Well, having finished this, I’m persuaded that Austen is one of the most, if not the most, hyped authors of English literature. Yet again, we find a love triangle and, yet again, all’s well that ends well. There’s the town v country prejudice and the confused innocent (albeit not typically young) who is buffeted here and there by social convention and her elders and ‘betters.’ In short, it is hard to see how this, Austen’s last published novel, stands out from any of the others I’ve read.
According to Wikipedia, our foremost source of literary criticism, this is supposed to be “biting satire.” Er, no. Swift, who predates Austen by over 100 years, set that standard and she would undoubtedly have been familiar with his writings for inspiration in that department. In fact, there’s precious little here for those who appreciate satire.
I’ve now read Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and now this. Emma and Sense and Sensibility remain. I think I need some encouragement. So, if you are a fan of Austen for some reason, try to convince me why this or any of the others except P&P, should be included on a list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Having added this novel to my achievements, I myself remain very much UNpersuaded.
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