Throwback Thursday [11]: Persuasion by Jane Austen

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Penguin Classics | 2011 Edition | Hardcover, 249 pages | Adult Fiction | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


captain_wentworth
Image is not mine.

I promised myself when I decided to post reviews of classic and quasi-classic literature that Jane Austen is one author that I would not touch. However, I thought that this book, being my more favoured of her work over Pride and Prejudice, at least warrants an attempt on my part.

It is a well-known fact that if you love romance novels, chances are, you’ve more than likely to have read at least one of her books. While Pride and Prejudice is a crowd favourite, Persuasion is mine. Admittedly, there was a time when I thought no one could ever be more dashing than Darcy. That is, until I met Captain Frederick Wentworth.

I was already a fan of Wentworth before I saw the BBC series. When I learned that Rupert Penry-Jones was playing his part, I didn’t dally and ordered the series from Amazon right away.

Forever, squandered.

Anne never did get over the heartbreak of her broken engagement to Frederick Wentworth when she was 19. Years later, Captain Frederick Wentworth, a decorated service man, is back in her life…sort of.

Anne’s family is in the cusp of financial ruin. With a vain father, and an equally narcissistic sister, she’s left with no choice but to save what’s left of her family’s legacy. News of the identity of their new tenant, however, brought nothing but a familiar heartache. He’s never forgiven Anne for breaking off their engagement, and now, it seems that he’s determined to hurt her by flaunting his affections towards another woman. Will he ever give Anne another chance? Or is it entirely too late for what was once their chance at forever?

Anne Eliott is no Lizzie Bennett.

If you’ve ever yielded to anyone’s prodding that have made quite an impact in your life for years, then you’ll speak Anne’s language. If you’ve ever sacrificed your heart’s wiles for the sake of your family, then Anne is more like your girl than Lizzie Bennett ever will be. Anne is worlds away from Lizzie, disposition wise. She’s very timid, and would not be too quick to offer her opinions on matters. More importantly though, she’s very selfless, while Lizzie Bennett would argue with you until you’re too tired to argue any longer. If she did not succumb to her mother’s dramatics for the sake of saving the family’s almost non-existent fortune, there was no chance in hell that she’d have heeded to family’s pressure to give up the man she loves. Anne Eliott did just that.

Darcy, he is not.

I can’t not talk about Capt. Wentworth. He’s a very contained fellow until the very end. He has the same mannerisms as Darcy, except unlike Darcy, he doesn’t look down on those beneath him. Mind you, Wentworth was not as rich or privileged because he didn’t have the same lineage as Darcy. In the end, Wentworth did to Anne what Darcy did to Lizzie: he gave her the world. So I suppose they’re similar in that way.

Persuasion has a more sombre tone than P & P. Though it didn’t lack for ridiculous caricatures of characters, it focuses more on the issue of what a person would be willing to do for those they love regardless of how seemingly unworthy they may be. You may be inclined to blame Anne for her unhappiness, but you can’t fault her for doing what she did.