|Persuasion, by Jane Austen
Narrated by Juliet Stevenson
Anne Elliot has lived with regret over being persuaded to reject the love of her life when she was very young. The objections to this match – money – were quickly assuaged when the man went to war and earned his fortune. But, until now, no contact had been initiated. To her horror, Anne now has to live in close proximity to Captain Wentworth and watch him woo other women.
Anne is the most mature of Austen’s characters. Partly because she’s the oldest, but also because she has accepted the mistakes she has made in the past, and forgiven herself. She handles tragedy and awkwardness with an aplomb which makes even Captain Wentworth believe nothing is amiss in her feelings. Sense and Sensibility has always been my favorite of Austen’s books, but Persuasion comes in a close second because of the maturity of Anne’s character and Austen’s exquisite representation of pain endured for years.
I also watched two versions of the movie. I’d never been a fan of the earlier one (on the right) because I couldn’t really understand what was going on, but after watching the more recent version – which did a beautiful job of catching the mood of the book and managed to explain Anne’s discomfort through her journaling – I was better able to understand the plot of the first movie. Now, having read the book I enjoyed both movies immensely, but still preferred the more recent version for quite a few reasons – including the passionate ending.