Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book 39: Swoon-Worthy.

If you haven't had a chance to read Persuasion yet, please don't read this post because I will most likely ruin the best part of the book for you, but I must write about it.

Now that you have been significantly warned...

There is something so beautiful about a well-written love letter. It makes the romantic in me yearn for my own love letter and the passion those letters can hold.

Austen uses letters in a few of her novels to help form that relationship between the dashing man and the heroine. The letters serve as a way of romancing in a society that would frown upon our version of dating.

I used to love the letter Darcy wrote to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. I thought nothing could beat the passion he had for her in those words.

Well, that letter is nothing compared to the love letter that comes near the end of Persuasion. Like I said in an earlier post, this novel is different. It does not focus on the beginnings of love and the infatuation that may occur. Instead, it focuses on a love that has struggled. Anne and Wentworth are not together and are struggling to see if they are meant to be together. So when this letter comes, it is the solution the reader was waiting for...

"Dearest 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 forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more 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 unconstant. 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 in. I must go uncertain of my fate but I shall return to 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."

Is that not the most beautiful, meaningful love letter you have ever read? I am simply swooning over here, but I have a little farther to go to finish off the novel and I cannot wait to write about everything else I love about it.


  1. I always keep telling anyone who'd listen that this is the best love letter ever written in literature :) So simply passionate, so emotional and so very beautiful. Thanks so much for posting this here!

  2. Mr. Darcy's letter to Elizabeth has always been my favorite, but Wentworth's letter to Anne is so mature and heartfelt, that it melts my own. I think I need to reread Persuasion to appreciate this letter even more. I hope you enjoy the end of this novel.

  3. Sigh. My heart is fluttering. Some of Austen's men sure did know how to win a woman's heart, didn't they?

  4. I see you've found the part I refered to in your earlier post: Ever since I read this letter, I felt it was the most perfect love-letter I've read. Like you, I always thought it would be the Darcy-Elizabeth letter, but after reading this I changed my mind.

  5. I like how you jump right to that awesome love letter. How perfect that it comes right at the end of the story!