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Twenty seven year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine Eight years before the story proper begins she is happily betrothed to a naval officer Frederick Wentworth but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long lasting regret When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall the Elliot estate All the tension of the novel revolves around one uestion Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?Jane Austen once compared her writing to painting on a little bit of ivory 2 inches suare Readers of Persuasion will discover that neither her skill for delicate ironic observations on social custom love and marriage nor her ability to apply a sharp focus lens to English manners and morals has deserted her in her final finished work


10 thoughts on “Persuasion

  1. says:

    One of the major sources of contention and strife in my marriage is the disagreement between my wife and me over what is the best Jane Austen novel yes we are both than a bit geekish in our love of words and literature our second biggest ongoing uarrel is about the merits of the serial comma For my money there are three of Austen's six finished novels that one can make a good argument for being her best Pride and Prejudice the popular choice and my wife's Emma the educated choice most lit profs go with this one Persuasion the truly refined choice Harrold Bloom in The Western Canon calls it perhaps a perfect novel and while I disagree with some of his interpretations of the characters yes blasphemy I know I wholeheartedly concur with his overal assessment While all of Austen's novels are generally comic Persuasion is the most nuanced It's been described as autumnal and that word suits it There's a bittersweetness to it that you just don't get in Austen's other work The novel it comes closest to in terms of character and plot is probably one of her earliest novels Sense and Sensibility Like Eleanor in that novel Anne is older and mature than the typical Austen heroine In fact she's dangerously close to being over the hill at the age of 27 Love has passed her by apparently But unlike Eleanor who one always feels will muddle through even if she ends up disappointed in affairs of the heart there's something dramatically at stake with Anne She is in great danger of ceasing to exist not physically but socially When we meet her she's barely there at all Although a woman of strong feelings she is ignored and literally overlooked by most of the other characters In the universe of Austen's novels the individual doesn't truly exist unless connected with the social world and while Anne has a stoic strength we understand that she is in some senses doomed if things don't change for her This is where we see what the mature Austen can do with a character type that she couldn't when she was younger This edition also has the original ending of the novel included as an appendix which gives us a rare and fascinating look in to Austen as a technical artist I read this novel as an undergraduate and have reread it several times since I even took the novel with me to Bath on a trip to England and spent a wonderful summer evening reading it while sitting in Sidney Gardens across the street from one of the homes Austen lived in during her time in Bath listening to Mozart's Piano Concerto #27 It's one of my favorite memories More than any other of her novels Persuasion shows how Austen dealt with profound existential uestions within the confines of her deceptively limited setting and cast of characters Those who think Austen is simply a highbrow precursor to contemporary romance novels or social comedies are missing the colossal depth of thought that is beneath the surface of any of her novels this one most of all Austen is nearly uniue in the history of the novel for the consistency of her excellence While most novelists have a clear masterpiece that stands out among their work and usually a fairly sizable number of works that are adeuate but not enduring all of Austen's novels stand up to repeated readings and deserve a wide audience among today's readers Having said that Persuasion is simply the best of the best


  2. says:

    I want to share something with you It's a long story and while it might initially seem irrelevant to this book I assure you there is a point to itAre you sitting comfortably? Then I shall beginDuring the summer of 2008 my bestie and I were preparing to go to university When it was time to move into our halls we had to hire read my dad did a rental van to take our stuff on account of my friend being entirely impractical and insisting on taking all of her shit So on the weekend of said move my friend's older brother agreed to meet us there and help get us settled inAfter a 5 hour drive it should've taken half that time but the sat nav lady was a bitch and fucked us over we arrived I got out of the van and spotted my friend's brother I halted momentarily in my haste to rush over and say hello when I caught sight of the man he was talking to Talking to my friend's brother was uite possibly the most beautiful man I had ever seen He was much taller than me lean muscled with hair that refused to behave and rebelled against product by continuously flopping right onto his forehead despite his many frustrated attempts to brush his hair back with his hand To complete this look he was wearing the sexiest pair of geek glasses you could ever wish to see I was an instantly smitten kittenWhen I finally reached them the beautiful stranger turned his face in my direction I'm pretty sure I had a mini orgasm when he did this because my beautiful stranger had the most ridiculous green eyes and a motherfucking chin dimple drooling may also have happened upon this discoveryWhile I was staring at my beautiful stranger my friend's brother decides to make introductionsHey Kat This is my friend James James this is What the fuck happened to you? James saidI stood there stunned for all of 05 seconds that this beautiful man would speak to me that way especially when he didn't know me Then I immediately went into full on self defence mode In the fairness of full disclosure I should say I did look a fright as I was suffering with severe sunburn after getting drunk and falling asleep in the sunshine don't try that at home kids My skin had blistered all along my left arm and was oozing pus and it really was gross But I had my pride and my pride took over and I said Hey Don't be rude For all you know I could have some deadly disease Well do you? Er no It's severe sunburn but that's not the point fucker and you know it He responded by dazzling me with the most irritatingly gorgeous smile as though my outburst was amusing My response was to gift him with my thousand yard stare which he didn't seem to appreciate I have no idea why By now an intense stare down had commenced between myself and James the man who was originally my beautiful stranger I did a little victory jig when he looked away first and then went about the business of moving in all the while internally warring with myself about how I could find such a fucking fucker so attractiveThat was the first time I met JamesWe saw each other intermittently during the following year we attended different universities Always verbally sparring Outwardly I acted as though he was a pain in the arse Inwardly I secretly loved those moments we sharedFor our second year at university my friend and I left the halls and moved into a house with 2 other people Without realising it at the time this was going to be the beginning of things changing between James and I It was in my new dwellings I discovered Call of Duty One of my flatmates had a PlayStation and introduced me to the wonder that is COD I spent many hours playing this Honing my skills Knowing that one day it would be useful And I was rightSomehow James found out about my new favourite thing and we began playing against each other online It was here my COD mad skillz were made knownThey were made known by my uncanny ability to kill James with a head shot nearly every single time Weirdly this kept making him mad which amused me no end In order for him to complain at the injustice of it all we began to speak on the phone This was the start of us becoming best friendsThe following three years were spent playing COD regularly seeing each other when possible but still speaking every day I learned all his secrets and he learned mineIn 2012 when I graduated university I moved back to London It was always my intention to do it but I had the added motivation of that's where James was And for the first time in the four years we'd known each other I was finally going to get to be in the same city as a man who'd come to be my best friendFor the most part I was in heaven with this But I was internally warring with myself again when the realisation struck me that my feelings were beginning to change Not willing to risk our friendship I said nothing Not for once believing that this amazing man could ever feel the same about meEvery time he went out on dates with other women I swear a little bit of me died I tried going on dates myself but they were always unmitigated disasters due to the fact my heart had already made up its mind and decided it wanted James December 2012 Two weeks before Christmas and I was sick with flu For the first time in four days I managed to leave my bed but made it no further than my sofa James had declared himself my chief nurse during this time Staying with me taking care of me and knowing how much it mattered to me making sure my cats were also taken care of When he wasn't reading to me we were bingeing on box sets of The Wire During an early episode of the the third series I started feeling a sense of foreboding that something bad was going to happen to my beloved Stringer Bell I'd barely been able to speak for days but I managed to say rather croakily If David Simon kills off Stringer I promise you I will take up ninja fighting fly to Balti and use my new found ninja skills on him before threatening to do the same to his family members if he ever kills off my most favourite character Omar or Brother Mouzone James started chuckling which I wasn't happy about because I was deadly serious I continued watching The Wire all the while muttering to myself my revenge plans when James said with a smile in his voice You're terrible I still continued my watching but stopped my muttering to say jokingly I know I am but you still love me And then in a voice I'd never ever heard him use before Yeah I do There was something in that tone that caused me to drag my eyes away from the tv And when I did that's when I saw he wasn't jokingBecause that look on his face That fucking look It said everything I responded in the only way I knew how With a very loud despite my sore throat WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK??I was rewarded with the most beautiful smile and I knew we were going to be just fineI later learned his initial reaction to me was that of shock at seeing me in the flesh that day as he had no clue I would be there Apparently a few months before he had seen a picture of me and told me that looking at it made him feel funny things The good kindThat's the story of how James and I came to beOkay so I bet you're wondering what that has to do with anything Let me tell you I've always thought Persuasion was Jane Austen's most romantic novel A large part of that is to do with this letter that Captain Wentworth writes to Anne I can listen no longer in silence I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach You pierce my soul I am half agony half hope Tell me not that I am too late that such precious feelings are gone for ever I offer myself to you again with a heart even your own than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman that his love has an earlier death I have loved none but you Unjust I may have been weak and resentful I have been but never inconstant You alone have brought me to Bath For you alone I think and plan Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days could I have read your feelings as I think you must have penetrated mine I can hardly write I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me You sink your voice but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others Too good too excellent creature You do us justice indeed You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men Believe it to be most fervent most undeviating inF WI must go uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither or follow your party as soon as possible A word a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never And this line after Anne reads it Such a letter was not soon to be recovered from This letter was such a simple gesture It cost nothing Yet Anne could be in no doubt about anythingMuch like that look James gave me that day And to this day that look is the greatest thing he has ever given me and bar any future children always will beSo now I hope you understand why I told you this storyPersuasion is my favourite romance my favourite second chance romance and my favourite Austen


  3. says:

    Jane Austen never disappoints me This was the first time I've read this book and since it's one of her less popular novels I didn't know what to expect However I uickly was swept up into the story and felt all of Anne's emotions like they were my own I really enjoyed how unlike the other Austen novels I've read this one focuses on love lost and how over time people change in some ways but remain the same in other ways Anne and Captain Wentworth aren't my favorite Austen characters but I still very much enjoyed how they were forced to face many obstacles reflect and mature before getting their happily ever after My only complaint is that I wish we got to know about Captain Wentworth so I could feel the love for him as strongly as Anne does


  4. says:

    Jane Austen is ruthless and brilliant; she is sarcastic subtle and superbly witty She writes in such a matter of fact way that the absurdity of her characters is in plain sight Sir Walter Elliot is a complete fool Austen doesn’t need to tell her reader this she shows it to them The man is completely bankrupt but he completely refuses to cut down on his ridiculously high expenditure or sell of any of his lands He is so obsessed with his outer image that he risks all to keep it in a state of what he perceives as perfection Then there is the way he perceives his daughters Elizabeth is vain and stupid like her farther but to him she is wonderful She adheres to the strict code of womanlydaughterly custom; she is also a self absorbed flatterer; thus her pig headed farther loves her dearly The protagonist Anne on the other hand is intelligent kind and occasionally speaks her mind; thus her father and sister view her as furniture She is “only Anne” There is no affection for the younger sister because she isn’t so fixated upon her outer image She is pushed aside and rarely listened to At the start of the novel this is so much so that it doesn’t even feel like she is present The initially uiet heroine is overshadowed by her overbearing farther and the ridiculous nature of society And now with Austen at my back I’m going to slate Sir Walter to death Let’s start with the opening of the book Just look at the mastery of the tone “SIR WALTER ELLIOT of Kellynch hall in Somerset shire was a man who for his own amusement never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt As he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century—and there if every other leaf were powerless he could read his own history with an interest which never failed—this was the page at which the favourite volume always opened “ELLIOT OF KELLYNCH HALL” This symbolises is high self regard along with his obsession with his personal status; it is all that is important to him it is all he wants to read about As a result he spends hours reading and editing the entries and turns to it when in need of comfort Traditionally the book that would be taken in an individual’s time of need would be the Bible This demonstrates that to Sir Walter his status is the most important aspect of his life; it’s all he truly cares about There is also a degree of significance in the fact that all the edits Sir Walter makes are past instances there are no new entries to signify the recent decrease in monetary fortune The book and him both belong in the past; he is constantly looking back at his family’s foundations but doing very little prior to Lady Russel’s intervention to actually improve their current situation This is both comic and contemptible because when his estate is falling into ruin he only cares about its outward appearance making him a caricature of the old class; it suggests that they perhaps need to go or at the very least changeThis is where the new attractive navel gentlemen come in The idea of what constituted gentlemen was becoming flexible during the Romantic era and nineteenth century Previously the higher societies predominantly consisted of those who received their status at birth the landed gentry The idea of what makes a gentleman was moving forward with the changing opportunities afforded by the Napoleonic wars The war meant that men from common birth like Admiral Croft and Captains Wentworth and Benwick could climb the social ladder due to fortune and title granted by successful soldering They’d earnt the money that was associated with a higher place within society They could enter it with a degree of euality Captain WentworthSo worthy men have an increase in fortune; they’ve earnt their rank But Sir Walter as caricature of the old class opposes this notion vehemently This can be seen with you guessed it is obsession with outer appearance This time it’s with his physical beauty He artificially attempts to cling to his youth which can be seen when he converses with Anne later in the novel He has a surprisingly large amount of knowledge about skin treatments that defy age His self absorbency with his physical appearance is symbolic of his perceived appearance within society To him a gentleman is supposed to possess certain outward ualities He finds the idea of Admiral Croft disturbing common and ungentlemanly He remarks that he has only two objections to sailors “First as being the means of bringing persons of obscure birth into undue distinction and raising men to honours which their fathers and grandfathers never dreamt of; and secondly as it cut’s up a man’s youth and vigour most horribly; a sailor grows old sooner than any other man; I have observed it all my life”According to him this can lead to one becoming an object of disgust such as Admiral Baldwin who is “all lines and wrinkles” and “rough and rugged to the last degree” Sir Walter is practically disgusted at this “wretched life” of a sea fairer Never mind the fact that he has spent his life in service to his and Sir Walter’s country which contrasts with how Sir Walter has spent his whole life in service to himself Yet his position in society is higher and esteemed The navy is deserves his respect; they helped to facilitate an England that remained under English rule and not one under the thumb of Napoleon BonaparteThe disapproval of Sir Walter is suggestive of Austen’s approval She is arguing for the benefits of a system like the navy; it promotes its members based upon merit and due distinction This is in direct contrast to the old system that Sir Walter reveres There is a certain degree of irony in the fact that Admiral Croft can afford to live in Sir Walter’s home when Sir Walter cannot It is a symbolic demotion one that leaves the self made man living in deserved splendour This is where Austen uses free indirect style to suggest that the narrator’s opinions are similar to our protagonist’s She has a choice between the old breed of gentry a man resembling her father’s class or a young romantic naval officer who represents the benefits of an increase in social mobility It’s obvious which one she chooses Anne is not a fool She was persuaded once but she now sees with clarity and focus She can see the worth of the two men and knows which one is worth her time William Elliot The young shadow of Sir Walter From analysing the representation of the contrasting gentlemen it becomes apparent that Austen gives social mobility positive connotations Sir Walter Elliot remains in a position of higher social rank but his so called social inferiors are afforded with gentlemen like ualities ones that he so clearly lacks They are admitted to high social circles despite their birth They possess honour sense and purpose than the old class of gentlemen that Sir Walter represents Therefore when a man such a Sir Walter one who is vein and self obsessed is resistant to the idea of social mobility it becomes rather difficult not to be persuaded by the benefits of its progress that Austen evokesI love Jane Austen’s novels Admittedly I’ve only read two but I can already see the brilliance of the author Her novels are so subtly clever with hidden suggestions I really admire what she does I’m sticking with my rule from here on out though I attest that each Austen novel needs to be read at least twice perhaps even thrice to get the full effect of what she does I missed so much of it on my initial reading It’s uite surprising but sometimes you need to have seen the entire picture before you can judge each individual part There’s just so much to take from this I’ve only focused on one angle in my review though there is so much going on I’ve actually cut this down a little because it was starting to get far too long for a review This is an English student’s dream I need to go and read Austen novels Why can’t I have an entire module on her Facebook| Twitter| Insta| Academia


  5. says:

    ‘you pierce my soul i am half agony half hope i have loved none but you’ get yourself a man who understands the swoon worthiness of a well written love letter amirite ladiesss??this is my first jane austen novel and the reading experience was exactly how i imagined it would be as with the majority of classic novels i have read i found the writing to be sooo dense maybe my brain just isnt euipped to process that kind of writing but this definitely took me much longer to read than im used to i also found it uite heavy in the narration so much telling and not enough showing through dialogue and action but i get that was the style of writing for the time period so its not JAs fault i do appreciate the commentary this story provides not only on love but on womens position in society duty to family and the handling of regret i found anne to be very likeable and a character worth rooting for overall not a bad experience and i am definitely open to trying of JAs other novels ↠ 35 stars


  6. says:

    933 From 1001 Persuasion Jane AustenPersuasion is the last novel fully completed by Jane Austen It was published at the end of 1817 six months after her death The story concerns Anne Elliot a young Englishwoman of 27 years whose family is moving to lower their expenses and get out of debt They rent their home to an Admiral and his wife The wife’s brother Navy Captain Frederick Wentworth had been engaged to Anne in 1806 and now they meet again both single and unattached after no contact in than seven years This sets the scene for many humorous encounters as well as a second well considered chance at love and marriage for Anne in her second bloomعنوانها «وسوسه»، «اغوا»؛ «ترغیب»؛ اثر جین اوستین آستن؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و دوم ماه آوریل سال 1989میلادیعنوان یک وسوسه، اثر جین اوستین آستن؛ برگردان شهریار ضرغام، تهران، انتشارت اکباتان، 1368؛ چاپ دیگر سمیر، 1390؛ 312ص؛ موضوع داستان‌های نویسندگان بریتانیایی سده 19معنوان دوم اغوا، همراه با سرگذشتی از جین آستین، نویسنده جین آستن؛ مترجم سارا برمخشاد؛ تهران، ابر سفید مهتاب‏‫، 1391، در 310ص، شابک 9786009254514؛عنوان سوم ترغیب؛ اثر جین آستن؛ مترجم رضا رضایی؛ تهران، نشر نی‏‫‬، 1388، در ‏308ص، شابک 9789641850250؛ چاپ دوم 1388؛ چاپ سوم 1389؛ چاپ ششم 1392؛داستان در باره ی «آن الیوت»، یک زن بیست و هفت ساله ی انگلیسی ست، که خانواده اش به خاطر بدهی، تصمیم به نقل مکان، به جای ارزانتری دارند در همین زمان، جنگ نیز پایان میابد؛ آنها خانه ی خود را، به یک فرد از خانواده ادمیرال، و همسرش اجاره میدهند برادر خانم صاحبخانه تازه ی ایشان، کاپیتان نیروی دریایی «فردریک ونت وورث» است، که در سال 1806میلادی، با «آن» نامزد بوده، و حالا آنها باز هم با هم دیدار میکنند؛ هر دو مجرد هستند، و در طول هشت سال بگذشته نیز، هیچگونه رابطه ی دیگری نداشته اند؛ و ؛تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 31061399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی


  7. says:

    45 stars and 10 million stars for The Letter I must go uncertain of my fate” I adore Jane Austen and I love the plot of Persuasion Two people who loved each other deeply and parted badly meeting again after eight years apart Everything seems to combine to prevent Anne and Captain Wentworth from ever being able to come to an understanding again his bitter feelings her faded looks mostly through unhappiness; she's only 28 or 29 and other younger girls vying for his attention which he's only too happy to give them Austen's intelligence dry wit and humor are evidenced on every page The melancholy autumnal feel of the first part of the book when all you can see is Anne's blighted hopes and how she is disregarded and mistreated by almost everyone around her is wrenching Then like springtime comes the slow gradual return of joy and hope to Anne's life I loved the energy and achievements of the military characters as opposed to the stagnant superficial aristocracy And mostly That Letter sighI do have a few beefs The actual writing here doesn't seem as nuanced and deep as some of Austen's other works The characters tend to be a little bit one dimensional Anne Elliot is so unfailingly noble and kind and self sacrificing; her family members are so invariably shallow and hard hearted and self centered I got uite tired of Anne's nerves or whatever getting overwrought and her needing to retire to meditate in solitude to recover her self possession; it happened All The Time Anyone who thinks Fanny in Mansfield Park is a bit of a stick in the mud needs to take a closer look at Anne And the last line of the book is still vaguely anticlimactic to me; I keep thinking Jane might have come up with a better ending if she'd had time to polish the bookStill there's so much to love in Persuasion and the good far outweighs the bad for me And I'm a romantic and a hopeful person at heart so the persistence of love through the years and the ability of the characters with a little luck to work through injured pride on the one side and unsupportive family and friends on the other and find lasting happiness together warms my heart


  8. says:

    55 starsI’ve got a new favorite Jane Austen book baby My first time adding a book to my all time favorites list in eight MONTHSYes this one usurps Pride Prejudice I can hardly believe it PP remains in my mind the greatest love story ever told or okay at least the greatest one I’ve ever read But this one has so much than a killer romance and a wonderful set of sisters I still love you Bennet ladiesWhile I adore PP “funny” isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind Persuasion had me cracking UP 19th century elouence has never been hilarious Also Austen can feel wordy at times but this little number rarely had that problem I pretty much flew through it whenever I had the pleasure of picking it upThis is a mini update just realized I never even mentioned the characters in this review Lol On the character front Anne pretty much rocks She's a stone cold intellectual sweetheart and she's goals Wentworth is also a total sweetheart if a little boringflat he will not replace Darcy in my heart It's usually really goddamn hard to tell Austen characters apart I feel like 99% of them will have the same first name and there will only be like 3 last names but pretty much everyone in this had a distinct personality and even manner of speaking so distinguishing who was who was a lot easier Also the characters in this tend to be so flippin' funny it's insaneTo everyone who told me this is the best Austen book you’re so right I respect you so much and I’m sorry I laughed at you in my head for thinking this could be better than Pride Prejudice Everyone who recommended this to me or loves it or loves AustenBottom line this book rocks and you should totally read it Soon preferably There’s nothing like some Austen when it’s cold outsidefind a longer version of this review a review of sense sensibility up NOW at


  9. says:

    Are second chances possible ? Readers of this marvelous book by Jane Austen her last completed will find outAnne Elliot 19 tense and insecure had broken an engagement to Frederick Wentworth 23 the family objected to the poor sailor with no apparent prospects her father Sir Walter Elliot baronet a proud man with a luxury loving streak his late wife had kept him in check living in Kellynch Hall Somersetshire the widower was greatly supported by his eldest daughter selfish Elizabeth now 29 the two are very much alike handsome arrogant cold looking down at people they think are beneath them she is the prettiest of his three children the youngest Mary freuently claiming illness to get attention would marry easy going Charles Musgrove scolding him for his perceived neglect and be unable to control the children Even Anne's only friend intelligent influential Lady Russell had not looked kindly to the marriage Eight years have passed the then teenager is now 27 much sure of herself and her emotions Anne is nevertheless always ignored by others regrets turning down Wentworth who has become a captain with his own ship war spoils have made him rich when peace is finally declared Napoleon in exile he is free to come homeExtravagant Sir Walter just can't stop himself from spending all his money a position to maintain in society dignity demands living like the superior being he thinks he is the baronet believes and is entitled to this But going broke fast Lady Russell and his lawyer friend Mr Sheperd urges something to fix the problem swiftly or ruined soon Mr Elliot; the haughty man refuses at first however reality finally sets in Sir Walter has to rent Kellynch Hall uietly to pay the creditors the shame must be hidden though Moving to the elegant resort town of Bath with Elizabeth the most famous in England seeing important members of the upper class his style and enjoys it immensely Admiral Croft Captain Wentworth's wise brother in law his pleasant sister Sophia as bright as her husband married the now retired naval officer courageously following him from ship to ship takes ironically Sir Walter's the insolvent baronet fabulous mansion with war's end there are a lot of unemployed sailors around The meetings between Anne she stayed behind for a few months and Frederick are uite uncomfortable you can imagine but with their families and friends so entangled it can not be avoided The former couple are nervous what can they talk about at dinners and parties traveling to visit a friend living by the riveting sea their eyes pretending not to notice each other which is silly both are tongue tied and embarrassed speak very little between themselves afraid to make the the first move but in a room full of noisy interesting people many are admirers of Frederick and Anne still only the two are important to the duo Will the Captain and Anne forget the painful past and be persuaded to resume their love can the future bring happiness that has been denied the pair for too many years Wasted by unperceptive family and friends who never knew their real feelings ? This brilliant novel asks that uestion and the answer while not a surprise makes for a splendid reading experience


  10. says:

    While ploughing through Lucy Ellmann's Ducks Newburyport recently the freuent references to Jane Austen's Persuasion prompted me to take this neat book down from its place on a high shelf alongside its five sisters and keep it within view as a kind of incentive to finish Ellmann's 1000 page tome As it turned out I didn't need an incentive to finish Ducks because it self propelled in the second half but even so I still offered myself the pleasure of re reading Persuasion once I'd finished it There's nothing I like better than when one book leads naturally to another without me having to scratch my head and wonder what might make a good follow on to what I've been immersed in The narrator of Ducks is well versed in all of Jane Austen's novels She ponders on the dilemma of Marianne and Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility when confronted with an issue between her temperamental daughter and a good for nothing boyfriend She mentions Emma Woodhouse a few times and several characters from Pride and Prejudice too—indeed Mrs Bennett's famous line You have no compassion for my poor nerves becomes a kind of unspoken mantra in Ellmann's book But the Austen character who is most often referenced is Anne Elliot the main character of Persuasion Ellmann's narrator identifies strongly with Anne They both spent their childhoods in beautiful houses which their families no longer have access to They are both very attached to the memory of their mothers whom they lost in their early teens and the loss of the mother continues to influence their lives in different ways Of course the two books are very different in other respects Ellmann's being a wide ranging commentary on world issues of today including vast numbers of references to film literature and poetry while Austen's is a very contained account of a little slice of English life in the early 1800s with very few literary references The two such references I found are brief and easily glossed over—if I noticed them in previous reads I moved on from them just as uickly But I'm a different reader now and I love to find hints of other works in the literature I read The first reference I spotted was to 18th century poet Mathew Prior's Henry and Emma which tells of a test of loyalty which a lover imposes on his loved one Emma must overcome a series of challenges in order to prove her constancy to Henry Austen inserts the reference to Prior's poem just when Anne Elliot is being asked by the man she has loved for years to nurse back to health the girl he now seems to be in love with so the story of Henry setting trials for Emma seems very apt indeed And as we read on through Anne Elliot's story we see the parallel and as Anne's constancy is further tested The second literary reference I came across is less significant to the plot and connected to Austen's people watching skills which is the aspect of her writing I admire the most How perceptive of people's foibles she must have been to be able to transfer to the page brief character sketches which manage to contain a host of subtle information especially relating to the ludicrous traits of the personalities of her characters In her other novels there are portraits of ridiculous figures aplenty Mrs Bennet Mr Collins Miss Bates Mr Woodhouse and several others I could mention but surely none are so comically outrageous as super conceited Sir Walter Eliot and his eually puffed up daughters Elizabeth and Mary The very modest Anne is sorely tried as if she needed the extra challenge in having them for family However there is one occasion when Anne makes an effort to put herself forward in the pushy manner of her family but she is immediately self aware enough to laugh at herself for the attempt She could not do so without comparing herself with Miss Larolles the inimitable Miss Larolles As there is no character called Miss Larolles in this book and Jane Austen doesn't elaborate further I guessed the inimitable Miss Larolles must be a literary figure who would be familiar to Austen's readers And so she is as I found when I looked her up She is a very ridiculous character from Fanny Burney's Cecilia which was written about thirty five years before Austen wrote Persuasion As I've never read anything by Fanny Burney I decided there and then to begin Cecilia as soon as I finished Persuasion which I did all too uicklyBurney's is a long book uite as long as Ducks Newburyport but I'm happily reading it at the moment finding other parallels with Austen's books and relieved once again that one book has led me directly to another