“Persuasion” by Jane Austin
Our novel “Persuasion” was written in 1815 and published in 1817 six months after Jane Austen’s death. It was her last novel, and is still in print.
Through the eyes of the heroine, Anne Elliot, we learn of the intricacies of domestic and family lives involving her family, their friends and relations. The Elliot’s who enjoy the status of landed gentry live in Kellynch Hall, and are having financial problems because of Sir Walter’s vanity and spiralling debts. They socialise with the Musgroves whose son, Charles, is married to Mary Elliot, Sir Walter’s youngest daughter. Anne enjoys the company of the untitled and warm friendly Musgroves and their two daughters Henrietta and Louisa. Sir Walter is forced to rent his estate to Admiral Croft and Mrs Croft the sister of Captain Frederick Wentworth, to whom Anne was briefly engaged eight years earlier. She was advised and persuaded to break the engagement with Wentworth who was a naval officer at that time and of a lower status. Something she later regretted.
All human emotions (love, sadness, worries, joys) are experienced by Anne’s observations of the landed gentry, the landowner, and the naval families.
Settled comfortably, we took ourselves back to the eighteen hundreds. This was not difficult with the help of Jane Austen.
With the beautiful language and long descriptive sentences we found that we were forced to read slower than usual and with care at first, but it did not take long to picture the locations of the events whether in Lyme Regis, where the group enjoyed the sea breezes, or Bath for the socialising and shopping.
Anne’s meticulous observations soon made us familiar with the interesting characters. Ann’s father and her older sister who were so preoccupied with class and the ‘right connections’ were outrageous and almost the opposite of the warmth, wit and comic situations of the Musgroves and Croft families.
Love was in the air for the young but Anne’s was not blooming at all.
Almost all in the group thoroughly enjoyed this novel giving it a score of 9 out of 10.