The Six, Rated Four Ways

Most funny to least (but still) funny:

Northanger Abbey

Pride and Prejudice

Sense and Sensibility



Mansfield Park

The Order in Which I Advise People New to Austen to Read Them:

Pride and Prejudice


Sense and Sensibility

Northanger Abbey

Mansfield Park


Best Romantic Leads, in Order of Best-ness:

Mr. Tilney

Captain Wentworth

Mr. Knightley

Mr. Darcy

Edward Ferrars

Edmund Bertram (Someone’s got to be last.)

Female Leads in Order of How Much I Would Probably Actually Like Them in Real Life, From Most to Least:

Marianne Dashwood

Anne Elliot

Elizabeth Bennet

Elinor Dashwood

Mary Crawford

Fanny Price

Emma Woodhouse

Catherine Moreland (This list was even harder than the men’s list. Really I like them all.)






3 thoughts on “The Six, Rated Four Ways

    1. I love Emma too! Both the book and the character. She’s writing at the height of her powers here, with such a flawness expression of her particular genius that there is not a word out of place. I always think if EMMA was a garment, you could not find a seam. Perhaps this perfection itself can be a bit intimidating. On Persuasion (which I have to suspect she might have revised a bit more if she’d lived longer), though it’s also an amazing work, you can see the thumbprints a little.

      But I would tell people to read it last not because it’s the least good, but because it is the most subtle. A good understanding of what Austen is up to makes the reader appreciate the full genius of Emma — not just a funny story about a small-town snob prone to self-deception (which it is) but also a meditation on the nature of fiction itself.

      Liked by 1 person

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