Ahh, Persuasion. This is my favorite Jane Austen novel, and for good reason. It is so mature, and so…perfect. I read this one in high school, and, when I recently decided to read it again, I couldn’t quite remember what is was about…but I remembered staying up nights to finish it, something I usually reserved for the Bronte books in high school. The reread did not disappoint. In fact, I think I enjoyed it more now than I did then. I fell in love with Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth a little more this time…their slow joining is so wonderful. I read the last pages about three extra times, from Frederick’s romantic and impassioned letter to their exclamations of love for each other.
But really what I love best about this book is how mature their love is. They are both older — they know what they have missed these past 8 years since their estrangement. When they finally are able to reveal their feelings for each other, they immediately seem like husband and wife — no overly gushing scenes, no teasing or playing. There is something so real about it…I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it is wonderful.
And the MOVIE! After I finished, we watched the 1995 version. Perfect! Apparently there’s another more recent version that Austen-internet-groupies seem to love. As long as it doesn’t have Keira Knightley in it, I’ll check that one out too.
The minor characters are delightfully wicked, and I cheered for Anne and Frederick at the end, as they put aside the fruitless “persuasions” of the world around them and followed their hearts. Sounds corny as I describe it in a lacking summary here, but not in the hands of Austen.
Also, now I’m excited to make the Sweater for Anne and the Sweater for Frederick from Interweave Knits! They’ve started putting out a fabulous new knitting pattern magazine called Jane Austen Knits — all of the patterns are based on characters from her novels or inspired by the events. The two sweaters are pictured here — and although these models look bored and a bit sullen, I’m sure Drew and I will be smiling when we wear them. No word on when I’ll get to that yet, but as soon as I can persuade myself to purchase some yarn, they’ll be made. Probably…in 8 years?