JANE AUSTEN REVIEWS | Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion & Northanger Abbey

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Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog! I’ve been in a weird mood lately but I’ve been really wanting to talk about Jane Austen so I figured why not write a post about her books! The only problem? I haven’t read half of them! πŸ˜‚ So, I decided why not read all of Austen’s books in publication order and finally see how I feel about her books!

So, I read them in pub order, no, I didn’t read her unfinished novels because I don’t want to do that to myself. What’s the point of getting attached to characters knowing that the story will never be finished? (by Austen, at least)

So, yeah, here’s a full Austen review! I hope you enjoy!

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility 

β˜…β˜…β˜…

β€œI wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”

This was Jane Austen’s first published novel and you can tell, but that’s not to say this book isn’t really really good. The characters and plot are complex and nuanced. The narration is interesting and it still flaws me how Austen can write such an interesting book with so little dialogue, and not have me absolutely bored by page 10.

It felt a little long around the middle, but to be fair I think a lot of books get a bit slumpy in the middle, especially with this being over 400 pages (or, my copy is at least).

This definitely isn’t my favourite Austen novel but it’s certainly up there! I really enjoy Elinor as the main character and I respect her ability to take care of everyone around her, while also dealing with her own shit.

Ngl, I know this isn’t P&P so I know it’s not as popular by proxy but I defintiely think it deserves the same amounf of hype, though for different reasons. I thin kthe only real downside was the very quick ending. I’ll defintiely be re-reading this in the future!

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

β€œI cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

This is not necessary my favourite of Austens novels, but the one I re-read and re-watch the most. When I decided to do this post late last year and re-read or read fot the first time, all of Jane Austen’s finished published novels I figured this would be my favourite read of all the books I read but I honestly feel like something could beat this, even though I do love reading it.

There’s definitely more dialogue in this novel than there was in Sense and Sesibility but I actually think that really worked for this novel. S&S was mor eof a quiet novel whereas P&P is louder, if that makes sense? It’s amazing how well Jane Austen’s books read without all the dialogue.

I do think that this reads a lot faster than S&S and is also a lot funnier! as with a lot of Austen’s books this also takes place over a longer span of time than a lot of books and I really enjoy that because it makes the stoy feel a lot more real to me!

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

β˜…β˜…β˜….5

β€œLife seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”

Okay, so this is where I officially started losing steam with my Jane Austen readalong that I created for myself. After reading the book I defintiely appreciated Fanny as a character more because I could step away from the actual book and sort of get some perspective. But, as I was actually reading the book I didn’t love Fanny at all. She came across as really weal most of the time, I could recognise that she cops a lot from the people around her but damn, she was just so WEAK. But, liek she wasn’t? She was just quiet and sotly strong, if that makes sense?

I don’t know, honestly. I feel like I might feel differently about Fanny if I read it again. But, honestly, I don’t see myself every re-reading this because in general I don’t love how women are talked about in this book – very weak and vulnerable and Fanny is VERY concerned with what Edmund thinks pretty much at all times. I also thnk this book was wayy too long!!

This book wasn’t bad but it sure as shit wasn’t good either. I can’t believe I’m saying this 1) because it’s Jane Austen and 2) because I used to love this story as a kid. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and this book honestly, just felt too long!

Emma

Emma

β˜…β˜….75

β€œI may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.”

This has definitely been my least favourite book in my Austen experience so far. I am not an Emma stan and I really don’t think I ever will be. I know she’s only 21 but I can’t forgive her total lack of awareness of her surroundings and the feelings of the people around her. I found her to be a totally unforgiving and selfish character, so while I love Jane Austen’s writing style Emma really ruined this book for me.

Also, disregarding the characters and just focusing on the actual book. I found that the chapters were really long! This book was shorther than a lot of the others but the chapters and my general dislike of Emma make this book feel a lot longer!

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

β˜…β˜…β˜…

β€œThe person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

So far in my Jane Austen reading experience, I’ve had the least amount of thoughts on this one. Usually I feel relatively passionate about how I feel about the characters, plot or the book in general, but I have basically nothing to say??? Except that I don’t really understand why Henry Tilney would want to marry Catherine and that this is very very low-Gothic kind of gothic-parody and you definitely don’t need to read Udolpho to understand it.

I used to enjoy this as a kid but honestly, as an adult I think it’s very naive and unenjoyable and yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever be re-reading this one either.

Persuasion

Persuasion 

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜….5

β€œI am half agony, half hope…”

I have no idea what to say. I went into this little experiment because I was in a Jane Austen mood and I wanted to see if anything could beat Pride and Prejudice and oh my god I think we’ve found the winner!

I recently buddy-watched The Lake House with Destiny and it inspired us to also buddy-read Persuasion because of the amazing parallel in the movie. I have read this before and I knew I enjoyed it, but honestly, re-reading this has really opened my eyes to the types of Austen books that I like and what it is about them that I enjoy. I think it’s the open inevitability of two characters meeting and falling in love that we have in this book. We have an amazingly strong main character in Anne Elliot, and an amazingly patient if a little heartbroken love interest in Captain Wentworth. I loved reading this and I already can’t wait to re-read it again sometime soon!

Honestly, I finished my re-read of Persuasion back in March and I’ve already had the urge to re-read it again 3 times since then, plus I’ve really fallen in love with the 2007 adaptation recently and I highly recommend it!

Ranking (1 – best, 6 – worst)

  1. Persuasion
  2. Pride and Prejudice
  3. Sense & Sensibility
  4. Northanger Abbey
  5. Mansfield Park
  6. Emma

Also, here’s a totally random thought but I thought I’d add this little note here because I’ve never really thought about it before, and especially not with classics in general. I would count Northanger Abbey and Emma as YA. I think because they’re classics, Austen’s books don’t read the same way YA or Adult reads now, but those 2 books read the most teen-friendly and would also be the easiest to read if you’re a teen.

I don’t really know where I was going with this random note, but I just thought it was interesting that I’ve always classified classics as “classics” instead of thinking about what age category they fall into. I know we have “Childrens Classics” like Peter Pan (questionable) and The Secret Garden but that can’t make everything else just a classic and acceptable for anyone over the age of 12, surely?

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24 thoughts on “JANE AUSTEN REVIEWS | Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion & Northanger Abbey

  1. i haven’t read northanger abbey and mansfield park, but of all the books i’ve read, my ranking is the same as yours! i’ve seen persuasion being a favorite among a lot of readers too, so i’m not sure why it’s not as popular as p&p or sense & sensibility πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh Northanger Abbey is pretty short if you’re in the mood for something that sort of parodies the gothic genre, whereas, Mansfield Park is quite long!

      I’m glad, honestly, I love Persuasion and I wish more people would be vocal about it!! I agree, I don’t understand why it’s not as popular!

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    1. I hope you enjoy, she’s one of my favourite authors! yeah, Emma’s one of those characters you either love or hate! You’ve till got some great books to read, I hope you love them! πŸ’•πŸ’•

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  2. P&P is the only Austen novel I have read but I loved every bit of it. Like you I’ve been wanting to read all of her books. I started S&S and Emma but didn’t get very far. Not sure if it was they hype around P&P that just HAD me from page one. I can’t seem to get into her other books. Maybe you just really have to be in the mood for it?
    I really like your note at the end. I’ve never thought of her books as anything other than “Classics,” either, so trying to categorize them into other genres? Hmm that’s an interesting idea. Obviously I have to read the rest of the books too. Hah!
    I love your blog πŸ™‚
    Hope you can stop by sometime!
    itsmisselizabeth.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. P&P is definitely the one I’ve read the most!! Yeah, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about S&S but I found that watching the movie beforehand helped me! I usually find that listening to the soundtracks or watching the movies before reading will usually get me super excited to read one of Austen’s books! What gets you into the mood to read P&P?

      Haha, yeah, I’ve really never thought about it so when I was trying to sort them into age groups and genres it was like whiplash!

      Thank you! πŸ’•

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      1. That makes sense. Funny you should ask, it was actually the movie for me too haha! I watched P&P and was smitten, so then I decided I really needed to give the book a try. Which version of S&S did you watch? I think I’ll try watching it first.
        You were meant to sort them! I’m sure it gave everyone who read your post something to think about ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never actually read any Jane Austen, but I guess I’ll start with Persuasion! I’ve never heard of it before, and usually when people talk about Jane Austen all I hear about is Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *gasps* Honestly, I’d never read any until a few years ago so I don’t blame you! I love Persuasion and it’s one of the shorter books in her collection! If you’re struggling with getting into her books I find that watching an adaptation before reading always helps me!
      Honestly, I really think Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion are some of her best books but also most underrated and least talked about!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg I love how you wanted to write a post about Jane Austen so you just went a read all of her books XD Absolutely fantastic.

    I’m SO HAPPY that you loved Persuasion, since it’s so underrated in my opinion!! I could literally talk about my love for it for hours. Even though it’s not my favorite of Austen’s books (that honor still belongs to P&P), it deserves so much love.

    Ahh, that’s too bad that you didn’t like Emma, though. It’s one of my favorites, since I kind of love how horrible Emma is and how much she grows – plus all the side characters are hilarious – but I can definitely understand why you wouldn’t. She’s not an easy character to love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yeah who does that?? Once I’d started it was hard to stop!

      Persuasion (the 2007 movie) is one of my favourite adaptations so I had a hunch I would enjoy the book and then I was watching The Lake House with Keanu Reeves and they talk about the book a lot in that movie and I just knew I had to read it!

      I can appreciate the character of Emma but I just didn’t enjoy the book! I did really like the recent movie adaptation though, it really made me understand the book better! Have you seen it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh yes! I really enjoyed the new Emma movie πŸ˜€ I also love the BBC adaptation from 2009 if you ever feel like watching that – it expands on some of the secondary characters and I feel like it manages to make Emma more likable.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh, I haven’t seen the 2009 adaptation though I have been meaning to get to it, so I’l move it up on my watchlsit! It sounds like something i would really enjoy!

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  5. I tried to read her book Lady Susan and didn’t care for it at all – she didn’t do well with the epistolary format that this book was written in. I read the unfinished book Sanditon (which was just made into a TV series) and I’m positive it would have been her best if she’d finished and edited it. I haven’t tried to read the unfinished book The Watsons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t tried Lady Susan because I don’t know if I’ll read the books that she didn’t finish or didn’t publish herself, it feels kind of weird to do that!
      I’m glad you enjoyed Sanditon, I really enjoy the show and was sad we won’t be getting any more! It’s really interesting that you think it would’ve been her best, maybe I will have to try it out after all!
      Ooh I haven’t even heard of The Watsons clearly I need to do some more research!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What she wrote of Sanditon was very rough and incomplete, but there are plot elements there and characters which I think could have made a really good story overall. The TV series ended without conclusion but… I guess that was the intention.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahh that makes sense, oh, what could’ve been!
          I think they did intend for there to be a season 2 but not enough people watched the first season while it was airing which is annoying because a lot of people are discovering it now! I guess the story is destined to be incomplete! πŸ˜‚

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I tried to read Jane Austin books after reading pride and prejudice for class to be cULtuREd or whatever so I read sense and sensibility and Mansfield park but then I got bored and gave up after that, so it’s interesting to see that Emma and northinger abbey read more like YA, and you like persuasion most! In theory I would like to finish them all… someday…….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I can understand that! That’s why I originally read P&P!!
      I definitely think that Northanger Abbey is YA if you’re looking for something with a more naive main character! Whereas, the mc in Persuasion is a lot wiser!
      Persuasion is definitely my favourite, I hope you’ll give it a chance! If you’re getting bored with her books I recommend watching an adaptation to get you in the mood!

      Liked by 1 person

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