We had a little countdown dedicated to our favourite books.
As for me, it's too hard to decide which book I love the least (which one I love the most I know though). But the order of these almost equally great books is a very hard decision to make.
Anyway, here are our results.
Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed for publication, but it's only the sixth in our list.
The novel follows seventeen-year-old Gothic novel aficionado Catherine Morland and family friends Mr. and Mrs. Allen as they visit Bath, England. Catherine is in Bath for the first time. There she meets her friends such as Isabella Thorpe, and goes to balls. Catherine finds herself pursued by Isabella's brother, the rather rough-mannered dandy John Thorpe, and by her real love interest, link
. She also becomes friends with Eleanor Tilney, Henry's younger sister. Henry captivates her with his view on novels and his knowledge of history and the world. General Tilney (Henry and Eleanor's father) invites Catherine to visit their estate, Northanger Abbey, which, from her reading of Ann Radcliffe's gothic novel The Mysteries of Udolpho, she expects to be dark, ancient and full of Gothic horrors and fantastical mystery.
The main character, Fanny Price, is a young girl from a relatively poor family, raised by her rich uncle and aunt, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram, at Mansfield Park. She grows up with her four cousins, Tom Bertram, Edmund Bertram, Maria Bertram and Julia, but is always treated as inferior to them; only Edmund shows his real kindness. He is also the most virtuous of the siblings: Maria and Julia are vain and spoiled, while Tom is an irresponsible gambler. Over time, Fanny's gratitude for Edmund's kindness secretly grows into romantic love.
Sense and Sensibility
The story revolves around Elinor and Marianne, two daughters of Mr. Dashwood by his second wife. They have a younger sister, Margaret, and an older half-brother named John. When their father dies, the family estate passes to John, and the Dashwood women are left in reduced circumstances. The novel follows the Dashwood sisters to their new home, a cottage on a distant relative's property, where they experience both romance and heartbreak. The contrast between the sisters' characters is eventually resolved as they each find love and lasting happiness. Through the events in the novel, Elinor and Marianne find a balance between sense (or pure logic) and sensibility (or pure emotion) in life and love.
More than seven years prior to the events in the novel, Anne Elliot falls in love with a handsome young naval officer named link
, who is intelligent and ambitious, but poor. Sir Walter, Anne's father and lord of the family estate of Kellynch, and her older sister Elizabeth are dissatisfied with her choice, maintaining that he is not distinguished enough for their family. Her older friend and mentor, Lady Russell, acting in place of Anne's deceased mother, persuades her to break off the match.
Now, aged 27 and still unmarried, Anne re-encounters her former fiancé when his sister and brother-in-law, the Crofts, take out a lease on Kellynch. Wentworth, now a captain, is wealthy from wartime victories in the Royal Navy and from prize-money for capturing enemy ships. However, he has not forgiven Anne for her rejection of him.
The self-interested machinations of Anne's father, her older sister Elizabeth, Elizabeth's friend Mrs. Clay, and William Elliot (Anne's cousin and her father's heir) constitute important subplots.
Although convinced that she herself will never marry, Emma Woodhouse, a precocious twenty-year-old resident of the village of Highbury, imagines herself to be naturally gifted in conjuring love matches. After self-declared success at matchmaking between her governess and Mr. Weston, a village widower, Emma takes it upon herself to find an eligible match for her new friend, Harriet Smith. Though Harriet’s parentage is unknown, Emma is convinced that Harriet deserves to be a gentleman’s wife and sets her friend’s sights on Mr. Elton, the village vicar. Meanwhile, Emma persuades Harriet to reject the proposal of Robert Martin, a well-to-do farmer for whom Harriet clearly has feelings.
Harriet becomes infatuated with Mr. Elton under Emma’s encouragement, but Emma’s plans go awry when Elton makes it clear that his affection is for Emma, not Harriet. Emma realizes that her obsession with making a match for Harriet has blinded her to the true nature of the situation. link
, Emma’s brother-in-law and treasured friend, watches Emma’s matchmaking efforts with a critical eye. He believes that Mr. Martin is a worthy young man whom Harriet would be lucky to marry. link
quarrel over Emma’s meddling, and, as usual, Mr. Knightley proves to be the wiser of the pair. Elton, spurned by Emma and offended by her insinuation that Harriet is his equal, leaves for the town of Bath and marries a young woman there almost immediately.
Pride and Prejudice
The novel revolves around the Bennet family. The link
and mother will be without a home and income once Mr. Bennet dies: The terms on which Mr. Bennet inherited Longbourn ("fee tail male," now abolished by statute in England) prohibit women from inheriting it, with the effect that instead one of Mr. Bennet's collateral relatives will inherit the estate. The mother worries about this predicament, and wishes to find husbands for them quickly. The father doesn't seem to be worried at all. link
, the heroine, has decided to only marry for love, even though she has no real ideas about how she will survive financially. She jokingly notes that link link
, being kind and beautiful, may be responsible for finding a wealthy husband, thus providing for the female members of the family. As the novel opens, Mr. Bingley, a wealthy young gentleman, rents a country estate near the Bennets called Netherfield. He arrives in town accompanied by his fashionable sisters and his good friend, link
. While Bingley is well-received in the community, Darcy begins his acquaintance with smug condescension and proud distaste for all the 'country' people. link
begin to grow close. Elizabeth's best friend Charlotte advises that Jane should show her affection to Bingley more openly and he may not know that she is indeed interested in him. Elizabeth disregards her friend's opinion, saying that Jane is shy and modest, and that if Bingley can't see how she feels, he is a fool. With that, she never even tells Jane what Charlotte advised. After Darcy's haughty rejection of her at a local dance she decides to match his coldness and pride with prejudiced dislike, expressed in continuing witty and sometimes sarcastic remarks.
In the spring, Elizabeth joins Charlotte and her cousin at his parish in Kent. The parish is adjacent to Rosings Park, the grand manor of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr Darcy's aunt, where Elizabeth and her hosts are frequently invited. Soon Lady Catherine is visited by Mr. Darcy and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. While she continues to tease Darcy, his admiration for her becomes more evident. She discovers from Fitzwilliam that Darcy prides himself in having separated Bingley from Jane. Soon after, link
and proposes to her. Insulted by his high-handed and insulting manner of proposing, Elizabeth refuses him. When he asks why she should refuse him, she confronts him with his sabotage of Bingley's relationship with Jane and Wickham's account of their dealings.
*Descriptions are taken from wikipedia, and also you can read articles with links to spots connected with all these novels (besides these one I added to this article). link