When I wrote about Pride and Prejudice I said that it WAS my favorite Jane Austen and I meant it literally because later on, I read Persuasion and it became and still is my favorite Austen.
Persuasion is simply a masterpiece. It tells the story of the unassuming Anne Elliot, a middle sister that everybody takes for granted but nobody pays much attention. Sounds like a teenager, right? But Anne is no teenager, she’s a 27 years old spinster (nobody seems to remember that her older sister, Elizabeth, is in a worst situation).
Anne was persuaded to ditch Frederick Wentworth when he was a nobody, and now he’s back in her life as a captain. But he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her, now that she’s all matured and not so easily persuaded. This is the story of a second chance in love, nothing short of a romance, but…
Persuasion is so well written that there’s no need to include steamy sex scenes to keep you reading and to move the hardest heart.
Cover of Persuasion
I simply love the 1995 film adaptation. Actually I love them all. But this one is special due to Ciarán Hinds. This isn’t exactly the most pleasant to watch since is a collection of really ugly people, but Amanda Root as Anne Elliot and Ciarán Hinds as Captain Frederick Wentworth do a superb job. Besides Hinds is not ugly at all.
They play this two characters that suppress their true feelings for each other but their eyes and body languages tell us they’re about to explode. It’s a wonder nobody around them realizes that they’re madly in love.
What can I learn from Persuasion? That there’s no need to be a flashy writer. A simple well written plot is more than enough. Having characters doing fantastic deeds can’t compare with having readers relate to the characters feelings and that’s exactly why I think Persuasion is a masterpiece: it delivers a story everyone can relate to. Besides, if literary guru Harold Bloom says that Persuasion is Austen at her best, whom am I to argue?
I kind of imagine Anne’s vanity just like this.