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Articolo: After Austen: What to read next

Painting of Ladies Socialising

After Austen: What to read next

ladies socialising

We all agree, Jane Austen is marvellous, but once you’ve read her wonderful six novels and other small works, how do you survive without more Jane Austen novels to discover?  Well, after a lot of thinking, there are two solutions: 

  • First, go to Winchester and somehow bring Jane Austen back to life.
  • Second, go to the library and explore other writers which are, well, not Jane Austen, but equally interesting.

As you have already imagined, I’ve decided upon the second option. So, let’s start! 

Watercolour of a castle

The first book I want to talk about is Le château de Pictordu written by George Sand and first published in 1873. The story is set in “la campagne française” between Arles and Montpellier, and it’s a tale written to advise young girls that “imagination is always right”!

Set amongst the trees and the sculptures of the Renaissance, it’s the story of the birth of an artist - an artist who will have to learn how to express herself through art to gain the respect of those around her. She grows and blooms without noise nor fuss, and gets what she wants from life. A story of a dreamer child with an enchanting setting turns out to be the best combination for an elegant and delicate novel. 

After this “promenade” we’ll return to the busy, but still elegant London of the late Victorian period accompanied by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Published in 1901 The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst tell us of the life of Emily Fox Seton, a young woman of good breeding who is orphaned and looses her fortune when she is young.

The main character is a kind girl, with mousy hair, a childish face and immense naivety.  She runs errands for grand ladies that are mostly “occupied” sipping tea with their friends (a great way of spending time). But her luck might change when she is invited to the garden party that Lady Maria organizes in her beautiful country villa.

Through her, we will get into a world of bachelors with barouche and young ladies with amazing gowns. And after that there will be more surprises in the manor of Lord Walderhurst and his not really friendly relatives. Once you’ve started reading, you can’t stop, I assure you!

Clara Callén i Rusiñol is a student from Catalonia who loves reading and dancing. She loves Jane Austen since she was 13, and she also loves other writers such as the Brontë sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell or Dickens (both great-grandparent and great-grandchild). She dances Catalan traditional dances and Scottish Country dances. Right now, she is finishing the last year in high school and next year she is going to do the humanities' baccalaureate. She hopes that, in the future, she will turn out to be a wonderful “lletraferida” (a Catalan term which literary means wounded by letters, but is commonly used to refer to a person that has a special sensibility for languages and literature). She is willing to write articles and short stories to mostly anyone who has an interest. If you want to contact her please send an email to this address.

We love to hear from young fans of Jane Austen. If you know a teenager or student who would like to contribute to the blog, please read our submission guidelines and get in touch. 


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