Tag: Author: Jane Austen


Commentary: Northanger Abbey

Posted 2 December, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Northanger Abbey
By: Jane Austen

While enjoying a six weeks’ stay in fashionable Bath, the young and callow Catherine Morland is introduced to the delights of high society. Thanks to a new literary diet of the sensational and the macabre, Catherine travels to Northanger Abbey fully expecting to become embroiled in a Gothic adventure of intrigue and suspense and, once there, soon begins to form the most gruesome and improbable theories about the exploits of its occupants.

Northanger Abbey is Jane Austen’s earlier works that was published posthumously. It’s quite different from her later works and sometimes gets written off for not being as polished or witty as Pride and Prejudice (commentary) or Emma but to me the novel is just as enjoyable as her other works and just as sparkly (and makes for a light, quick read).

Like some of my other re-reads, the following entry is not a review of the novel but rather a commentary of things that I picked up on this time around. Contains some spoilers ahead!

Read More

Commentary: Sense & Sensibility

Posted 24 April, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Sense and Sensibility
By: Jane Austen

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing, but unsuitable John Willoughby, she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love – and its threatened loss – the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

I recently re-read this book because I’m writing an article about it (sort of) for the upcoming issue of Femnista; the first time I read this book was probably seven years ago when, after re-reading Pride and Prejudice (commentary) and deciding to get around to all of Austen’s other works. It’s one of her other more prominent work and is actually my second favourite work by her (the first obviously going to her last novel, Persuasion).

Like some of my other re-reads, the following entry is not a review of the novel but rather a commentary of things that I picked up on this time around. CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

Read More

Commentary: Pride & Prejudice

Posted 27 January, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Pride and Prejudice
By: Jane Austen

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

I first read this book back in high school for my grade 11 english course. It was the assigned book for our independent study essay so at the time I just read it and didn’t think much of it. When the 2005 movie came out, I decided it was time to re-read it; that time around, I absolutely enjoyed it, understood it better and was pretty much ecstatic to check out Austen’s other works. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read it and after reading a number of Georgette Heyer’s novels, I decided to go back to it.

As you noticed, the title of this post is “commentary” rather than “review” because I’m not formally reviewing this novel like other books. I am instead just commenting on a few things I noticed during my re-read this time around. CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

Read More

Review: Mansfield Park

Posted 24 June, 2007 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

Mansfield Park
By: Jane Austen

At long last I have gotten around to the last of Jane Austen’s major novels. I was initially quite wary of reading it in part because of how many people said it was not as exciting as her other works and in part because it was just so hefty. But nonetheless I managed to read it…there is no doubt that this was Austen’s most society-conscious novel; from rank to upbringing to marriage relations all came down to society and your place in it. Central to this story is Fanny Price, the daughter of a drunken sailor and a woman who was demoted from her social standing. She is sent to live with her aunt and uncle, the Bertrams, in Mansfield Park, as a sort of investment and as a way to help Mrs. Bertram’s fallen sister. From there, as Fanny grows up, she is faced with all sorts of challenges that would test the character of both herself and her cousins. I know some have said that the character of Fanny is just too good for a human being, but she does perseveres from temptations and follies brought on by the lure of society and so forth. And you can’t help but feel for the character; she doesn’t talk as much as the other characters, particularly in the first half of the story, and you feel like reaching out and fighting back for her whenever someone like Mrs. Norris looks down at her and reminds her constantly of her place in society. She can be quite plain but it’s her humility and modesty that makes her rather quiet and often an observer to whatever’s going on around her. She has a quiet sort of strength, which, despite her constant despair/anxiety, was evident around the later chapters (chapter 30 and onward). I guess in some respects, I ended up relating to her in some ways because I also am quiet in that sense…the novel did end rather abruptly, Austen could have fleshed out the ending into two chapters instead of cramming it all into one. I do love how there were odd sentences here and there that came out as fairly amusing: like Mrs. Bertram telling Fanny she’s give her a puppy the next time Pug has a litter of them or what Mr. Bertram thought of Mrs. Norris at the end of the novel. All in all, it’s not my favourite Jane Austen novel of them all but it is quite interesting…

Rating: ★★★☆☆

More information about Jane Austen can be read here || Order from the Book Depository

Review: Northanger Abbey

Posted 17 June, 2007 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

Northanger Abbey
By: Jane Austen

Continuing my Jane Austen craze, I decided to read Northanger Abbey after seeing the 2007 ITV adaptation of the book (definitely worth checking out, it was quite enjoyable). I know the general sentiment is that this book is not up to par with the other Jane Austen books, and considering that this was actually the first book she completed, that was understandable. But I decided to read this before Mansfield Park because it was a surprisingly slender volume. I was surprised to learn was a quick read it was as well; the first part deals primarily with the social situation that Catherine Norland, the main character, is in and the second part deals more with the Gothic parody. I’ve never read Gothic novels, so this was a rather interesting introduction to the genre, but you can’t help but relate to Catherine; I know my imagination has a tendency to run when I read novels. But the plot is straightforward, amusing, interesting…but I don’t think it’s like those typical triangles you see in other Austen books (i.e. Mr. Darcy is attached to Elizabeth but she’s interested in Mr. Wickham or Emma is fascinated by Mr. Churchill and doesn’t realize Mr. Knightley’s affections): here it seems right of the bat that Catherine and Mr. Tilney are interested in one another and that there was no way that Mr. Thorpe would be able to compete for Catherine’s affections. It’s a cute story overall, very lighthearted in comparison to the other Jane Austen books and I don’t think it should be overlooked.

Rating: ★★★★☆

More information about Jane Austen can be read here || Order from the Book Depository