Author: Jane Austen
Year Published: 1817
Genre: Classic Literature, Romance, Romantic,
Since completing university, I’ve realised I’ve abandoned classic literature in favour of some more generic or commercial novel. So to encourage or force myself to continue reading classic novels, plays and poetry, I’ve decided to take part in a meme known as “Flashback Friday”. On the last Friday of every month, I will upload a book review of an older or classic novel. This month’s choice is Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
Persuasion, is perhaps, one of Austen’s lesser known novels. Written whilst she was on her death bed, the story focuses on the out of bloom and often quiet character, Anne, who at 27 has been written off as unmarriageable material. Anne however, at the tender age of 19 had fallen in love with Frederick Wentworth, a young man of little wealth and small social standing. When he proposed however, Anne was persuaded by her good friend Lady Russel, to refuse him. Now, almost eight years later, Frederick Wentworth has returned and proudly wears the title “Captain” with an equally honourable wealth. Anne must now painfully endure being constantly in his seemingly cold company as he courts her one of her cousins.
With every word, we, as the reader feel every ounce of pain Anne feels as she re-encounters, every pounding heartbeat. The beauty of Austen’s writing is that she manages to convey every emotion her protagonist feels, purely through her skill as a writer. In the hands of any other, this novel could be considered boring or conventional. Yet Austen manages to keep her reader on a rollercoaster of emotion, emotions you would feel if you were reading perhaps a murder mystery or thriller. Yet this is no thriller. This is an emotional piece of art.
Persuasion has the disadvantage of being one of the least polished of Austen’s novels as she never had the chance to meticulously revise her writing as she had with her other novels such as Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice. Despite this, her distinctive wit and irony never fails to shine through her writing through secondary characters such as Sir Walter, Anne’s vain father or her attention-seeking younger sister, Mary, making this novel to be one of the most charming she ever wrote.
I urge everyone and anyone to read this beautiful, timeless novel. I assure you, you will not be disappointed!
The Bug’s Verdict: 10/1o!!