Lady Vernon and Her Daughter was a great way to end the Everything Austen Challenge II for 2010. It was an amazing book and was a very original take on Austen. Although I love Mr. Darcy, it is great to read Austen lit based on different characters and book in the Austen canon.
Lady Susan is a short epistolary novella that was written by Jane Austen in the 1790’s, or around the same time she wrote her first version of Sense and Sensibility. Lady Susan shows that Austen’s wit started while she was young with her first forays into writing. I read Lady Susan last year as part of the Lady Susan Soiree on Austenprose. It was great fun.
Lady Vernon and Her Daughter take the Lady Susan novella and expand it into a novel, in the same manner as Austen took her original Sense and Sensibility story and expanded it.
Lady Vernon and Her Daughter takes the view that the letters that you read in Lady Susan, may show a prejudiced point of view of Lady Susan Vernon and that there may be much more to the story. And the much more to the story is a captivating tale that I enjoyed reading and had a hard time putting down!
Susan Martin is a beautiful young woman with a sparkling wit, but not much in the way of a dowry. She enthralls many men, but falls in love with and marries Sir Frederick Vernon. Her Aunt and Uncle settle a London home on the couple and they have a happy life together that is only troubled by financial woes brought about by Sir Frederick’s brother Charles. Sir Frederick and Lady Susan have one beloved daughter, Frederica. After Sir Frederick passes away, his estate passes to his brother and Lady Susan and Frederica find themselves in trouble in the matters of money and in love. And ill-informed gossip plagues them at every turn. What is a woman to do in a man’s world to survive?
I enjoyed the entire book. It was the next best thing to reading an original Jane Austen novel. I definitely rate Lady Vernon and Her Daughter as among the best of the Austen Lit based on original Austen works. I loved the author’s note at the end that described the reasoning for doing things such as using the name Lady Vernon rather than Lady Susan. It was very interesting. I also enjoyed the original Lady Susan letters at the end and the great family tree at the beginning of the novel. They definitely enhanced the reading experience.
Lady Vernon and Her Daughter is my fourteenth and final item for the Everything Austen Challenge II for 2010. I finished the book on December 30th, but the holidays have me a bit behind on my posts!
Book Source: I won this novel from Laurel Ann on Austenprose.