September 18, 2012

Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen (Also...Fun Stuff!)

Persuasion (Dover Thrift Editions)

About The Book:

Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
My Thoughts:

Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel.  I am a huge Janeite, but this particular story for some reason strikes a chord in me. Anne is such a wonderful character! I love that she is older and steady and knows what she wants out of life. Granted she does allow her family to ride roughshod over her at times (especially in the beginning), but even so she never loses sight of her confidence in herself. She's had eight years to regret her actions, and she has allowed that time to mature her. She does wish Captain Wentworth would forgive her and then renew his attentions, but when she thinks that won't be happening, she makes an effort to move on. She's not entirely successful in moving on mind you, but she does try. I appreciate that she quietly goes on living and making decisions for herself. She is not one for dramatics and shenanigans when things don't go her way. (This is one the bigger reasons why I like her so much!)  She uses the heartache of seeing Captain Wentworth again to really find her place in her family and finally show that she won't be walked over anymore. She seems like the kind of gal I could totally be friends with! I think we'd get along great. :)

The letter. The letter!! If you talk about Jane Austen and you mention The Letter, I think just about every good Janeite knows exactly what you're talking about. And if you've not read the book, and just look it up, well. You might enjoy it, but it takes the entire story to truly appreciate its loveliness. It's simply gush-worthy!

I could probably sit here and type for hours about why I love this book so much. But I'd just repeat myself endlessly, and you'd be bored out of your mind and never come back to my blog! So I won't do that. I will, however, very emphatically (and nicely) suggest that you try the book yourself. If you do read it for the first time, come back here and let me know what you think! (Even if you don't like it.)

I will leave you with a passage so you may appreciate Austen's prose:
"Well, Miss Elliot," (lowering his voice) "as I was saying, we shall never agree I suppose upon this point. No man and woman would, probably. But let me observe that all histories are against you, all stories, prose and verse......I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."

"Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please......Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. ...the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything......We each begin probably with a little bias towards our own sex, and upon that bias build every circumstance in favour of it..."


Fun Stuff:

First of all, I wanted to show this lovely cover of Persuasion:


Isn't it glorious? I have never seen this cover in real life, but I'd love to get a copy of this edition!


Second of all, I received a very, very splendiferously awesome scarf in the mail this past weekend! It looks like this:
Wrap Up With A Good Book Scarf: Persuasion by Jane Austen

It was made by the talented Tori. Visit her Etsy shop! The words on it are The Letter, from Persuasion. Doesn't it make you want one? She hand-makes each one of these, and they are simply fabulous. (At least mine is!) :) Now I can't wait for winter so I can actually use it!  She was great to purchase from, so go check out her shop.

Go forth, gentle beings, and have a fantabulous week of reading. Toodle-loo kangaroos!


  1. This was my first Austen read. P & P remains my favourite, but Persuasion is soo special to me. And I want that scarf!!!

    1. I'm w/ you P&P, then Persuasion. They're both so amazing. And I have to say the letter is probably the best Austen proclamation! Lovelovelove it!

    2. Oh my yes, Reading in the Dark! That letter is amazing. Definitely the best Austen proclamation! I never get tired of reading it. :D

  2. Giulia-There is something special about the first one, isn't there? I admit that Persuasion was my first also, and it's still my fave one. (As you can tell by all my gushing. I'm not sure if that could be considered an actual review or not.)

    Isn't the scarf awesome?! She has P & P also. The next time you get some birthday or Christmas money, I say go for it. :)

  3. Okay, first off, I might need to get that scarf for myself!
    It looks awesome.
    And maybe my sister won't try to steal it from me....
    I love Persuasion!
    I love how is a story about a second chance - I'm a sucker for those -and, like you said, that Anne is a bit more mature.

    Have you read Persuade Me by Juliet Archer?
    I did and I thought it was a pretty good modern re-telling.

  4. Alex-I'm so glad to 'meet' another Persuasion enthusiast! I'm a sucker for second chance stories myself.

    I have seen Persuade Me on Amazon, but haven't tried it yet. But I'll definitely have to do that now, since you recommend it.

    Thank you for stopping by! :)

  5. My favorite Austen as well! So nice to find someone else who prefers it to the pervasive P&P.

    1. LOL! Yes, P&P is incredibly pervasive isn't it? :P I'm glad to find another Persuasion lover myself!


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