- Author: Jane Austen
- Copyright: Public domain
- Published in: 1794
- Word count: 23,021 words (≈ about 2 hours)
Austen's "most wicked tale," Lady Susan is a short epistolary novel by Jane Austen, possibly written in 1794 but not published until 1871. Lady Susan is a selfish, attractive woman, who tries to trap the best possible husband while maintaining a relationship with a married man. She subverts all the standards of the romantic novel; she has an active role, she's not only beautiful but intelligent and witty, and her suitors are significantly younger than she is.