My Jane Austen Odyssey: Persuasion

Would you judge me too harshly if I told you I believe Persuasion is a perfect novel?

It stands apart from S&S and P&P, following a main character who is past her “first bloom of youth” – she’s almost 30 with no prospects.

Anne Elliot is not as outspoken as Liz Bennet nor as shy as Fanny. I love that though she regrets saying no to the love of her life when he proposed when she was a teen, she doesn’t sink into self pity. She’s capable (moreso than any of her associates), calm under pressure, well-read, and sensitive to the suffering of others. Who can blame Frederick for loving her still?

I love the pacing in this novel, the tense scenes where just a bit of dialogue can have huge repercussions, the quiet beauty of the language. It isn’t as funny, witty, exciting as some of the other novels (it especially is a stark contrast against Northanger Abbey), but I think this may be my favorite of her novels. Since it was her last, it leaves me wondering what she would have written if she had lived longer.

Up next, and last, Pride and Prejudice…

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