10 Best Jane Austen Novels | TheReviewGeek Recommends

You’ve probably read or watched a film adaptation of at least one of Jane Austen’s classic novels. Whether it was Pride and Prejudice, Emma, or Sense and Sensibility, Austen’s witty social commentaries and insights into human relationships have resonated with generations.

The early 19th-century author is renowned for her clever and comedic writing style. Though her books focus on the landed gentry and gentlefolk of early 1800s England, her shrewd observations of human behaviour and satirical take on issues like class, love, and marriage are still relevant today.

In celebration of Austen’s enduring stories and masterful storytelling, here are 10 of the best stories from the queen of English literature herself. Full of drama, humour, romance, and biting social criticism, these tales showcase Austen’s inimitable style and timeless themes. So fix yourself a cup of tea, settle into your favourite reading nook, and enjoy these literary gems from a pioneer of the modern novel.

Best Jane Austen Novels
Pride and Prejudice

This classic novel is Austen at her finest. Originally titled First Impressions, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of the five Bennet sisters and their search for love in 19th-century England.

When the wealthy Mr. Bingley moves into a nearby mansion, Mrs. Bennet sees an opportunity to marry off one of her daughters. Bingley takes a liking to the eldest daughter Jane, while the second-eldest, Elizabeth, forms a prejudice against the arrogant Mr. Darcy. The novel intricately talks about the nature of true happiness and the importance of being considerate. 

Best Jane Austen Novels
Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility is a witty comedy of manners that follows the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, as they navigate love and heartbreak.

When their father passes away, the sensible Elinor and romantic Marianne are left with their mother and younger sister Margaret. Due to inheritance laws, their home goes to their father’s son from his first marriage, John Dashwood. The kindly John promises to help them financially, but his greedy wife Fanny convinces him not to give them much.

Best Jane Austen Novels
Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen’s most controversial novels. Published in 1814, it tells the story of Fanny Price, a poor young girl who is sent by her family to live with her wealthy uncle and aunt. At first, Fanny struggles to find her place in the unfamiliar world of Mansfield Park. However, she eventually blossoms into a principled and perceptive woman.

The novel’s controversial nature stems from its heroine. Unlike the witty Elizabeth Bennet or the passionate Marianne Dashwood, Fanny Price is a shy, reticent character. She is often overlooked and undervalued by those around her, yet she maintains a strong moral compass and insight into people’s true natures. Fanny’s quiet virtue and judgment are revealed from her reactions to the flirtatious and adulterous behaviour of other characters like Mary and Henry Crawford.

Best Jane Austen Novels
Northanger Abbey

One of Austen’s most delightful stories is Northanger Abbey. Published posthumously in 1817, it tells the story of Catherine Morland, a young girl with an overactive imagination who loves gothic romances. When Catherine is invited to stay with family friends in Bath, she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor. Catherine forms an attachment to the clever and amusing Henry.

Catherine is invited to visit the Tilneys at their family estate, Northanger Abbey. Her imagination runs wild, fueled by the gothic romances she loves to read, and she conjures up sinister possibilities about the abbey and its potential secrets. Of course, the abbey holds no dark secrets and Catherine’s suspicions prove unfounded. She learns some hard lessons about letting her imagination get the better of her.

Best Jane Austen Novels

Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot, who broke off her engagement with Captain Frederick Wentworth eight years earlier after being persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that the match was unsuitable.

Anne now lives with her vain father Sir Walter, and her two sisters. The Elliots rent out their estate Kellynch Hall to Admiral Croft and his wife, who is the sister of none other than Captain Wentworth. When Wentworth returns home, Anne finds her feelings for him reignited, but she is unsure if he still cares for her after she rejected him years ago.

Best Jane Austen Novels
Lady Susan

Lady Susan is one of Jane Austen’s earliest works, though it wasn’t published until after her death. This epistolary novella tells the story of the charming yet manipulative Lady Susan Vernon with her letters to her friends and family.

As the story opens, Lady Susan has recently been widowed. Rather than mourning, she sees it as an opportunity to find a wealthy new husband for herself and a rich suitor for her daughter Frederica. Lady Susan is portrayed as a flirtatious and scheming woman who uses her beauty and wit to manipulate those around her for her own gain.

Love and Friendship

Jane Austen is regarded as one of the greatest English novelists, especially known for her witty and ironic portrayals of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. One of her most celebrated works is the epistolary novel Love and Friendship.

Love and Friendship follows the correspondence of two teenage girls in 1790s England, Laura and Isabel, as they gossip, debate philosophy, and hunt for suitable husbands. The story hilariously satirizes the era’s marriage market and the pretentiousness of the upper class.

Best Jane Austen Novels
The Watsons: An Unfinished Novel

Jane Austen’s unfinished novel The Watsons provides an intriguing glimpse into what might have been. Though Austen abandoned the work in 1805 after her father died and she moved away from the neighbourhood that inspired the story, the surviving fragments demonstrate her signature wit and social commentary.

The story follows Emma Watson, a young woman who has been raised by a wealthy aunt but must return to her struggling family when her aunt remarries. Emma finds herself navigating the challenges of her new social sphere, including her sisters’ scheming to find her a husband to provide financial security.

Best Jane Austen Novels

Jane Austen’s final unfinished novel, Sanditon, gives readers a glimpse into what might have been. Set in a seaside village, the story follows Charlotte Heywood as she visits the up-and-coming resort town of Sanditon. While there, she encounters many quirky characters, including the Parker siblings.

With the Parker brothers’ enthusiastic endeavours to promote Sanditon, Austen pokes fun at speculators in the booming spa town industry. The younger and more idealistic Tom Parker dreams of turning Sanditon into a fashionable coastal resort, hoping to attract visitors with the town’s supposedly health-giving sea air and waters.

Best Jane Austen Novels


Emma is a beautiful comedy of manners that discusses complex relationships between families. Published in 1815, the book revolves around Emma, a carefree, happy girl in her early 20s. She takes pride in her matchmaking skill even though that isn’t flawless. Though intelligent, Emma often gets in trouble due to her inability to think the matter through. 

The book pieces together a very relevant commentary using fragments of themes of social factors, love, expectations, and imagination. 


There we have it, our list 0f 10 best Jane Austen novels. What do you think about our picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below:

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