Inspired by "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," and written in a similar epistolary form, "Lady Susan" is one of Jane Austen's earliest finished works. In it, she reveals all the caustic wit and brilliant social satire of her later novellas. The victim of a vicious scandal, the impoverished Lady Susan is obliged to take up residence with her brother-in-law and his family. Refusing to resign herself to the role of placid houseguest, she conspires to baffle her hosts, seducing her sister-in-law's brother in the process by means of her impeccable gentility and some well-judged flirtation. Yet before her victory is complete, she must first contend with the untimely appearance of a former lover. The author of "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma, "Jane Austen is one of the best-loved novelists of all time.
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