Lady Susan is a short epistolary novel by Jane Austen, possibly written in 1794 but not published until 1871. This early complete work, which the author never submitted for publication, describes the schemes of the title character. Lady Susan Vernon, a beautiful and charming recent widow, visits her brother- and sister-in-law, Charles and Catherine Vernon, with little advance notice at Churchill, their country residence. Catherine is far from pleased, as Lady Susan had tried to prevent her marriage to Charles and her unwanted guest has been described to her as ''the most accomplished coquette in England''. Among Lady Susan's conquests in London is the married Mr. Manwaring.
Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism, humour, and social commentary, have long earned her acclaim among critics, scholars, and popular audiences alike.