I will not attempt to rate the novels of Jane Austen, as if I could say one is better than another. Obviously, I may like one more than another, but it would be over-reaching, as far as I’m concerned, to say my opinion actually means one is better than the rest. I have read Pride and Prejudice more than all the others -- in fact, I read it once a year and am therefore more familiar with it. I have read Persuasion several times, followed by Emma and Sense and Sensibility, and then Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park only once.
Something that has always struck me as odd about the British, which is often portrayed in Austen’s books, is that they marry their cousins, or are arranged to be married to their cousins. I don’t know if that is something that was done by the upper class only, or if people in general did that in her day, or if it’s even still a practice today. Not to mention, the man is usually much older than the young girl he marries. Is that why they do not show affection openly? That’s another one of those things I don’t understand about the British. One more thing is how strongly they observe class distinctions: the way a person of rank, as they say, is not even to be addressed by someone lower in their eyes. Maybe that’s in the past now too.
Anyway, criticising those things is not the purpose of this, but I am attempting to get all the strangeness out of the way before considering other aspects of her books, which as I said yesterday, are some of my favorite literature to read.