Lady Susan Plays the Game is Janet Todd’s fantastic novelisation of Jane Austen’s comic tale, Lady Susan. Centering on the enigmatic Lady Susan, Austen created a hilarious picture of seduction, desire and manipulation through a series of letters. Janet Todd, an expert on Jane Austen, was inspired to write a fluid piece of fiction based closely on these letters, reinvigorating Lady Susan in a fresh and modern way.
Lady Susan Plays the Game captures the intricate world Austen imagined, drawing parallels between the game of marriage and that of cards. Lady Susan, whose love of gaming is only equalled by her love of herself, sees life as one great gamble, and her daughter as a card to play. Widowed and in financial need, she must marry off the young, naïve Frederica to an eligible man as soon as possible, and if her useless daughter doesn’t like it then tough luck. But life without a husband and a ready source of income proves harder than predicted, and the delicate net of manipulation she has cultivated threatens to unravel. As deliciously funny as Lady Susan Plays the Game is, Austen’s recurring themes of a woman’s place, her reliance on men as protectors, and marriage as her only route to status and security are explored, recognizing that the only control Lady Susan, or any woman, can have is that afforded to her by men, whether this is through kindness, indulgence, or her powers of Influence.
Now Hollywood has adapted this classic, bringing these characters to life on the big screen. We’re looking forward to seeing Love & Friendship, the new film starring Kate Beckinsale, which looks every bit as entertaining, rich and nuanced as Jane Austen intended.
Lady Susan Plays the Game is available now as an ebook, and in paperback in July. If you like Lady Susan Plays the Game you might also like Janet’s latest novel, A Man of Genius which mirrors a physical passage from a flamboyant Regency England through a Europe conquered by Napoleon.
What a stunning little book! I absolutely loved it – mirable dictu
It’s about time that somebody of Allingham’s calibre properly joined the fray, and there’s no reason why The White Cottage Mystery shouldn’t become this season’s favourite rattling good yarn – Shiny New Books
The White Cottage Mystery was Margery Allingham’s first detective story, originally written as a serial for the Daily Express in 1927 and published as a book a year later.