Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book 39: A Different Kind of Heroine.

I think I am beginning to understand why so many Austen lovers consider Persuasion to be their favorite. Although, I personally cannot see how anyone can pick a favorite Austen since each one is wonderful in its own delightful kind of way.

But Persuasion seems to be something completely separate. Maybe it is because Austen wrote it shortly before her death and after she found a niche with her other novels, but Persuasion seems to hold a more mature voice. It does not seem as complicated, or as focused on young love as the other Austen novels do. Instead, the novel begins after the great love story, with the focus on Anne Elliot.

Seven years before the novel begins, Anne fell in love with a navy man, Frederick Wentworth. Instead of allowing herself to be swept off her feet, she was persuaded by a wise friend to reject Frederick (who was poor). When he re-enters the picture shortly after the beginning of the novel, we realize that we have missed much of the beginning part of the romance.

That is certainly different than some other Austen novels. We don't get to see Anne fall in love and he with her. Instead, it has already happened and we see the consequences of the actions she took seven years prior.

It seems to be a more realistic form of love story. Things do not always work out, even in Austen-land, and Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth are a great example of the complications of love.

While I haven't finished it yet, I am assuming that Anne and Fred get things together and realize they are meant to marry, but I could be wrong (don't think I am though!).

But I am sure that on the way to that beautiful ending, Austen will deliver the complex and inspiring story she always does.

I always wonder, if Austen hadn't died so young, what other great things would she have written? Although, I guess you could say that about every deceased author, but I really think we missed out on a great deal by her premature end. I imagine that she would have written many more beautiful and awe inspiring novels that we would cherish as much as her present tomes.


  1. I would probably like this one better if I didn't think Wentworth was a big b*stard. :D

  2. I think that it is the most mature of her novels - but I really love Emma the best...

    Happy reading


  3. You are right , one cannot choose a fav among Austen's books but this one remains a loved one. I think the letter Wentworth writes Anne is the best love letter ever to be written in the history of literature :)

  4. What an awesome update.

    I really must read this one.

    I'm ashamed to admit I've never read an Austen.
    I love the films but have yet to really sit down and commit to a story.

    Did you hear about Book Rat's Jane in June? (forgive me if I've mentioned it to you already)

  5. I love Persuasion precisely for the reason that it was a beautifully written, mature love story which was as passionate as it was well-written.

  6. I always get the feeling that although P&P is still my favorite, as of my next re-read Persuasion will overtake it. I completely agree with you about the different, mature tone - it is also a mature love.

    Have you had the chance to read any of the unfinished novels (The Watsons, Sandition)? It's clear that her writing was changing and heading into a much more realistic style.

  7. I've read all of Austen and love each of the books for very different reasons, but I can't help it, Persuasion is my favorite. There's something wonderful about the fact that it isn't about the early stages of infatuation. The characters are older, more mature and they've had a chance to think about what they really want in life. Where as some of the other books almost seem like they fall in love, because that's the person that's closet to them at that moment. And a love that can survive that many years of separation is impressive. Enjoy the rest!

  8. I haven't read it, but I'm looking forward doing it!

  9. I just love Persuasion. I must read it again!!

  10. Persuasion is my favourite Austen, exactly because of the reasons you mentioned and because of something you still have to come across. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it.