Love & Friendship

Love & Friendship : In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon is Entirely Vindicated

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Description

Jane Austen's funniest novel is also her least known - until now. A sharp comedy of manners set in the 1790s, LOVE & FRIENDSHIP centres on Lady Susan Vernon: impossibly beautiful, charming, witty, and completely self-absorbed. Recently widowed, Lady Susan arrives, unannounced, at her brother-in-law's estate to wait out colourful rumours about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Where there, she becomes determined to secure a new husband for herself, and one for her reluctant debutante daughter, Frederica, too. As lady Susan embarks on a controversial relationship with a married man, seduction, deception, broken hearts, and gossip all ensue. With a pitch-perfect Austenian sensibility, Stillman breathes new life into Austen's work, making it his own by adding original narration from a character comically loyal to the story's fiendishly manipulative heroine, Lady Susan.
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Product details

  • Two Roads
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged edition
  • 1473642388
  • 9781473642386

Review quote

PRAISE FOR LOVE & FRIENDSHIP - THE FILM Kate Beckinsale is a devious delight... Beckinsale is a hoot to watch as a character with no redeemable qualities, except for her cunning ability to get what she wants. You can't help but love Lady Susan because of the evident joy she takes in being so duplicitous. Her energy is infectious. Despite its period trappings, Stillman's film never feels stilted, largely thanks to his bracingly modern heroine who takes no prisoners, and makes no apologies for her conniving behavior. Guardian Jane Austen has never been funnier... Gliding through its compact 92 minutes with alert photography and not a single scene wasted, it's also Stillman on the form of his life...Kate Beckinsale's best role in 20 years... a deliciously controlled and self-aware performance, playing the Austen title character as a born manipulator so devious she can spin the rest of the ensemble around her little finger... The performances, even from some of the more surprising cast members, are uniformly sharp... Perhaps only by reading the book after you've seen this is the skill of Stillman's treatment to be fully grasped - it's one of the deftest feats of literary interpolation in ages Daily Telegraph A fresh, beguiling movie, and the wittiest Austen adaptation to grace the screen The Times Whit Stillman, whose incisive comedies of bourgeois mores make him the modern cinema's Jane Austen, adapts one of her early novels inLove & Friendship... fast, precise, and giddily dialectical costume romp... By way of his cast's mercurial verbal jousting and gestural elegance, Stillman captures the exquisite eroticism of high-society manners. New Yorker Whit Stillman may have fashioned the finest Jane Austen movie this year: the delightfully droll Love & Friendship, based on Austen's novella Lady Susan... Stillman so effortlessly, elegantly bridges the gap between his conniving aristocrats and Austen's that it's difficult to say where one's sensibility ends and the other's begins. It's a misfortune that Stillman and Austen were born in different centuries, but Love & Friendship is a perfect match of two sly observers, each with the capacity to be at once cruelly satirical to, and fond, of, their creations. Beckinsale is superb... Love & Friendship is a most particular pleasure New York Post Whit Stillman returns - and on absolute peak form - with this drastically delightful Jane Austen adaptation... Superlative... Kate Beckinsale astonishes Little White Lies The central character is Lady Susan Vernon Martin, a widow of diminishing means played with high duplicitous verve by Kate Beckinsale BBC Culture A supremely elegant and delicately filigreed adaptation of Jane Austen's epistolary novella Lady Susan... Whit Stillman proves an unsurprisingly intuitive fit for Austen, but he also knows just how to give her pointed social satire an extra stab of wink-wink postmodern drollery without breaking the spell... Beckinsale magnetizes the screen Variety Snappy...Cheeky in its approach as well as spirited and good-natured, this enterprising adaptation of the author's relatively unfamiliar early novella Lady Susan remains buoyant through most of its short running time Hollywood Reporter the perfect marriage between Stillman's absurdist wit and Austen's period manners, further propped by Beckinsale's vibrant, rhythmic hysterical performance Deadline
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About Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman - winner of France's Prix Fitzgerald for his prior novel - is the writer-director of five films, including Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco, Damsels in Distress, and Love & Friendship, a mendacious representation of this story. At university, he was an editor of the Harvard Crimson and later worked in book publishing and journalism. His first novel, The Last Days of Disco, With Cocktails at Petrossian Afterwards, also derived from a film story. @WhitStillman
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