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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Definitive Ranking of Jane Austen’s Novels | Guest Post & GIVEAWAY from Karen M. Cox!

You can catch Karen M. Cox's answers to any number of Austenish things in this year's Janeite Conversations, but one thing we didn't discuss this year — which Karen is going to try to settle, once and for all — is just which Austen novel is the best, which the worst, and which smack dab in the middle.Read through to see her rankings, and her justifications for it, and then enter to win one of her books by commenting with YOUR pick!

Austen in August: A Definitive Ranking of Jane Austen’s Novels

For your perusal, gentle readers—a guide to which of Miss Austen’s books is the best.

#1. Northanger Abbey
Why it’s number one: A delightful tongue-in-cheek story about a heroine we can all relate to. Catherine Morland is a naïve and overlooked bookworm who is a little on the dramatic side. Plus, the charming Mr. Tilney.

#1. Sense & Sensibility
Why it’s number one: A moving and in-depth look at the bond between sisters Elinor and Marianne, and happy-ever-afters all around, even for the dreadful Lucy Steele. Plus, the kind and stalwart Colonel Brandon.

#1. Pride & Prejudice
Why it’s number one: Home to the most delightful creature in English Literature—Elizabeth Bennet. Girls have wanted to emulate Lizzy B for over 200 years. Plus, the handsome and noble (and tall!) Mr. Darcy.

#1. Mansfield Park
Why it’s number one: A treatise on integrity—and why what appeals to us is not always good, and what is truly good is not always appealing at first glance. Plus, the caring but perhaps easily led Edmund Bertram (if you go for that sort of thing.)

#1. Emma
Why it’s number one: Best dialog EVER! Omniscient narrator on steroids. Hilarious Miss Bates. Snobby, but good intentioned heroine Emma Woodhouse gets her just desserts, yet still snags her HEA. Plus, the swoon-worthy Mr. Knightley.

#1. Persuasion
Why it’s number one: Mature, elegant writing, and a heroine who is easy to love and feel sympathy for—love Anne Eliot! Most romantic letter ever written—“you pierce my soul”…sigh. Plus, the passionate, debonair Captain Wentworth.

Okay so the title of this post was a little bit of click bait. The point is that Jane Austen’s novels are all fantastic. There isn’t a rotten apple in the bunch. But everyone has a favorite—so, what’s yours and why? Tell us in the comments below—this enters you for a chance to win an ebook of one of Karen’s titles: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, Undeceived, The Journey Home or, if you don’t mind waiting until next month’s release date, I Could Write a Book.


Tell us your favorite Austen novel, and why, in the comments to enter!
This giveaway is for the Karen M. Cox ebook of choice, and is INTERNATIONAL.
Must be 13 years or older, void where prohibited, and all that jazz.
DO NOT leave any personal info or email addresses in the comments; those comments will be deleted, and the entries invalidated. (Stay safe online, guys, jeez!)
Giveaway ends September 6th at 11:59 EST.
Good luck!!


About the Author
Karen M Cox is an award-wining author of novels accented with romance and history: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, and Undeceived. She also wrote “Northanger Revisited 2015”, which appeared in the anthology Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and “I, Darcy”, from The Darcy Monologues. Her upcoming novel, a quasi-modern variation of Emma, titled I Could Write a Book, will be released in September, 2017.
Originally from Everett, WA, Karen now lives in Central Kentucky with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter. Like Austen’s Emma, Karen has many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but like Elizabeth Bennet, she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker.
Connect with Karen:
Website: https://karenmcox.com
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/karenmcox
Visit with Karen on several of the usual social media haunts such as Facebook, (karenmcox1932), Twitter (@karenmcox1932), Pinterest (karenmc1932), Instagram (karenmcox1932), and Tumblr (karenmcox).

Click here to return to the Austen in August main page!


  1. Congratulations on your new book, Karen! My favorite novel from JA is Pride and Prejudice. I just love everything about the book and how Darcy and Elizabeth had to grow and overcome so much in order to deserve and love each other. Don't enter me on the giveaway. I already have a copy of the book. ;)

  2. My favorite Austen? I confess it is usually whichever masterpiece I have read most recently. I am fickle like that. But constant to Austen if you understand my meaning.

    Please do not enter me to win as I own all Karen M Cox's works and even enjoyed her advance read of her soon-to-be released "Emma" inspired "I Could Write a Book." DELICIOUS!

  3. while I admit to being a fan of Pride and Prejudice, I must say I also like the same kind of growth, development, and mutual understanding to be found in Emma and Persuasion. I appreciate Northanger Abbey as Austen's take on the Gothic novel, but I have never been able to get into Mansfield Park: clearly time for a re-read!

  4. I have to say that my favourite to read is Persuasion, followed by Northanger Abbey and P&P. However my favourite JAFF has to be those based on P&P.

  5. I do have a preference for Persuasion with Mansfield Park and then Northanger Abbey. But this is all degrees of fantastic since all of Austen's writing beats out many others for me.

    Great post, Karen. :)
    Please do not enter me in the giveaway as I own all her books.

  6. For me, #1 is Sense and Sensibility. The chapter when Willoughby showed up to explain why he dumped Marianne and Brandon was due any minute had me on the edge of my seat.

  7. Thanks for letting me stop by, Misty :) I always love Austen in August! And really enjoyed the "Love & Friendship" Twitter Chat last evening. As far as JA's novels go, I, personally, don't enjoy S&S and Mansfield Park as much as the rest, but I still like them a lot, and I love the others. I can never choose a favorite!

  8. love this post! Thank you. I agree that there is much to love in all of Austen's novels. My current favorite is Persuasion, because it is all about second chances and how it is never too late to find perfect happiness. Anne Elliot is one of my heroes.

  9. It's a tie between P&P and Persuasion. I love reading Elizabeth Bennet's witty banter with Mr Darcy and can sympathise with Anne Elliot's quiet suffering. Like Anne, I also feel ignored among my group of friends. And Captain Wentworth's romantic and passionate letter tugs at my heartstring.

  10. Enjoyable post. Each of her works is wonderful to read but I always go back to P&P as my favorite, followed closely by Persuasion. I like the strength in the D&E. They are both intelligent independent people who can admit when they have made an error and learn from it. When they find a flaw in their character they take the experience, learn from it and strengthen, change or improve their 'essentials'. But i must agree Wentwoth's letter is the most romantic letter ever written.

  11. Congratulations on your new book. I have a preference for first Pride and Prejudice as I love the push and pull of the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth their her obtuseness over Darcy's attraction to her and how both make mistakes and learn from them. persuasion would be my second favorite...that letter alone places the book at this spot, but old love never dies no matter how much we try to ignore it makes a wonderful tale.

  12. My favorite JA novel is Persuasion although it just narrowly beats P&P for the top spot. The theme of second chances really resonates with me and that's why Anne and Wentworth's relationship is the one I find myself most invested in.

  13. Ahahaha....yes, they ARE all #1. :D
    My favorite is Northanger Abbey, although only by a nose. I'm liking Mansfield Park more as I get older, and Emma less (although Knightley forever). And I still need to read Persuasion...

  14. I love this list...I am a Pride and Prejudice fan, myself!

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