Home > Fiction > From the Bookshelf: Persuasion by Jane Austen

From the Bookshelf: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Saturday, 20 March 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fiction: Classic. Hardback from Collector’s Library. Originally published in 1818. This edition published in 2004. 312 pages. Purchased from Methvens in Windsor, Berkshire, UK.

This last book of Jane Austen’s is my favorite. Having read them all, this is the one that gets toted along and reread. At 4″ x 6″ this edition is perfect to carry in my purse and provides me with easy access to a comfort read. It also pleases me that the dust cover comes off and I’m left with a little non-descript red book.

The glances back into the 1800’s that Austen’s books provide are fascinating to me. The contrast between now and then for what was valued, how people communicated, and day to day living is so amazing. Much is so very different; yet a lot is the same.

As with any older work of literature, you’ll have to accustom yourself to the differences in the way the language flows and you may need to grab a dictionary from time to time to understand the vocabulary. Definitely worth the effort for both the glimpse into the past and for the story of two ordinary people from long ago.

What happens when we listen to others instead of our heart? That is the subject of Jane Austen’s final novel, and her most mature work. After Anne Elliot heeds the advice of her dearest friend and breaks off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, happiness eludes her. Eight years later, Anne remains unmarried, and her father’s spendthrift ways have brought her family down materially in the world. When a newly wealthy Frederick returns from the Napoleonic Wars, Anne realizes her feelings remain unchanged. But will Frederick forgive her and offer Anne a second chance at love?

This is one book that I’ve never listened to in audio form, but if you’d like to listen to Persuasion, you can find it here:
Audible.com (and if you don’t care for that particular narrator, they’ve got 13 others on offer!)

If you’d like to watch your Jane Austen rather than read her, here are three different movie versions of which I am aware, all thanks to the BBC. My favorite would be the 1995 version with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds. There is an older version from 1971 and an even more recent offering, done in 2007.

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