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.

  • Simple cover. I like it 😀 But yeah. I am never reading any books by this author, lol (A) Just not for me :p And this doesn’t sound like something for me at all. Hmph. But it do seem interesting 😀 And I’m so glad you loved it, Joy. <3 Thank you for sharing about it 🙂

    • Classic Literature is tricky. First, the language tend to be daunting to some, and I find that I read them slower. So don’t worry about, C. 🙂

  • You know how people have guilty pleasures? I have guilty displeasures. I’m really not a fan of classics, even though I should be xD

    – Love, Felicia
    ( http://asillygirlsthoughts.weebly.com/ )

    • No worries! Classic Literature is very daunting. I’m not the type to go out of my way to read them, but I feel it’s like going to gym: your mind will love you for it, but doing it actually costs you immeasurable pain. Lol!

  • Oh how I love this story! And I especially love the edition that you have up here – such a gorgeous book. The classics somehow become that much lovelier when they’re wearing the right outfit! My friend once brought me this beautiful copy of P&P from India – it was thick, brown, and rustic looking with a golden ribbon-bookmark. Anyway, great post!

    • Thanks so much! And thank you for following the blog. 🙂

    • Also, OMG. I want to see a picture of that edition! Jealous.

  • I have the exact same copy of this one and absolutely love the Penguin clothbound classics. There’s something so stunningly romantic about Austen and your review just proves how desperately I need to read this one. Brilliant review Joy <3

    • Thank you! I am always on the look out for these copies, but Jane Austen’s in this edition is hard to come by. I hope you’ll enjoy Persuasion. <3

  • I must admit that I wasn’t a huge classics fan in high school, so now I need to catch up on all the ones that continuously garner the love of readers. I’ve only read one Austen novel…and of course it is P&P. That book truly opened my eyes to the beautiful world of Austen’s characters so it’ll always have a place in my heart. I want to collect all the Austen books in those beautiful cloth HBs as well, so hopefully I get around to read the rest of her books soon!

    • Jane Austen’s books are always fun to collect! I hope you’ll be able to read more of the classics in the future. That’s always been my goal. 🙂

  • Persuasion is the only Jane Austen book I haven’t read. My favourite Jane Austen is Mansfield Park. I’ve always heard that Persuasion is quite boring. But, after your review, I think I really need to read it. Thanks for another great review Joy! :]

    • Oh absolutely not! You should read this one, definitely. I adore the romance here, and the tension!

  • Christy

    It’s been YEARS since I’ve read any Jane, that it’s hard for me to remember details. I’ve read retellings, but that’s not the same. I kind of want to read P&P and Persuasion again though.

    • I haven’t found a good retelling yet. Any suggestions?

  • One day I’ll really have to try to read one of her books… I have one at home and now that I have my e-reader, I have some on it as well. I’m really curious because I’ve only tried the movies in the end.

    • I hope you’ll give them a chance when you have the time, Melliane. 🙂 I find that Jane Austen’s writing is not as daunting as other authors from that period.

  • I’ve never read Pride & Prejudice or Persuasion but I’ve watched a couple of versions of both, several times each! I love the story of Persuasion! I did enjoy the Persuasion you mentioned in this post, but I think I like the version with Ciarian Hinds and Amanda Root a little better. Did you know I walked some of the filming locations in England for that version? A lot was filmed in Bath which was very historic and gorgeous! I relived the story. *sigh* Wonderful review, Joy and I like the look of your copy. Some day I’ll read a Jane Austen. 🙂

    • gasps! oh my, you lucky, lucky girl! So jealous. 🙂 I saw that version as well, but I thought Ciarian was a bit of a rock. Lol.

      Thanks, Rachel!

  • I haven’t read both books, only seen the movies, LOL. I agree with your comparisons and to add on to that, I think P&P appeals more to the YA/NA set while Persuasion is better appreciated by the more mature set. I think younger people respond to Liz & Darcy’s banter, they see it as foreplay. While Anne & Wentworth’s love story is less ideal but very realistic and somewhat filled with challenges.

    • I couldn’t have said it any better, Braine! 🙂

  • I actually bought a book recently that had all of Austen’s novels in one, your review has reminded me that I really need to get to it soon, having only read three of Austen’s novels in my life (I know what is wrong with me??). But I think that I would really appreciate Persuasion and its more sombre tone! Wonderful review once again Joy! I can’t wait to dig my copy out!

    • I can only imagine how massive that copy is! My least favourite is Emma, to be honest. Can’t wait to find out which one will be your fave!

  • I think that I would do p and p for my first if I get around to it

    • That’s a prerequisite, Brandi. I hope you’ll enjoy. 🙂

  • I have to say that Jane Austen is not one of my favorites. That being said, I do enjoy P&P more than Persuasion.

    • She’s probably the only author I can stand to read from that era. She made it easy for me to understand the language of the times. 🙂

  • I have to admit, P&P is my favorite Jane Austen, but Persuasion is second in line. I definitely think Persuasion rivals P&P for the most romantic Austen book. (“You pierce my soul!”) In fact, I’m not sure which one would come out on top. On another note, a big part of the draw of Persuasion for me, is that it was written later in Austen’s life after she’d been through many disappointments and trials. I think a lot of her regret and hope lies inside the character of Anne.

    I’ve been thinking for a while of writing a review of an Austen book, and you’ve furthered inspired me. Also, aren’t those Penguin clothbound editions to. die. for. I own the P&P one, but I may have to get myself Persuasion.

    • I can’t find a copy of Pride and Prejudice in this edition! Ack. And I know it’s a huge undertaking, but it’s just one of those things where we have to suck it up and be a grown woman. 🙂

  • Persuasion is probably my favorite Austen book. I loved Anne and the relationship with Wentworth. I’m always on the look-out for Persuasion retellings and I have not been disappointed yet. I love second chance romances as you can probably tell.
    Lovely review, Joy. You make me want to pick up own copy, but unfortunately it’s home!

    • I haven’t read a good retelling, unfortunately. :/ Mind you, I don’t know too many of them.

  • Yay! This is my second (but a close second) favorite Austen book. I love Wentworth as well. I think this would be a favorite is Anne had been just a bit more headstrong like Lizzie.

    • It’s refreshing though, isn’t it? To have two characters so different from one another? 🙂

  • I still prefer P and P, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma to Persuasion. But I like Persuasion better than Mansfield Park!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • Emma is the least favourite of mine. Northanger Abbey is a bit too Jane-like (Brontë). Mansfield Park just has way too many characters for me lol.

      Thanks, Jen!

  • Finally! A throw back Thursday title worthy of revisiting. Or reading for the first time from my perspective because admittedly, Jane Austen’s writing still remains a mystery to me. How is that possible you ask? Well, I went to French school, so we never studied any of the English classics, and left to my own devices, I just never got around to it.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    • This one I had to review from memory. I read it years and years ago. But yes, sometimes, the formal language takes a bit of getting used to. 🙂