Thursday, 13 May 2010

Persuasion - Jane Austin

After Le Morte D'Arthur, I needed something brainless and happy. I enjoy Jane Austin, but I really don't care to sit an analyze her work. I read it for fun. So far I've read of hers Pride and Prejudice, Northenger Abby, and this. I still hold Northenger Abby as my favorite. There's really nothing like a book mocking your own genre. :P

Anyway, Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot, daughter of Sir Walter Elliot. Anne fell in love with Captain Wentworth when she was 19, but because of her position in society, which her family and friends saw as being higher than it actually seemed, her mentor and father both opposed their marriage. So she broke it off, and Wentworth went away and sulked. Fast forward 7 years, and her father is massively in debt because of the way he and her sister, Elizabeth, run the household. To avoid loosing the land, they lease it out to an Admiral and move to Bath to attempt to live more within what they can afford. Mary, her other sister, is married, has kids, and lives in a town about 3 miles away. Anne goes to live with Mary where, unlike at home, she actually has something of a place in the social group. Her dad ignores her mostly, and Elizabeth doesn't seem to even like her. Mary complains about everything under the sun, but her husband's family is welcoming of Anne. Side note - Mary's husband first proposed to Anne and was rejected.

While she's at Mary's place, she runs into Captain Wentworth who now has money but seems to be more interested in Anne's sisters-in-law. On a trip to Lyme, Louisa, whom he seems to favor the most, is downright stupid and jumps off a ledge to have him catch her. Well, he drops her on accident and she gets a concussion. Just prior to this, Anne's cousin, Mr. Elliot, passes their party and shows interest, and Cpt. Wentworth begins to show jealousy. Anne eventually moves to where her family is in Bath, and Mr. Elliot continues his interest in her and by the time Cpt. Wentworth comes to Bath has everyone gossiping that they're getting married.

So, I'm pretty sure almost all of this genre of books ends happily... or as happily as they can. Jane Austin is a bit lighter than any of the Brontes that I've read. She pokes fun at a lot of the culture and ideals of the upper class, quite pointedly in Persuasion, but also in Northenger Abby. It's been too long since I've read Pride and Prejudice to remember more than it being one of those love stories that succeeds in leaving you happy by the end.

I think it's a comment on how bad my day was on Wednesday when I was finishing up Persuasion that a letter from Cpt. Wentworth to Anne had me crying on the train. >.> *sigh* Seriously, nothing tear-worthy in Jane Austin. Anyway, it was a good book. It's not an overly interesting or unpredictable story, but Austin's jabs at the society keep it amusing even if you've read far too many of that type of book for your sanity.... not that I have or anything.... not me. It's a nice easy read too. I highly recommend Jane Austin's work for anybody who wants to read "classic" literature that's not incredibly dry or difficult to trudge through. No trudging involved in her stuff. I still have quite a few of hers on my list, which, speaking of, I doubt anybody wants a copy, but if you do, let me know and I'll send it to you. There's almost 200 author entries on it.... not intimidating at all... >.> <.< Lindsey and I actually added a lot to it. There was no Austin, Steinbeck, H.G. Wells, or any of the anti-utopia novels! We added a few non strictly "literature" favorites on there too.

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