A Definitive, Totally Objective, Ranking of Jane Austen’s Novels

Okay, well — not really. And Jane Austen’s novels defy ranking, anyway, but reading through all six published novels over the past few months does beg comparison, so please do allow my attempt. And please feel free to contest.

Without further ado, herewith is my personal ranking of all six published Jane Austen novels:

  1. Emma — cleverest of them all, and most perfectly exemplifies her genius in character portrait and nuances of human behavior, wit and humor, romance, writing prowess (her use of free indirect speech!), and language (If I loved you less! I might be able to talk about it more!!).

Anyways, and I think I speak for many in saying this — thank you, Miss Austen, for your wit, satire, subtle moral undertones, and keenly perceptive eye towards human nature. Having you around in my bag these last few months felt like having the best kind of friend from the 18th century around to make little human observations with. Half of me will always be made of hope — or else I’ll keep trying.

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