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 Jane Austen Once Compared Her Writing To Painting On A Little Bit Of Ivory, Inches Square Readers Of Persuasion Will Discover That Neither Her Skill For Delicate, Ironic Observations On Social Custom, Love, And Marriage Nor Her Ability To Apply A Sharp Focus Lens To English Manners And Morals Has Deserted Her In Her Final Finished Work 4.5 stars and 10 million stars for The Letter I must go, uncertain of my fate I adore Jane Austen, and I love the plot of Persuasion Two people who loved each other deeply and parted badly, meeting again after eight years apart Everything seems to combine to prevent Anne and Captain Wentworth from ever being able to come to an understanding again his bitter feelings, her faded looks mostly through unhappiness she s only 28 or 29 , and other, younger girls vying for his attention, which he s only too happy to give them Austen s intelligence, dry wit and humor are evidenced on every page The melancholy, autumnal feel of the first part of the book, when all you can see is Anne s blighted hopes and how she is disregarded and mistreated by almost everyone around her, is wrenching Then, like springtime, comes the slow, gradual return of joy and hope to Anne s life I loved the energy and achievements of the military characters, as opposed to the stagnant, superficial aristocracy And mostly That Letter sigh I do have a few beefs The actual writing here doesn t seem as nuanced and deep as some of Austen s other works The characters tend to be a little bit one dimensional Anne Elliot is so unfailingly noble and kind and self sacrificing her family members are so invariably shallow and hard hearted and self centered I got quite tired of Anne s nerves or whatever getting overwrought and her needing to retire to meditate in solitude to recover her self possession it happened All The Time Anyone who thinks Fanny in Mansfield Park is a bit of a stick in the mud needs to take a closer look at Anne And the last line of the book is still vaguely anticlimactic to me I keep thinking Jane might have come up with a better ending if she d had time to polish the book.Still, there s so much to love in Persuasion, and the good far outweighs the bad for me And I m a romantic and a hopeful person at heart, so the persistence of love through the years, and the ability of the characters with a little luck to work through injured pride on the one side, and unsupportive family and friends on the other, and find lasting happiness together, warms my heart. Jane Austen never disappoints me This was the first time I ve read this book, and, since it s one of her less popular novels, I didn t know what to expect However, I quickly was swept up into the story and felt all of Anne s emotions like they were my own I really enjoyed how, unlike the other Austen novels I ve read, this one focuses on love lost and how, over time, people change in some ways but remain the same in other ways Anne and Captain Wentworth aren t my favorite Austen characters, but I still very much enjoyed how they were forced to face many obstacles, reflect, and mature before getting their happily ever after My only complaint is that I wish we got to know about Captain Wentworth, so I could feel the love for him as strongly as Anne does. Jane Austen is ruthless and brilliant she is sarcastic, subtle and superbly witty She writes in such a matter of fact way that the absurdity of her characters is in plain sight Sir Walter Elliot is a complete fool Austen doesn t need to tell her reader this, she shows it to them The man is completely bankrupt, but he completely refuses to cut down on his ridiculously high expenditure or sell of any of his lands He is so obsessed with his outer image that he risks all to keep it in a state of, what he perceives as, perfection Then there is the way he perceives his daughters Elizabeth is vain and stupid like her farther, but, to him, she is wonderful She adheres to the strict code of womanly daughterly custom she is also a self absorbed flatterer thus, her pig headed farther loves her dearly The protagonist Anne, on the other hand, is intelligent, kind and occasionally speaks her mind thus, her father and sister view her as furniture She is only Anne There is no affection for the younger sister because she isn t so fixated upon her outer image She is pushed aside and rarely listened to At the start of the novel, this is so much so, that it doesn t even feel like she is present The initially quiet heroine is overshadowed by her overbearing farther and the ridiculous nature of society And now, with Austen at my back, I m going to slate Sir Walter to death Let s start with the opening of the book Just look at the mastery of the toneSIR WALTER ELLIOT, of Kellynch hall, in Somerset shire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt As he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed this was the page at which the favourite volume always opened ELLIOT OF KELLYNCH HALL This symbolises is high self regard along with his obsession with his personal status it is all that is important to him it is all he wants to read about As a result, he spends hours reading and editing the entries, and turns to it when in need of comfort Traditionally, the book that would be taken in an individual s time of need would be the Bible This demonstrates that to Sir Walter, his status is the most important aspect of his life it s all he truly cares about There is also a degree of significance in the fact that all the edits Sir Walter makes are past instances, there are no new entries to signify the recent decrease in monetary fortune The book, and him, both belong in the past he is constantly looking back at his family s foundations, but doing very little, prior to Lady Russel s intervention, to actually improve their current situation This is both comic and contemptible because when his estate is falling into ruin, he only cares about its outward appearance making him a caricature of the old class it, suggests that they, perhaps, need to go or at the very least change.This is where the new, attractive, navel gentlemen come in The idea of what constituted gentlemen was becoming flexible during the Romantic era and nineteenth century Previously, the higher societies predominantly consisted of those who received their status at birth the landed gentry The idea of what makes a gentleman was moving forward with the changing opportunities afforded by the Napoleonic wars The war meant that men from common birth like Admiral Croft and Captains Wentworth and Benwick, could climb the social ladder due to fortune and title granted by successful soldering They d earnt the money that was associated with a higher place within society They could enter it with a degree of equality Captain WentworthSo, worthy men have an increase in fortune they ve earnt their rank But Sir Walter, as caricature of the old class, opposes this notion vehemently This can be seen with, you guessed it, is obsession with outer appearance This time it s with his physical beauty He artificially attempts to cling to his youth, which can be seen when he converses with Anne later in the novel He has a surprisingly large amount of knowledge about skin treatments that defy age His self absorbency with his physical appearance is symbolic of his perceived appearance within society To him, a gentleman is supposed to possess certain outward qualities He finds the idea of Admiral Croft disturbing, common and ungentlemanly He remarks that he has only two objections to sailorsFirst, as being the means of bringing persons of obscure birth into undue distinction, and raising men to honours which their fathers and grandfathers never dreamt of and secondly, as it cut s up a man s youth and vigour most horribly a sailor grows old sooner than any other man I have observed it all my life According to him, this can lead to one becoming an object of disgust such as Admiral Baldwin who is all lines and wrinkles and rough and rugged to the last degree Sir Walter is practically disgusted at this wretched life of a sea fairer Never mind the fact that he has spent his life in service to his, and Sir Walter s, country, which contrasts with how Sir Walter has spent his whole life in service to himself Yet, his position in society is higher and esteemed The navy is deserves his respect they helped to facilitate an England that remained under English rule and not one under the thumb of Napoleon Bonaparte.The disapproval of Sir Walter is suggestive of Austen s approval She is arguing for the benefits of a system like the navy it promotes its members based upon merit and due distinction This is in direct contrast to the old system that Sir Walter reveres There is a certain degree of irony in the fact that Admiral Croft can afford to live in Sir Walter s home when Sir Walter cannot It is a symbolic demotion, one that leaves the self made man living in deserved splendour This is where Austen uses free indirect style to suggest that the narrator s opinions are similar to our protagonist s She has a choice between the old breed of gentry, a man resembling her father s class, or a young romantic naval officer who represents the benefits of an increase in social mobility It s obvious which one she chooses Anne is not a fool She was persuaded once, but she now sees with clarity and focus She can see the worth of the two men and knows which one is worth her time William Elliot The young shadow of Sir Walter From analysing the representation of the contrasting gentlemen, it becomes apparent that Austen gives social mobility positive connotations Sir Walter Elliot remains in a position of higher social rank, but his so called social inferiors are afforded with gentlemen like qualities, ones that he so clearly lacks They are admitted to high social circles despite their birth They possess honour, sense and purpose than the old class of gentlemen that Sir Walter represents Therefore, when a man such a Sir Walter, one who is vein and self obsessed, is resistant to the idea of social mobility, it becomes rather difficult not to be persuaded by the benefits of its progress that Austen evokes.I love Jane Austen s novels Admittedly, I ve only read two, but I can already see the brilliance of the author Her novels are so subtly clever with hidden suggestions I really admire what she does I m sticking with my rule from here on out though I attest that each Austen novel needs to be read at least twice, perhaps even thrice, to get the full effect of what she does I missed so much of it on my initial reading It s quite surprising, but sometimes you need to have seen the entire picture before you can judge each individual part There s just so much to take from this I ve only focused on one angle in my review, though there is so much going on I ve actually cut this down a little because it was starting to get far too long for a review This is an English student s dream I need to go and read Austen novels Why can t I have an entire module on her 5 5 starsI ve got a new favorite Jane Austen book, baby My first time adding a book to my all time favorites list in eight MONTHS Yes, this one usurps Pride Prejudice I can hardly believe it PP remains in my mind the greatest love story ever told or, okay, at least the greatest one I ve ever read But this one has so much than a killer romance and a wonderful set of sisters I still love you, Bennet ladies While I adore PP, funny isn t the first adjective that comes to mind Persuasion had me cracking UP 19th century eloquence has never been hilarious Also, Austen can feel wordy at times, but this little number rarely had that problem I pretty much flew through it whenever I had the pleasure of picking it up This is a mini update just realized I never even mentioned the characters in this review Lol On the character front Anne pretty much rocks She s a stone cold intellectual sweetheart and she s goals Wentworth is also a total sweetheart if a little boring flat he will not replace Darcy in my heart It s usually really goddamn hard to tell Austen characters apart I feel like 99% of them will have the same first name and there will only be like 3 last names but pretty much everyone in this had a distinct personality and even manner of speaking, so distinguishing who was who was a lot easier Also, the characters in this tend to be so flippin funny it s insane.To everyone who told me this is the best Austen book you re so right I respect you so much, and I m sorry I laughed at you in my head for thinking this could be better than Pride Prejudice Everyone who recommended this to me, or loves it, or loves Austen Bottom line this book rocks and you should totally read it Soon, preferably There s nothing like some Austen when it s cold outside.find a longer version of this review a review of sense sensibility up NOW at 4.5 starsI was nervous that the hype surrounding Jane Austen would make this book seem subpar to me I m not a huge reader of classics a fact i m working on rectifying so when I wasn t very much enjoying the first two chapters, I got nervous But as soon as I pushed through to the heart of the storyline, I began to crave in class discussions over this book I absolutely loved Anne as a main character, and Captain Wentworth was such a fitting companion for her that I was hooked, dying to find out how their lives played out This book made me feel a lot of things especially the feeling that comes with crying at 4 AM about fictional men and I m thoroughly surprised that such an old book still remains touching and relatable I just wish that Austen implemented dialogue in her writing, which is why I took off half a star I feel like sometimes the book was bogged down with too many paragraphs of thought and not enough spoken word But regardless, I am definitely intending on picking up Pride Prejudice soon to see if it grabs me just as much as this one Are second chances possible Readers of this marvelous book by Jane Austen her last completed, will find outAnne Elliot 19, tense and insecure, had broken an engagement to Frederick Wentworth 23, the family objected to the poor sailor with no apparent prospects, her father Sir Walter Elliot, baronet, a proud man with a luxury loving streak, his late wife, had kept him in check living in Kellynch Hall, Somersetshire, the widower was greatly supported by his eldest daughter, selfish Elizabeth now 29, the two are very much alike, handsome, arrogant, cold, looking down at people they think are beneath them, she is the prettiest of his three children, the youngest Mary frequently claiming illness to get attention, would marry easy going Charles Musgrove, scolding him for his perceived neglect, and be unable to control the children Even Anne s only friend, intelligent, influential, Lady Russell had not looked kindly to the marriage Eight years have passed, the then teenager is now 27, much sure of herself and her emotions Anne is, nevertheless always ignored by others, regrets turning down Wentworth who has become a captain with his own ship, war spoils have made him rich, when peace is finally declared, Napoleon in exile he is free to come homeExtravagant Sir Walter just can t stop himself from spending all his money, a position to maintain in society, dignity demands living like the superior being he thinks he is, the baronet believes and is entitled to this But going broke fast, Lady Russell and his lawyer friend Mr Sheperd, urges something , to fix the problem swiftly or ruined soon, Mr Elliot the haughty man refuses at first, however reality finally sets in Sir Walter has to rent Kellynch Hall quietly to pay the creditors, the shame must be hidden though Moving to the elegant resort town of Bath with Elizabeth, the most famous in England, seeing important members of the upper class, his style and enjoys it immensely Admiral Croft, Captain Wentworth s wise brother in law, his pleasant sister Sophia as bright as her husband, married the now retired naval officer, courageously following him from ship to ship, takes ironically Sir Walter s, the insolvent baronet fabulous mansion , with war s end there are a lot of unemployed sailors around The meetings between Anne, she stayed behind, for a few months and Frederick, are quite uncomfortable you can imagine but with their families and friends so entangled, it can not be avoided The former couple are nervous, what can they talk about at dinners and parties, traveling to visit a friend, living by the riveting sea, their eyes pretending not to notice each other, which is silly, both are tongue tied and embarrassed, speak very little between themselves, afraid to make the the first move, but in a room full of noisy, interesting people, many are admirers of Frederick and Anne, still only the two, are important to the duo Will the Captain and Anne, forget the painful past, and be persuaded to resume their love, can the future bring happiness that has been denied the pair for too many years Wasted by unperceptive family and friends, who never knew their real feelings This brilliant novel, asks that question, and the answer while not a surprise, makes for a splendid reading experience Dear Miss Austen,Ummm Anne Elliot is past her youth and bloom Heh She is MY AGE Scratch that she is younger than me Basically, get off my lawn, kids I mean it..In all seriousness, this is the first Jane Austen book that does not feature a pretty and charming teenager looking for a perfect match in a cultured and rich gentleman Instead, her protagonist Anne Elliot is well into the respectable age of seven and twenty, equipped with composure and maturity that only age can bringHey, maybe advanced age is not so bad, after all But I happily maintain that mentally I m still eleven Oh, and as I said, get off my lawn Anne finds herself in a quite uncomfortable situation Years ago, she was engaged to a dashing young sailor whom she subsequently rejected on the well meaning but ultimately flawed advice of a trusted friend Now that sailor, having transformed into a respectable and well to do, and still dashing Captain Wentworth, reenters Anne s circle of acquaintances, clearly still resenting Anne, and appears to be actively looking for a younger prettier future spouse All that while Anne, ruined by agejust kidding, she is still quite pretty, as it turns outrealizes she still harbors her old affection for him but needsof courseto maintain all the necessary societal proprieties.On top of all of that, Anne has the most rotten family Her father is a pathetic handsome gentleman unhealthily obsessed with his own good looksI mean, the man has a bedroom full of mirrors Puh leaseHer younger sister will claw your eyes out if she were to think you d eclipse her as a center of attention even for a minutethis is a woman who feels slighted if her dying son gets attention than she does , and will spend hours sending little verbal put downs in Anne s direction while shamelessly using her help for anything imaginable And yet, this pathetic creature is still not so repulsive and unsisterly as Elizabeth , the older sister To be claimed as a good, though in an improper style, is at least better than being rejected as no good at all. And all of Anne s family members seem to compete with each other in how to best put down Anne the treatment that she easily sees but tolerates without complaining and in good spirits Oh, and they have to downsize because all the vain and shallow family members are quite rotten at preserving the family fortune.Basically, to sum up.Anne Elliot is a well mannered, reasonable, proper, and sensible heroine Good thing she is NOT the one narrating this story, or it would have been quite bland Instead, we are treated to a quite snarkyalbeit within strict early 19th century British sensibilitiesnarrative voice, picking apart all of our characters and their environment with a lovely and a bit sarcastic commentary Ah, Miss Austen, you were really getting fed up with your well mannered society, weren t you And I love it.I love how delightfully drama free this story is No huge events, no shocking twists, nothing except for reasonable behavior and not too exciting provincial lifewell, in all honesty, excepting two near fatal falls, at least one of which was getting me all worried about epidural vs subdural hematoma, which is no jokeThe only hint of strong passion is in a short letter from Wentworth to Anne, and even then the declaration of love is done in a subdued epistolary form And it is precisely this quiet flow of the story that creates an enjoyable atmosphere, strangely But I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days. And another thing that I came to appreciate is the attempt to decry the classism of English society The most admirable people in this book are not the gentlemen by birth, unlike the proverbial Mr Darcyughhbut the naval officers and their circles Wentworth and the Crofts especially It s like Austen was finally acknowledging that it s not only the birth into the gentry class that makes you a decent person Way to go, Miss Austen Congratulations on succeeding in making all your hypocritical gentlemen with overblown feeling of self importance appear to be total idiots like they should be A man is in greater danger in the navy of being insulted by the rise of one whose father, his father might have disdained to speak to, and of becoming prematurely an object of disgust himself, than in any other line. A lovely 3.5 star book It does not quite reach the 4 star enjoyment of Jane Eyre, but it is a delightful book with which to spend an overcast day filled with bronchitis cough Anne wondered whether it ever occurred to him now, to question the justness of his own previous opinion as to the universal felicity and advantage of firmness of character and whether it might not strike him that, like all other qualities of the mind, it should have its proportions and limits She thought it could scarcely escape him to feel that a persuadable temper might sometimes be as much in favour of happiness as a very resolute character. I want to share something with you It s a long story and while it might initially seem irrelevant to this book, I assure you there is a point to it.Are you sitting comfortably Then I shall begin.During the summer of 2008 my bestie and I were preparing to go to university When it was time to move into our halls we had to hire read my dad did a rental van to take our stuff on account of my friend being entirely impractical and insisting on taking all of her shit So, on the weekend of said move, my friend s older brother agreed to meet us there and help get us settled in.After a 5 hour drive it should ve taken half that time but the sat nav lady was a bitch and fucked us over we arrived I got out of the van and spotted my friend s brother I halted momentarily in my haste to rush over and say hello when I caught sight of the man he was talking to Talking to my friend s brother was quite possibly the most beautiful man I had ever seen He was much taller than me, lean muscled, with hair that refused to behave and rebelled against product by continuously flopping right onto his forehead despite his many frustrated attempts to brush his hair back with his hand To complete this look he was wearing the sexiest pair of geek glasses you could ever wish to see I was an instantly smitten kitten.When I finally reached them the beautiful stranger turned his face in my direction I m pretty sure I had a mini orgasm when he did this because my beautiful stranger had the most ridiculous green eyes and a motherfucking chin dimple drooling may also have happened upon this discovery.While I was staring at my beautiful stranger, my friend s brother decides to make introductions Hey, Kat This is my friend James James this is What the fuck happened to you James saidI stood there stunned for all of 0.5 seconds that this beautiful man would speak to me that way especially when he didn t know me Then I immediately went into full on self defence mode In the fairness of full disclosure I should say I did look a fright as I was suffering with severe sunburn after getting drunk and falling asleep in the sunshine don t try that at home kids My skin had blistered all along my left arm and was oozing pus and it really was gross But I had my pride and my pride took over and I said, Hey Don t be rude For all you know I could have some deadly disease Well, do you Er, no It s severe sunburn but that s not the point, fucker, and you know it He responded by dazzling me with the most irritatingly gorgeous smile as though my outburst was amusing My response was to gift him with my thousand yard stare which he didn t seem to appreciate I have no idea why By now an intense stare down had commenced between myself and James, the man who was originally my beautiful stranger I did a little victory jig when he looked away first and then went about the business of moving in, all the while internally warring with myself about how I could find such a fucking fucker so attractive.That was the first time I met James.We saw each other intermittently during the following year we attended different universities Always verbally sparring Outwardly I acted as though he was a pain in the arse Inwardly I secretly loved those moments we shared.For our second year at university my friend and I left the halls and moved into a house with 2 other people Without realising it at the time this was going to be the beginning of things changing between James and I It was in my new dwellings I discovered Call of Duty One of my flatmates had a PlayStation and introduced me to the wonder that is COD I spent many hours playing this Honing my skills Knowing that one day it would be useful And I was right.Somehow James found out about my new favourite thing and we began playing against each other online It was here my COD mad skillz were made known.They were made known by my uncanny ability to kill James with a head shot nearly every single time Weirdly this kept making him mad which amused me no end In order for him to complain at the injustice of it all we began to speak on the phone This was the start of us becoming best friends.The following three years were spent playing COD regularly, seeing each other when possible but still speaking every day I learned all his secrets and he learned mine.In 2012 when I graduated university I moved back to London It was always my intention to do it but I had the added motivation of that s where James was And for the first time in the four years we d known each other I was finally going to get to be in the same city as a man who d come to be my best friend.For the most part I was in heaven with this But I was internally warring with myself again when the realisation struck me that my feelings were beginning to change Not willing to risk our friendship I said nothing Not for once believing that this amazing man could ever feel the same about me.Every time he went out on dates with other women I swear a little bit of me died I tried going on dates myself but they were always unmitigated disasters due to the fact my heart had already made up its mind and decided it wanted James December 2012 Two weeks before Christmas and I was sick with flu For the first time in four days I managed to leave my bed but made it no further than my sofa James had declared himself my chief nurse during this time Staying with me, taking care of me, and, knowing how much it mattered to me, making sure my cats were also taken care of When he wasn t reading to me we were bingeing on box sets of The Wire During an early episode of the the third series I started feeling a sense of foreboding that something bad was going to happen to my beloved Stringer Bell I d barely been able to speak for days but I managed to say, rather croakily, If David Simon kills off Stringer I promise you I will take up ninja fighting, fly to Balti, and use my new found ninja skills on him before threatening to do the same to his family members if he ever kills off my most favourite character, Omar, or Brother Mouzone James started chuckling which I wasn t happy about because I was deadly serious I continued watching The Wire all the while muttering to myself my revenge plans when James said with a smile in his voice, You re terrible I still continued my watching but stopped my muttering to say jokingly, I know I am but you still love me And then, in a voice I d never ever heard him use before, Yeah I do There was something in that tone that caused me to drag my eyes away from the tv And when I did, that s when I saw he wasn t joking.Because that look on his face That fucking look It said everything. I responded in the only way I knew how With a very loud, despite my sore throat, WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK I was rewarded with the most beautiful smile and I knew we were going to be just fine.I later learned his initial reaction to me was that of shock at seeing me in the flesh that day, as he had no clue I would be there Apparently, a few months before, he had seen a picture of me and told me that looking at it made him feel funny things The good kind.That s the story of how James and I came to be.Okay, so I bet you re wondering what that has to do with anything Let me tell you I ve always thought Persuasion was Jane Austen s most romantic novel A large part of that is to do with this letter that Captain Wentworth writes to Anne I can listen no longer in silence I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach You pierce my soul I am half agony, half hope Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever I offer myself to you again with a heart even your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death I have loved none but you Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant You alone have brought me to Bath For you alone, I think and plan Have you not seen this Can you fail to have understood my wishes I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine I can hardly write I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others Too good, too excellent creature You do us justice, indeed You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, inF W.I must go, uncertain of my fate but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father s house this evening or neverAnd this line after Anne reads it Such a letter was not soon to be recovered from. This letter was such a simple gesture It cost nothing Yet Anne could be in no doubt about anything.Much like that look James gave me that day And to this day that look is the greatest thing he has ever given me, and bar any future children, always will be.So now I hope you understand why I told you this story.Persuasion is my favourite romance, my favourite second chance romance and my favourite Austen. It s a worrisome affair if you have to plod through an Austen work all the while unsuccessfully battling the urge to slap than half of the central characters And this comes from someone who is well accustomed to Austen s often whiny, vain, and hilariously self deluded characters who serve as comedy gold and tools of subtle social commentary But somehow in this posthumously published work, I feel she focused her attentions on lathering an extra layer of vindictiveness on to many of the players Additionally, the first three quarters of the narrative progressed in the most lacklustre manner possible with little to no development on any front No dramatic confrontations, emotionally charged conversations, simmering sexual tension or witty, flirty banter to spice things up The overwhelming blandness of it all felt too close to real life situations.But of course, this is Austen The same woman whose remarkable insight on the condition of women is reflected in a letter to one of her correspondents a hundred years ago Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor which is one very strong argument in favour of Matrimony. The same woman who rescued the English novel from the tenacious grip of the age of sentiment and genre trope hysterics of the gothic novel to give it a truly modern form The same woman who tried to challenge the laws that governed social interaction of the times by placing as great an emphasis on moral behaviour as on class based identity And this very same woman makes Anne Elliot her mouthpiece while arraigning the convention of woman shaming that contemporary male novelists upheld with gusto and a latent smugness Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree the pen has been in their hands I will not allow books to prove any thing. So yes my dwindling interest in the book and abrupt loss of faith in Austen s brilliance lasted only for a few disappointing pages before she turned things around quite climactically At the ripe age of twenty seven, Anne Elliot maybe one of Austen s least remarkable heroines Neither does she possess Emma s sass and cool confidence nor does she exude Elizabeth s unwavering self esteem and channel a sardonic indifference towards her social superiors And yet she never backs down from defending members of her own sex from unsavory remarks based on hollow prejudices It is a difference of opinion which does not admit of proof We each begin probably with a little bias towards our own sex, and upon that bias build every circumstance in favour of it which has ocurred within our circle many of which circumstances perhaps those very cases which strike us the most may be precisely such as cannot be brought forward without betraying a confidence, or in some respect saying what should not be said. So persuasion The excellence of this book s central premise is that it establishes Anne Elliot as a woman who is consistent in love and errs only on the side of caution even though outwardly she is perceived as a pushover, one who yields easily to persuasion and incitement Long story short, Austen ingeniously misled both her hero and her reader to the wrong conclusions about the heroine And she knew how exactly to subvert the power dynamics of hierarchical social structures while simultaneously preserving the veneer of conformity If that s not genius, I don t know what is.