Currently reading: Completing reading Jane Austen’s works with “Persuasion”

It’s kind of fitting that in my quest to read all of Jane Austen’s (six) novels, I’m tackling her last novel, Persuasion, last. Perhaps appropriately, most recently, I read her first novel, Northanger Abbey.

A while ago I realized that as much as I love girly classics, my only exposure to Jane Austen had been required reading at school (Pride and Prejudice in high school, Emma in university) and popular culture (Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility). So, of my own volition, I read one of the more well-known novels, Mansfield Park. Then I realized it was pretty easy to read all of Austen’s novels by reading just two more.

These novels are known as “novels of manners” which has come to mean to me high degree of predictability, emphasis on a person’s society, conversations, and correspondance, and layers of nuance. Jane Austen is further well-known for her wit and satire. I love it all!

But after several (or five) novels, does one ever get confused which novel had the scoundrel Wickham and which had the scoundrel Willoughby? I can only remember it by recalling Kate Winslet often saying, “Willoughby”. So, my geeky and organizational sensibilities drive me to create a spreadsheet of comparisons of protagonists, satirized characters, leading men, and the jilting/jilted men. I made some *spoiler* plot notes, but didn’t I just say that the novels are quite predictable? :D

On this day..

3 Comments

  1. Anna May Won't says:

    LOVE the spreadsheet!

  2. Ryan says:

    Miss Lock, that spreadsheet is the most hilarious work of literary criticism I can recall. I shall do what I can to tell the world.

  3. wyn says:

    I’m so flattered that some of my most discerning and literary readers enjoyed the spreadsheet. :)

    Knowing that hundreds and thousands of theses are written about Jane Austen’s works, this mention and comparison is but a drop in the ocean.

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