Book Review: Persuasion

Happy Monday!

Last night I indulged myself in the 1995 version of Persuasion… I had never seen this one before, and I must say that I enjoyed it immensely! It was positively lovely, and more accurate than the 2007 version, to be sure. It most definitely has my recommendation to you all. It did, however, put me in a “Persuasion” mood, so today’s post will be my review of the book. I apologize in advance for the poor writing… When I wrote this several months ago, I struggled with it and I still can’t figure out why! I did pique it a bit today, so I hope it is satisfactory. I suppose I found difficult to simplify Persuasion, due to the bustle of its plot. Please understand that in saying that, I am in no way demeaning Jane’s beautiful story. I wouldn’t- I couldn’t- do that. 🙂

Without further ado:

Persuasion, by Jane Austen tells the story of Anne Elliot after her family is forced to give up their home in the English countryside. Who would become a guest of the new tenants but her former lover, Captain Wentworth? Persuasion portrays Anne’s struggles as she deals with seeing Wentworth again following an eight year separation, becoming reacquainted with him in the midst of society, and finally, rekindling the flame of love that once burned between them.

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Flashing back eight years, we picture a young, beautiful Anne Elliot entering an engagement with a young man, Frederick Wentworth. Unfortunately, Anne was persuaded by her family and a dear friend, in spite of her own feelings, to break off the engagement because he lacked fortune, thus breaking Wentworth’s heart. The result was eight years of separation. This separation, however, was soon to come to an end. The Elliots were to move to Bath and remove from the home they had always known, due to financial strain. Rather than go to Bath at once, Anne was to stay for a time with her younger sister, who had settled near their former home. The new inhabitants of Kellynch Hall were to be Admiral and Mrs. Croft; none other than the sister and brother-in-law of the now Captain Frederick Wentworth, a wealthy and eligible bachelor. The dilemma, you see, was that Anne and Frederick could avoid each other no longer, for he was to come at once as a guest of his relatives. He instantly became a favorite in the neighborhood, bringing them together sooner than expected. As you can imagine, seeing, for the first time in years, the face of someone you once loved, brought a surge of memories that could not be restrained upon both. Therefore, they spoke to each other as little as possible throughout the first several gatherings, leaving their acquaintances to wonder why.

As the weeks continued on, Miss Elliot gradually became more accustomed to the sight of Captain Wentworth’s face. In the beginning conversation was rare, but the occasional “How do you do?” was passed between them, and they treated each other with graceful civility. As time progressed, words and gestures, one to the other, became more comfortable, and although they were not entirely at ease they were at least seemingly indifferent. They could not be considered friends, and yet they were far from hostile. Both secretly sought to make out the character of the other and compare it to that of the past, however, in the midst of eves-dropping peers is not the most convenient of places to re-acquaint yourself with an old friend…. Much less an old lover. Still, they watched and listened eagerly, and familiarized themselves with each other once more.

After our Miss Elliot removed to Bath to be with her father and sister, she was instantly swept into the social chaos of life there, but it held no joy for her. Her thoughts were far from evening parties and morning visits, but constantly strayed to the memories of a certain Captain. While walking down the streets of Bath one afternoon, accompanied by two ladies and a gentlemen, something caught her eye. While one part of her was skeptical, another had no doubt; she had seen Captain Wentworth. This surprise appearance changed her situation drastically, for now she must again often be in his company. Whatever the circumstances, they had been brought together, and neither could deny it any longer. Their love had never faltered; their hearts had never wavered. Even a separation of 8 years could not break the chord that bound one heart to the other. A single letter slipped into her reach by the man she adored brought all to the surface. The separation was over; the agony was ended, and they would never part again.

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Through these struggles, Anne Elliot not only discovers who she was meant to be with, but also, who she was capable of being. Eight years before, she allowed the opinions of other to affect her to such an extent that she was convinced to do something she would constantly regret: give up the man that she loved. Family and friends insisted that it was the right choice, and though her heart told her otherwise, she allowed them to persuade her, believing that it had been her only option. In the words of Jane Austen herself, “How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!” Fortunately, Anne was given a second chance, and fate worked in her favor. She was blessed with happiness, as well as a new-found confidence.”

Did you find my review helpful and/or accurate? Please let me know by commenting. Thanks bunches! 🙂

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