Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Since I will be going to Bath, I decided to reread Persuasion, Jane Austen’s last novel and the one staring her oldest heroine

At 27 years old, Anne Elliot is a confirmed spinster. Ignored by her vainpot father and older sister, she’s more or less given up to romance. But when her father has to rent out the family home, she finds that the new tenants have a connected to Captain Wentworth, the man she loved and rejected all those years ago.

And of course, Captain Wentworth reappears in her life. And soon after, her long lost cousin (and her father’s heir) also reappears, with his ways seemingly mended and with great interest in Anne too.

What I had forgotten about the book is that the first half doesn’t even take place in Bath! It takes places at Anne’s younger sister’s home in Uppercross and most of the groundwork drama happens here too. To be honest, Uppercross feels more ‘real’ than Bath.

My least favourite character in this book has to be Mrs. Russell. Anne’s family are all vapid and egocentric to a certain degree (her married sister being the most tolerable), but Mrs. Russell holds the ignoble decision of persuading Anne to break off her first engagement to Captain Wentworth. For all the praise Anne gives her for being a sensible woman, she seems almost as shallow-minded as Anne’s family, except her shallowness manifests differently.

As for Anne and Wentworth, I feel like their romance is the most unique out of all of Austen’s books. Unlike all other Austen heroines, Anne and Wentworth have a past and they know each other. The romance is more of cutting through eight years of distance and misunderstandings to show the constancy of love.

(Plus Anne is still older than me so I can look up to her.)

It’s always a pleasure to read Austen. I want to read Dickens and the time-travelling Shakespeare books first, but if I have the time before the trip, I’d like to read Northanger Abbey, the other Bath novel, as well.

2 comments :

  1. A lot of time is spent in Bath in Northanger Abbey, although not all of it. I read Persuasion so long ago, but I remember loving it. I hope you had a great time in your travels, Eustacia!

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    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to it!

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