to be a very good one; a long list of country families was confidently run over as sure of attending, and sanguine hopes were entertained that the Osbornes themselves would be there.

The Edwards' invitation to the Watsons followed me of course. The Edwards were people of fortune who lived in the town and kept their coach; the Watsons inhabited a village about three miles distant, were poor and had no close carriage; and ever since there had been balls in the place, the former were accustomed to invite the latter to dress dine and sleep at their house, on every monthly return throughout the winter.

On the present occasion, as only two of Mr. Watson's children were at home, and one was always necessary as a companion to himself, for he was sickly and had lost his wife, one only could profit by the kindness of their friends; Miss Emma Watson who was very recently returned to her family from the care of an aunt who had brought her up, was to make her first public appearance in the neighborhood; and her eldest sister, whose delight in a ball was not lessened by ten years' enjoyment, had some merit in cheerfully undertaking to drive her and all her finery in the old chair to D. on the important morning.

As they splashed along the dirty lane Miss Watson thus instructed and cautioned her inexperienced sister.—

'I dare say it will be a very good ball and among so many officers, you will hardly want partners. You will find Mrs. Edwards' maid very willing to help you, and I would advise you to ask Mary Edwards' opinion if you are at all at a loss, for she has very good taste. —If Mr. Edwards does not lose his money at cards, you will stay as late as you can wish for; if he does he will hurry you home perhaps—but you are sure of some comfortable soup. —I hope you will be in good looks — I should not be surprised if you were to be thought one of the prettiest girls in the room, there is a great deal in novelty. Perhaps Tom Musgrave may take notice of you — but I would advice you by all means not to give him any encouragement. He generally pays attention to every new girl, but he is a great flirt and never means anything serious.'

'I think I have heard you speak of him before,' said Emma.

'Who is he?''A young man of very good fortune, quite independent, and remarkably agreeable, a universal favourite wherever he goes. Most of the girls hereabouts are in love with him, or have been. I believe I am the only one among them that have escaped with a whole heart, and yet I was the first he paid attention to, when he came into this country, six years ago; and very great attention indeed did he pay me. Some people say that he has never seemed to like any girl so well since, though he is always behaving in a particular way to one another.' —

'And how came heart to be the only cold one?' — said Emma smiling.

"There was a reason for that' —replied Miss Watson, changing colour. — 'I have not been very well used, Emma, among them, I hope you will have better luck.'

'Dear sister, I beg your pardon, if I have unthinkingly given you pain.'

'When first we knew Tom Musgrave,' continued Miss Watson without seeming to hear her, 'I was very much attached to a young man of the name of Purvis, a particular friend of Robert's, who used to be with us a great deal. Everybody thought it would have been a match.'

A sigh accompanied these words, which Emma respected in silence—but her sister after a short pause went on—'You will naturally ask why it did not take place, and why he is married to another woman, while I am still single.—But you must ask him—not me—you must ask Penelope. —Yes Emma, Penelope was at the bottom of it all. —She thinks everything fair for a husband; I trusted her, she set him against me, with a view of gaining him herself, and it ended in his discontinuing his visits and soon after marrying somebody else. —Penelope makes light of her conduct, but I think such treachery very bad. It has been the ruin of my happiness. I shall never love any man as I loved Purvis. I do not think tom Musgrave should be named with him in the same day.'

An excerpt from Sandition

A gentleman and lady traveling from Tonbridge towards that part of the Sussex coast which lies between hastings and Eastbourne, being induced by business to quit the high road, and attempt a very rough lane, were overturned in toiling up its long ascent half rock, half sand. —The accident happened just beyond the only gentleman's house near the lane—a house, which their driver on first being required to take that direction, had conceived to be necessarily their object, and had with most unwilling looks been constrained to pass by—. He had grumbled and shaken his shoulders so much indeed, and pitied and cut his horses so sharply, that he might have been open to the suspicion of overturning them on purpose (especially as the carriage was his master's own) if the road had not indisputably become considerably worse than before, as soon as the premises of the said house were left behind—expressing with a most intelligent portentous countenance that beyond it no wheels but cart wheels could safely proceed. The severity of the fall was broken by their slow pace and the narrowness of the lane, and the gentleman having scrambled out and helped his companion, they neither of them at first felt more than shaken or bruised. But the gentleman had in the course of the extrication sprained his foot—and soon becoming sensible of it, was obliged in a few moments to cut short, both his remonstrance to the driver and his congratulations to his wife and himself—and sit down on the bank, unable to stand.

'There is something wrong here,' said he—putting his hand to his ankle—but never ind, my dear—looking up at her wih a smile, —'it could not have happened, you know, in a better place. —Good out of evil—. The very thing perhaps to be wished for. We shall soon get relief. —There, I fancy lies my cure' —pointing to the neat-looking end of a cottage, which was seen romantically situated among wood on a high eminence at some little distance—'Does not that promise to be the very place?'

His wife fervently hoped it was—but stood, terrified and anxious, neither able to do or suggest anything—and receiving her first real comfort from the slight of several persons now coming to their assistance. The accident had been discerned from a hayfield adjoining the house they had passed—and the persons who approached, were a well-looking hale, gentlemanlike man, of middle age, the proprietor of the place, who happened to be among his haymakers at the time, and three or four of the ablest of them summoned to attend their master—to say nothing of all the rest of the field, men, woman and children—not very far off.

Mr. Heywood, such was the name of the said proprietor, advanced with a very civil salutation—much concern for the accident —some surprise at anybody's attempting that road in a carriage—and ready offers of assistance. His courtesies were received with good-breeding and gratitude and while one or two of the men lent their help to the driver in getting the carriage upright again, the traveler said— 'You are extremely obliging sir, and I take you at your word. —The injury to my leg is I dare say very trifling, but it is always best in these cases to have a surgeon's opinion without loss of time; and as the road does not seem at present in a favourable state for my getting up to his house myself, I will thank you to send off one of these good people for the surgeon.'

From AudioFile

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. E.S. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 401 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 228 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin; Édition : New Ed (31 juillet 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002XHNN6Q
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°310.298 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Étranges nouvelles 10 mars 2013
Par Jason2345
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
En effet on y rencontre certains personnages nouveaux chez Jane Austen. Dans la première, il s'agit d'une veuve de plus de trente ans, ce qui était beaucoup à l'époque, coquette et "flirt" qui parvient à séduire tous les hommes sir lesquels elle jette son dévolu qu'ils soient libre ou non. Elle a une fille qu'elle élève et traite mal. Tout fini par s'arranger mais plusieurs familles ont été ébranlées.
Dans " les Watson", on retrouve la jeune fille pauvre mais raisonnable, bonne pour tous ceux qui lui tiennent à cœur et qui ne se laisse séduire ni par l'argent ni par les titres.
Sanditon est particulière car inachevée. On y trouve une famille de gens au bon cœur mais terriblement excités et en même temps occupés de maladie imaginaires avec en passant un coup de pied aux charlatans nombreux à cette époque. Leur peinture est divertissante et rare chez Jane Austen. On y voit aussi une grande dame mesquine et sans pitié. Une jeune fille raisonnable et charmante les observe d'un œil critique. Tout cela sur fond de création d'une nouvelle ville d'eaux au bord de la mermer : Sanditon.
Je conseille vivement de lire ce livre peu connu.
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pleine de brio- comme toujours 25 avril 2012
Bien que the Watsons et Sanditon soient incomplets, Austen est aussi pleine de brio dans ces ouvrages que dans ses six autres romans.
Lady Susan est une femme absolument affreuse- j'adore son hypocrisie qui se manifeste dans ses lettres: les mots mielleux qu'elle emploie pour cajoler une invitation de son beau-frere sont suivis par ses vrais sentiments sur ces parents dans une lettre a sa meilleure amie. Et personne sauf Susan oserait evaluer le mari de cette amie ainsi: 'trop vieux pour etre agreable et trop jeune pour mourir'. !
Sanditon est comique du debut ou le lecteur rencontre Mr Parker qui a une obsession pour promouvoir sa ville comme station balneaire. Il y avait beaucoup de potentiel d'une histoire passionante avec l'introduction de nombreuses caracteres; malheureusement Austen est morte avant de l'achever.
Dans the Watsons je pouvais voir des echos de Pride and Prejudice comme notre pauvre heroine rencontre Tom Musgrave- riche mais arrogant- et rejet ses avances. Encore une fois c'est incomplet (mais les notes utiles de Drabble nous informent de la conclusion qu'Austen avait l'intention d'ecrire).
Si vous aimez les oeuvres d'Austen vous devriez absolument lire ces morceaux aussi.
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0 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 très bien 17 mai 2010
Par Blanchard
pas de problème dans la livraison, pas de retard, produit en bon état, merci beaucoup!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  115 commentaires
141 internautes sur 150 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Minor treasures from the Jane Austen treasure chest 24 février 2000
Par JLind555 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Jane Austen is known for six complete novels, each one a masterpiece. This Penguin Classics compilation features one novel unpublished in her lifetime and two unfinished fragments. This book is proof that even an incomplete Austen is better than no Austen at all.

"Lady Susan" is an epistolary novel whose eponymous anti-heroine, unlike the women featured in Austen's other works, is bad to the bone. When the book opens, Lady Susan, a stunningly beautiful widow in her upper thirties, has just been sent packing from the home of a family she had spent some months with, having been discovered carrying on a flagrant affair with the husband of the family, right under his wife's nose. She takes refuge with her kind-hearted brother and his sensible wife, who sees through Lady Susan from the day she enters the house and can't wait to see her leave.

Also in the home are Lady Susan's teenage daughter, who has been expelled from boarding school after attempting to run away so that she won't be forced into marrying the rich, fatuous nobleman her mother has picked out for her; and the younger brother of Lady Susan's sister-in-law, who has heard intimations about Lady Susan's unsavory reputation; in retaliation for his initial disdain, Lady Susan sets out to captivate him and succeeds so well that she has him on the brink of proposing marriage to her, despite the fact that he is 12 years younger than she is, much to the alarm of his family. It looks as though he is about to fall into her clutches, when a chance meeting between him and the wife of Lady Susan's lover blows all Lady Susan's machinations, as well as her reputation, to smithereens.

Lady Susan, to save what is left of her honor, ends up marrying the rich, fatuous nobleman she intended for her daughter; Jane Austen slyly hints that Lady Susan and her married lover will continue their affair under the noses of both their spouses. The book's ending is in a narrative style that appears simply tacked on, as if Austen got tired of both the story and the epistolary style she wrote it in; but on the whole, it's an enjoyable read, interesting mostly because it is so different in style and content from the books we're familiar with.

"The Watsons" is a delight from beginning to middle; I can't say "end" because, unfortunately, Austen never finished it. It's very much in the style of her six major works. Emma Watson is the youngest child of a large family and has been raised by her rich aunt since early childhood; she is thrown back on her impoverished family when her aunt makes an ill-advised second marriage. She is thus reintroduced at the age of 19 to her terminally ill father, two brothers and three unmarried sisters. Emma is a refreshingly original heroine very much in the style of Elizabeth Bennet; she's bright, astute, spirited, perceptive, down to earth, and unimpressed with mere good looks and money. She has no problem rejecting the town casanova who thinks he's all that and a bag of chips; nor is she especially impressed by the young lord of the manor who is infatuated with her. A footnote to the story says that Jane Austen told her sister how the book was to end; we could have guessed it even without the footnote, but it's a great story and would surely have been included in her major works if only she had lived to complete it.

"Sanditon" is probably the best known of Austen's unpublished works; it's also a fragment of a novel, very different in content from her finished works. Austen excels in writing about manners and morals; "Sanditon" is more about social commentary, and somehow, it doesn't work as well. The characters in "Sanditon" are not as interesting or compelling as the people in her other works; they are not nearly as well drawn; they're more like sketches or caricatures than three-dimensional persons. It's difficult to tell how she would have ended the book, and there's not really enough interest to the plot to make us want to know. "Sanditon" is the weakest of the three stories in this volume, but "The Watsons" and "Lady Susan" more than make up for its defects. One can see in these two works the development of a great writer.

Judy Lind
73 internautes sur 76 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Jane Austen's least known novel is one of her wittiest and most charming. 23 septembre 2006
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur Amazon.com
Though Lady Susan is considered part of Jane Austen's "juvenilia," having been written ca. 1805, it was not published till well after Jane Austen's death and is still not counted among her "six novels." In fact, this seventh novel, though not as thoughtful or thought-provoking as the "famous six," is one of her wittiest and most spirited. Written in epistolary style, it is the story of Lady Susan, a beautiful, recent widow with no conscience, a woman who is determined to do exactly what she wants to do, to charm and/or seduce any man who appeals to her, and to secure a proper marriage for her teenage daughter, whom she considers both unintelligent and lacking in charm.

Lady Susan, the character, has no redeeming qualities, other than her single-mindedness, and her problems, entirely self-imposed, show the extremes to which an unprincipled woman will go to ensure her own pleasure and ultimately a more secure, comfortable life. As Lady Susan manipulates men, women, and even her young nieces and nephews, her venality knows no bounds, and when she determines that her daughter Frederica WILL marry Sir James, a man who utterly repulses her, Lady Susan's love of power and her willingness to create whatever "truth" best suits her purpose become obvious.

Austen must have had fun writing this novel which "stars" a character who to appears to be her own opposite. While this novel is not a pure "farce," it is closer to that than anything else Austen ever wrote. Containing humor, the satiric depiction of an aristocratic woman of monstrous egotism, her romantic dalliances and comeuppances, and her ability to land on her feet, no matter what obstacles are thrown in her path, the novel is a light comedy in which the manners and morals of the period are shown in sharp relief--Lady Susan vs. Catherine Vernon, her sensible sister-in-law; the free-wheeling Lady Susan and those who love the city vs. the moral grounding of those who live in the country; the sexual power of an unprincipled woman vs. the "proper ladies" who, along with their husbands, become her victims.

While this novel is not as "finished" as her more famous novels (the conclusion is weak), it shows Austen as a more playful novelist than in her other novels, an author who is obviously having fun introducing a wild card like Lady Susan into polite society to show how ill-equipped men are to deal with someone so clever. This surprising novel by Austen shows her as a careful observer of society but a polite critic of that society at the same time. Mary Whipple
54 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not your typical Austen 14 mars 2010
Par Southern Housewife - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This short story is certainly not your typical Austen depicting a heroine's romance and then a happy ending. This story is in the form of letters, which was handled well, but I think limits Austen's story telling ability. In Lady Susan the heroine is in fact a manipulative villain with no redeeming qualities and I found myself frustrated with the other characters reactions to her schemes. I also thought the letter format limited character development and had this been in the form of her more traditional novels it might have been a very interesting story with a meddling mother and her daughter becoming our heroine. Worth a read but if you're a fan of Austen's novels this is quite a change of pace.
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Short but Sweet 17 décembre 2009
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book is so witty it cracks me up everytime. I love that it is written in the form of letters to various people from various people. Best of all, we get to hear what Lady Susan is really thinking. Who doesn't like a great villian?
24 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Impressions and deceptions. 22 juillet 2003
Par John Austin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Our capacity to form first impressions is a tendency Jane Austen examines in all her fiction. Her characters sometimes are shown to form incorrect impressions. Her characters often strive to give false impressions. None of her fictional characters is so preoccupied with setting up a public image in order to gain her own ends as is the Lady Susan who gives this novella its name. Lady Susan is the archetypal coquette, the skilled deceiver. She is Thackeray's Becky Sharp, fifty years before her time.
Jane Austen plays the game of deception with us too. In this novella, which is almost entirely in epistolary form, we form the impression from reading Lady Susan's first letter, that she is a grieving widow, devoted to the care and education of her 16 year old daughter, and willing at last to accede to her brother-in-law's pressing invitation to stay with him and his family. Wrong! We too have been duped, as we soon discover.
Jane Austen first drafted several of her novels in epistolary form, that is to say, in the form of letters exchanged by her characters. This one, which may have been the earliest of all her surviving works, alone remained in this form. And great fun it is, although Lady Susan's contriving and heartlessness, especially in regard to her daughter, sometimes goes beyond the comic to the cruel.
Naxos has added to the fun that this "entertainment" can provide by issuing the novella in audio book form. Seven actors are allocated the parts of the seven letter writers. Furthermore, there is no abridgement of the text, and there are some snatches of music that serve to provide breaks between the letters and indicate the passing of time. Altogether, an ideal production.
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