«Lady Susan» is dated to 1793-1794 years – a time when he created the novels «sense and sensibility» (1811), «Pride and prejudice» (1813) and «Nortengerskoe Abbey» (1818).
Written in letters, in the tradition of S. Richardson, the novel «Lady Susan» is still very much in the spirit of the literature of the 18th century, his moral views. The epistolary form of the novel helps the self-revelation of the characters, their “self-exposure”. Later this genre was narrow talent in Austin, and she to him is no longer applied. As to the type of the heroine, which is a cruel and seductive 35-year-old widow.
That, like Lady Susan, we have Austin will never see, although some of its features are found later in highly diluted form – in its different heroines, they are especially noticeable in Mary Crawford (“Mansfield Park”, 1814).
The genre of the novel in letters narrows the possibilities of the development of the intrigue, but the young Jane Austen managed these limitations to be overcome: the tense confrontation of the characters in her work captures the growing interest in the outcome of the conflict, which involved the heroes. This elegant miniature further evidence of the inexplicable gift of Austin, the mystery which baffled researchers with its creativity and with time only multiplies the number of his fans.