Persuasion, by Jane Austen

Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Jane Austen: Book CoverFinished 1-6-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 1818

He had not forgiven Anne Elliot.  She had used him ill; deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shown a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure.  She had given him up to oblige others.  It had been the effect of overpersuasion.  It had been weakness and timidity.

Chapter 7

Anne is a woman not appreciated by her family and past the prime age of marrying.  Her ‘bloom’ has worn off and she must come to terms that Captain Wentworth’s proposal of marriage eight years earlier had been her best chance at happiness.  But eight years ago he did not have rank or connections and Anne was too much influenced by Lady Russell, a woman like a mother to her and the only one to see her worth.  When Captain Wentworth comes back into her world she realizes that he is still angry, or maybe even worse, indifferent.

This is my third Austen novel and I like it less than Pride & Prejudice, but more than Sense & Sensibility.  Anne and Wentworth are mature characters with past mistakes to shape them individually and as a couple.  If they had married when he first asked they may have been happy, but the hurt and time apart gave their eventual coming together a depth they might not have had otherwise.  And Wentworth does write the best love letters (see below). 

At first I was inclined to not respect Anne so much, after all she turned down Wentworth’s proposal because people influenced her to believe that he was not good enough, instead of marrying him because she was in love with him.  But, she redeemed herself in my eyes and that may be why I found her such a great heroine.  And Wentworth, as the self-made man, was a perfect hero.  I thought that the end of this book was much more satisfying than the other two I’ve read.  Wentworth and Anne said the things that needed to be said and it was very romantic. 

This book was from my personal library and I want to thank Calico Critic, Melody, Nise’, Allesandra, Angie, and Sarah E for choosing it for me 🙂  Here’s what they said when they voted

“Captain Wentworth writes the best love letters.” (Allesandra)

“Can’t go wrong with Jane Austen.  Should be on any reader’s TBR list.” (Calico Critic)

“Not only are they classics but they’re good too!” (Nise’)

“Because I love Jane Austen and I always find it interesting to ‘see’ her through other people’s eyes.” (Angie)

“Anything Jane Austen is a must.” (Sarah E)

19 thoughts on “Persuasion, by Jane Austen

  1. bermudaonion says:

    I feel so under read in the Classics. It always takes me a little while to get into the rhythm of the words, but once I do, I’m swept away, so I really should read more.

    That’s true, especially with the Austen books I’ve read so far. I get caught up in the story and want to read faster, but I can’t or I’d be lost 🙂

  2. Jenners says:

    Believe it or not, I’m attempting my first Jane Austen book this year. I’m going with P&P.

    It’s probably the best place to start. It’s good and the most well known. Then you get to watch all of the movies and pick your favorite Mr. Darcy.

  3. Bumbles says:

    The description of her reasons for refusing his proposal reminds me very much of Anna Karenina between Kitty & Levin. And it sounds as if the characters here found their way back to each other as in Anna K. too. Must have been a trend in the 1800’s. Glad that wasn’t my time! Speaking of Tolstoy – when are we reading W&P? Did you get my e-mail a little while ago?

    I don’t remember it. Let me go check.

  4. jennygirl says:

    I am so glad you liked this book. I don’t think this one receives quite as much recognition as it should.
    PBS will be re-running the movie of this quite soon, like within the next few weeks. It is an excellent movie, try and catch it.

  5. hamlettethedame says:

    This is my favorite Austen, and I’m re-reading it right now. Such a delight!

    One of the reasons I admire Anne is that she did something very, very hard — she turned down a proposal of marriage from the man she loved because she was being obedient to those in authority over her. That’s so much harder than throwing off your family and marrying for love, I think.

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