This is the first in a series of posts on Jane Austen and her works that I want to do. Austen's books are a favorite part of my library, as are the movies that have been made on them. It is really too bad she died so young and was prevented from giving us what she would have created later.
One of the aspects of her writing that I find so appealing is her focus on the characters’ thoughts and feelings with an economy of words. She has a comical cleverness that rivals Oscar Wilde, and a sense for the dramatic coupled with a flare for suspense. For instance, in each of her works she builds a series of let-downs and obstacles for the characters without being corny or cliche, even though if she would have come up with something way back in her time it wouldn’t have been cliche; and the fact that today the stories are still fresh and interesting to read is a credit to her.
For comparison’s sake, to be sure, the stories of Jane are not as intricate as those of Charles Dickens, but then they were writing about two different worlds. Dickens brought the lowest and poorest of London society across the path of the class of society Austen wrote about. In the world according to Jane, one would never know such a place as the slums of London with its low individuals even existed because she didn’t write about that like Dickens did. Consequently, Austen’s books keep a light, lively feel, even when the characters are reduced to comparative poverty. Perhaps it is this aspect of her books I like most; one can read about triumph through adversity without getting "dirty" like you do when you read Dickens.
Jane Austen's notable books (no particular order):
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility