The art of planning the heart
This is a ruthless epistolary novel, apparently with no way out, and a symptom of the long, dark days of women’s condition in the western world. Lady Susan moves in bourgeois circles behaving like a pretentious courtesan and showing herself to be a scheming, manipulative woman who is ready to sacrifice everything for self interest, even her daughter.
Shame about the moralistic and implausible “out of epistolary” ending, which was certainly a form of self-censorship imposed on the author by the society of that time. It still remains, however, an enjoyable story and the character is a forerunner of those many dark ladies which would be best described by Henry James and Edith Wharton.
Translation by Michela Veneri (edited by Ester Tossi)