I’m curently making my way through all of Austen’s books for the Jane Austen class I’m in, I’ve read them all before except for Mansfield park, but I like rereading books and I am noticing new things. Though I have been struggling to keep up with the lengthy reading assignments, I’m enjoying the class and I’m able to engage with the books more critically then when I read them in my free time during high school.
Sense and Sensibility
- This might be my least favorite Austen novel. I had read it before, but remembered next to nothing about it because frankly this book is a bit boring.
- It’s written well, there’s a lot of interesting themes but I don’t find the characters as compelling in her other works.
- This also is a hard book to get into, the first chapter is dry.
- Unsatisfying ending, I wanted more
- The men don’t deserve the women, Captain Wentworth is okay but Edward is boring I feel like I know nothing about the guy
Pride and Prejudice
- Iconic first line, so many people know it by heart.
- Mr. Darcy is awkward and that’s probably why we all like him so much
- Lizzy is cool, but Keira Knightley is why I love her. I would not have loved her so much if I’d read the book before seeing the movie.
- I think there are better Austen heroines, though this might be s controversial take.
- Not to be more controversial, but while I love this book it’s definitely not my favorite Austen novel, it’s not her best work.
- The couples feel more like equals, unlike in Sense and Sensibility. Jane and Bingley and Lizzy and Darcy simply work together and feel meant to be in a way the couples in Sense and Sensibility don’t
- Underrated (compared to her other books)
- A good place to start if you haven’t read any Austen. For me it’s the easiest and quickest of her books to read.
- Different in tone than Austen’s other novels. It’s more like her juvenile if you’re familiar with those. If your not then let me explain, it feels less developed and a little more humorous.
- The romance is weak. It’s okay, but nothing special, this didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of the story though. I think the romance is less important than in other Austen novels.
- There are some great quotes about books, Catherine is the bookworm everyone wants Lizzy to be.
- If you like the gothic than this is worth reading, it subverts the norms of the genre.
- Also, if you are familiar with Anne Radcliffe’s work you might enjoy this, Catherine loves her books, and some of them inspired aspects of Northanger Abbey.
I like Jane Austen’s later work better, what about you, do you have a preference? Has anyone else read Austen’s juvenilia? It’s pretty interesting, especially if you’re a big Austen fan.