Austen it is!

1127015.gifI’ve counted the votes, and Jane Austen’s Lady Susan will be the next Slaves of Golconda read. I’m excited about reading this, in spite of my misgivings about giving up the pleasure of having an unread Austen novel that I can forever look forward to reading, which is a silly attitude anyway. Lady Susan is quite short, so if people are interested, perhaps they can read some more of her lesser-known work and fill the rest of us in on it — the edition I’ve linked to and that’s pictured here has The Watsons and Sanditon, two unfinished novels, and there are numerous shorter fictions Austen wrote that are available in modern editions and sometimes in the same volume as Lady Susan. For myself, I’d like to read the three works I’ve mentioned, as the edition pictured here is the one I own.

Lady Susan is available online for free here, if anybody would like to read it that way.

It looks like there will be some new people joining the group this time, which is wonderful — all you have to do is post on the book on your blog if you have one and then head over to the forums at Metaxu Cafe for the discussion. There is also a Slaves of Golconda blog where people have posted their responses; could somebody remind people of who to contact if they want their name added to that blog? I’ve forgotten.

Discussion will be begin on March 31st — should be fun!

I’ll close with a quotation from Boswell’s Life of Johnson (you can look forward to more of these in future days):

[Johnson] recommended to me to keep a journal of my life, full and unreserved. He said it would be a very good exercise, and would yield me great satisfaction when the particulars were faded from my remembrance. I was uncommonly fortunate in having had a previous coincidence of opinion with him upon this subject, for I had kept such a journal for some time; and it was no small pleasure to me to have this to tell him, and to receive his approbation. He counselled me to keep it private, and said I might surely have a friend who would burn it in case of my death. From this habit I have been enabled to give the world so many anecdotes, which would otherwise have been lost to posterity. I mentioned that I was afraid I put into my journal too many little incidents. Johnson: “There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.”


Filed under Books

17 responses to “Austen it is!

  1. LK

    Ooh, I wish I would join in, but I will keep a furtive eye on your progress.

    The good thing about Jane Austen novels is that you can read them a million times and still get something new out of them.


  2. Dorothy, I have sent invitations to everyone who voted in your comments, if they had an email address. Others can email you or me or post a comment with email at


  3. I am looking forward to reading this. I feel a bit guilty as I have only read two of her other novels, though I am familiar with all the other stories. This will give me an excuse to use my B&N 15% off coupon now! I think Quillhill set up the blog, so maybe people might contact him first to be added?


  4. Thanks for the link to the online edition. Granted I’m sure I’ll just buy the book instead. Looking forward to it!


  5. you should check out this on-line quiz. Which Jane Austen character are you? It might be fun for your book club.


  6. Quilhill, thanks for the invitation. I’d rather start reading right now.


  7. I’m looking forward to this. I don’t think I’ve read Lady Susan, but I read Sanditon (with a finish by someone else) last year. I know the rest of Austen practically by heart, so I’m actually looking forward to something new!

    Here’s a quote for you, Dorothy. I read this today in Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun:

    “The book, like the bicycle, is a perfect form.”


  8. Would love to join, but I’ve just got way too many challenges and book discussion groups going at the moment. So, I’ll join vicariously by reading what others have to say. I’ve never read LADY SUSAN, so should be interesting.


  9. You’re so right, LK! Thank you very much Quillhill — it’ll be great to have some new members. I’m envious of you, Danielle, for having so many Austen books before you! I hope you enjoy the book, Iliana (although it’s surely impossible to go wrong with Austen). Melissa — thanks, I will! Karen — that’s a wonderful quote. Both are, truly perfect forms. Emily — I certainly understand.


  10. Cam

    I’m going to attempt to fit this one in. I’ve never (gasp!) read anything by Austen.


  11. I’ve never read an Austen novel, not one. I thought this was a startling admission, but I see from Cam’s comment above that she is in the same position! Should I begin with Lady Susan, or should I be reading some of her better known novels to give myself some context for Lady Susan? With which book should an Austen neophyte begin?


  12. And I was jealous of Danielle for having read only two Austen novels — you two, Kate and Cam, have ALL of them to look forward to! Since I haven’t read Lady Susan, I’m not sure how it would be as a starting point, although it seems to me that starting with Austen’s best might be a good idea, rather than starting with the juvenalia. Perhaps Pride and Prejudice would be the best place? That book is so much fun, so enjoyable and beautifully crafted.


  13. I’m so thrilled to have joined the Slaves – thank you for the invitation! Lady Susan it is, and no, I haven’t read it either.


  14. Thanks for that Boswell quote. You’ve strengthened my resolve to start tending more to my journal.


  15. Lady Susan is a lot of fun and so quick to read, thanks for linking the online edition. Look forward to the discussion!


  16. Pingback: Jane Austen, Lady Susan « Smithereens

  17. Pingback: mandarine » Blog Archive » Somebody help me out with Virginia Woolf!

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