Jane Austen's epistolary novella Lady Susan was written when Austen was in her late teens, but not published until long after Austen's death. James Edward Austen Leigh included the work, based on Austen's 1805 "fair copy," in his 1871 biography of his aunt.
Lady Susan is a collection of letters about the efforts of Lady Susan Vernon, a recently widowed woman in her mid-30s, to find a husband. Gossip and scandal follow Lady Susan wherever she goes. She is beautiful, witty, flirtatious, manipulative, and utterly unscrupulous.
Lady Susan was adapted as a Staged Reading by Robert Moss for the 2012 Brooklyn JASNA Annual General Meeting, and four JASNA-Idaho members will present the Staged Reading at the April 28 meeting of the Idaho Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Sagebrush Room of the Library at Cole and Ustick.
Those familiar with the text will enjoy this interpretation, and those new to the work will receive an entertaining introduction to this witty and surprising novella.
In her introduction of the Penguin Classics edition of Lady Susan, Margaret Drabble wrote, "One cannot leave Lady Susan without a word of regret. What a pity it is that she (Austen) never, in her mature work, returned to the subject of a handsome thirty-five-year-old widow. What scope there would have been, what choices offered." Joan Ray, in Jane Austen for Dummies, calls Lady Susan a "stunning read, because in the novella she presents a character, Lady Susan, who displays all the characteristics of sociopathy."
Lady Susan is about to have its day in the sun. A film version is in the works. It has been titled "Love and Friendship"and will star Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny.
Refreshments will be provided. Please bring your teacup.
The Idaho Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America was organized in 1994. Meetings are held four times each year in Boise, Idaho. For membership information, please visit www.jasna.org. For information about meetings, please contact Cheryl Russell-Griebenow, Idaho Regional Coordinator, at email@example.com.
The Jane Austen Book Club
Tuesday, January 9 - Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley (7:00 p.m., Collister Library, Sycamore Room)
Tuesday, March 13 - Jane Austen's Prayers edited by Terry Glaspey (7:00 p.m., Collister Library, Sycamore Room)
Tuesday, May 8 - Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell (7:00 p.m., Collister Library, Sycamore Room Boise)
Tuesday, July 10 - The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser (7:00 p.m., Collister Library, Sycamore Room)
Tuesday, September 11 - Persuasion by Jane Austen(7:00 p.m., Collister Library, Sycamore Room)
Tuesday, November 14 - At Home by Bill Bryson (7:00 p.m., Collister Library, Sycamore Room)
The Jane Austen Book Club meets six times each year to discuss books by, about and because of Jane Austen. For information about book club meetings, contact Monica Van Bussum at firstname.lastname@example.org.