Friday, December 28, 2007

Persuasion, by Jane Austen

Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen book. Don't get me wrong, I love Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park and all the rest...her other books are probably better written, or more interesting to everyone else. The fact remains that Persuasion holds my greatest interest. There is really nothing more romantic than a couple of lovers separated by financial situation, friends and family who give bad advice, and eight or so years of miscommunication and awkwardness. There is something in the character of Anne Elliot that reminds me of Jane Austen as well-as though the author patterned the character and all the ridiculousness that surrounds poor Anne after herself. The intimate way that Austen describes the shame felt by an unmarried (and supposedly unpretty) woman in that day and age makes me like her even more; as though Austen recognizes the social stigma that she herself was given, but has enough courage to put those same feelings out for the world to judge.

Then again, maybe I'm a little biased, because in some way I feel intimately connected with Anne myself. My favorite quote from the book speaks the reason why. It is in chapter 19 when, speaking Anne's thoughts, the narrator says "One half of her should not be always so much wiser than the other half, or always suspecting the other of being worse than it was." What luck to find a friend who knows how I feel! Please read, and fall in love with Frederick and Anne like I did.


Susie said...

A new version of Persuasion is on PBS tomorrow night! I can't wait...

I first read Persuasion more than a year ago when Joey and Jane were both sick with the flu and I couldn't watch t.v. or leave the house for fear of them needing me or waking up...I loved it (not the flu, silly, the book!).

I have re-read it since then for fun and have watched two different versions of adaptations. Have you seen the old 70s BBC type version?! You'd think being a period piece the era in which it was filmed wouldn't make such a difference, but oh my, the polyester!!

Anne is certainly an interesting character. She's so endearing. I found her so different from all the other Austen heroines because of the way Anne would put herself in the background because she knew that's where society placed her.

~Bekahjo said...

Thanks, by the way, for telling me about the Masterpiece theater programing. I'm ridiculously excited about the next few weeks of movies. I saw the PBS version of Persuasion on Sunday (and taped it!). I wish they hadn't ended it with her literally running all over Bath, but I still thought it was good. I think the thing I admire most about Anne is how completely dependable she is. Even when she doesn't necessarily like what she is doing or who she is doing it for, she is always there when people need her. She is not needy at all, and yet she has very clearly defined weaknesses that make her so interesting.

I feel like we're having a book club meeting. We should read a book together =]

Love ya!

LogicGirl said...

Hi there,

Persuasion is also my favourite Jane Austen novel! I recently put up on my blog some of the quotes in the book that I particularly enjoy; inspired after reading the book again...god know how many times now :)

I didn't like the ending of the recent PBS adaption of Persuasion either. I find it interesting how there are others who feel exactly as I do, and I'd never have known it, but for the Internet.