Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Persuasion by Jane Austen - 1818

An Autodidactic Corner required work

(16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817, Hampshire, England)

Long ago I should have read all six of Jane Austen's novels.  I hope to have read them all by year end.  I have recently seen on Netflix the latest versions of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.  Like Pride and Prejudice and  Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion focuses on the marriage propects of young adult daughters.   My wife and I have three unmarried daughters, 21, 23, and 25 and we often talk about our ideas for spouses for them.  In our minds the youngest is to marry the son of the owner of big beach resort (he has a crush on her), our middle daughter has a relationship with a very nice young man we favour, and our oldest daughter is very career minded.  This helps me relate to Austen's novels.

Persuasion is the final novel Austen completed.  Like the others it revolves around matrimonial prospects.  The central character Anne is 26, older than most of the unmarried women in Austen. Wikipedia has a through enough plot summery so I will just make observations.

The central male characters, other than Anne's father, are navy officers, one an admiral another a captain.  As there is currently no war, they are at liberty.  They both anticipate receiving significant prize money from captured ships.  The Captain lives with the admiral.  He was engaged but his fiance died when he was out to sea. 

I enjoyed the conversations about books very much.  Austen prose is always a joy.  There are good sort of comic scenes and I enjoyed the prentstion of Bath society. The romantic plot is interesting.  The women all greatly admire naval officers.  As the novel comes to a close the probability of renewed war with France is seen as great news.  I wondered if Austen meant this ironically or not.  That is how I took it.

Next I will read Northanger Abbey


Suko said...

Mel, I'm glad that you're reading Jane Austen's classic novels. They are wonderful (and the movie versions are, too). Perhaps you will someday read some of the newfangled Pride & Prejudice/Darcy stories as well! :)

Mel u said...

Suko, thanks for your comment. I really like Austen. I have seen recently movies on Netflix of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility