Tweeting Jane Austen @calmgrove

DSC02700I had an idea for reviewing Jane Austen’s early work Lady Susan. This novel, unpublished in her lifetime, employed the practice, virtually outdated by the end of the 18th century, of writing fiction presented as a series of letters to and from various characters. Lady Susan‘s format is forty-one letters followed by an afterword. My idea was to review the novel using one of the 21st century’s equivalents of the handwritten epistle, namely a series of tweets on Twitter.

Then I saw Mark Brownlow’s Famous Jane Austen Inboxes cited in Jane Austen’s World and I thought, Croopus! I’d better get a move on with this.

So: I’ve started the review on @calmgrove. A well-known supermarket has, as one of its slogans, “We regularly check competitor prices so you don’t have to.” The converse applies here: I’m not reviewing Lady Susan so you don’t have to read it. Tweets are not a substitute for the real thing. But they may whet your appetite.

Here’s the first tweet, to get you started. Note, they’re all going to be under 140 characters, so they may well turn out rather gnomic:
Lady Susan Vernon seems a nice woman: very family oriented, recently widowed, keen to have daughter well educated. What’s not to like? Hmm?

This is the edition I’m using: Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon in Oxford World’s Classics (2008).


8 thoughts on “Tweeting Jane Austen @calmgrove

    1. Thank you! Maybe the idea will even work out successfully! The amoral stance of the title character mostly worked for me, though unlike Mr Ripley in Patricia Highsmith’s novel, I couldn’t wait for her to get her come-uppance.

      Ella Minnow Pea from your piece sounds intriguing (currently this is my favourite descriptor) and certainly a title to look out for.

  1. I read Lady Susan in–1975? It’s time for a second look. I look forward to reading your review(s). By the way, I love epistolary novels, and I LOVE Ella Minnow Pea.

    1. All the tweet posts for Lady S when completed will be bundled up and re-posted here, Kathy, so you won’t miss any! Ella Minnow Pea: looks as if this is a must.

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