Hello my dear friends!! I’m so very exited to welcome back author Jessie Lewis to Austenesque Reviews today! And I’m especially thrilled about this visit because it is part of the Rational Creatures Blog Tour celebration! (Rational Creatures will be released on October 15th!) Jessie Lewis is here to share about her contribution in this magnificent anthology (by the way, Jessie, we are so thrilled to see you taking part in a Quill Ink Collective anthology!! Writing about one of Jane Austen’s most infamous and selfish female characters, Jessie shares how she tackles Lady Susan Vernon! (I must say, I love that Lady Susan is included in this anthology and I am very eager to see her character fleshed out!) We hope you enjoy Jessie’s post!
Thank you, Meredith, for having me back here on your wonderful blog to talk about Rational Creatures. The anthology celebrates Austen’s female characters and explores the ways in which they challenged the social mores of their time. One of Austen’s greatest achievements was creating characters who were all unique and yet each still drawn with great depth and complexity. Courage abides with timidity, servility with pride; indeed, all manner of vices and virtues are to be found intermingled Austen’s women.
Among them, Lady Susan is conspicuously and unrepentantly callous, with very little good to mitigate it. She is a widowed woman in possession of a handsome countenance, in desperate want of a good fortune. In her pursuit of it, she displays no regard for others’ feelings, very little shame and about as much maternal instinct as a chamber pot. All in all, not a woman doing much to advance society’s respect for women.
So, when Christina Boyd invited me to write a story for an Austen-inspired feminist anthology, I couldn’t resist the challenge of trying to account for Lady Susan’s journey to becoming the pithy, manipulative coquette we see in the eponymous novel.