Another HUGE Austen fan here... I've read all her books except for Mansfield Park. Unlike most favorite authors, I really saved her books up, savoring them rather than gobbling them up like candy. I will be sad when I have finally read them all and there won't be any new books to look forward to.
Natalie, I agree--Austen is a brilliant author, especially for her time. Her writing style is so simple and yet evocative... few people who try to replicate her writing style or story type manage to do so in such slim but complex novels, for one thing! And while some people may dismiss her as a romance writer--she did inspire the romance genre, particularly regency romances!--she wrote about the lives of women, in a world where their options were pretty limited. Take Pride and Prejudice for example--a family with 5 unmarried daughters, and the estate entailed. If at least some of them didn't marry well, their future is very dim indeed. If they don't find love, their chances of being happy are limited indeed. Yet despite Austen's deceptively simple story foundations, she manages to layer on wit, humor, and even social commentary. She was also unusual for her time in that not only did she write about women, she wrote about relatively ordinary people--the families of a country gentleman, not a Duke or a prince.
1SALMON1, I have not, but it's been on my reading list for forever and you just bumped it up quite a bit!
Nancy, I'm sorry that you didn't like her. She's not really a particular genre--but she does have a very distinctive writing style I've never really seen in another author, and if it dosen't work for you, it doesn't work for you. I prefer Austin to Jane Eyre (the only book by Charlotte Bronte I've read) myself--but that's a matter of taste. I enjoyed Jane Eyre, mind you--but it's much more dense and Gothic, even though Bronte herself was also defying tradition with her strong, persevering heroine (female characters at the time tended to be divinely good, frail, and tragic--Jane Eyre was none of the above.
Zanna (or Zannachan), from Michigan
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