This month's book is Persuasion. We've read Jane Austen's major novels in six months with a small mixed -aged group of female readers at the public library here in our small town . Since my JA reading club's latest meeting (which was rather disappointing, do you remember?) I've started thinking about how the same girls/ ladies who said they didn't like Emma (some of them without even reading it) will approach to this mature work, to Jane's Anne Elliot and to her Captain Wentworth. If the younger ones didn't like naughty sparkling Emma, will they like loyal, generous but rather plain Anne?
Well, let's say , I just love this novel and I simply want to get caught in its re-reading for my own pleasure without worrying too much. I'm not lucky in my real life. I know very few people who like the same things I do, but in the blogosphere I'm sure there are plenty who can understand my deep esteem for such a talented, unique writer. I 'm so glad to the Net for the many satisfying, interesting, challenging, enriching acquaintances I've made in less than two years!
Our meeting should be on the last Saturday of June and tonight I'll start leafing through Persuasion again in search for the pleasure it has always succeeded in giving to me.
I checked my blogs to see how much I had already written about Persuasion but ... not so much! Only one post. Here it is. You 'll find also videos from the 1995/2007 adaptations as well as a clip of Greg Wise reading one of the best passages from the novel. It's all for today. Just to have a start. I'll be back in the next days with other posts about Persuasion.
Persuasion was Jane Austen's last completed novel, written between summer 1815 and summer 1816. In 1816 the author fell into the lingering illness which eventually killed her, in July 1817.
Austen herself may have suspected the plot lacked her normal sparkle, since she thought the original ending was 'tame and flat', and rewrote it (the revised ending has a number of hanging threads which, perversely, leave a piquant taste). In March 1817 she told her niece Fanny Knight that she had another novel ready
for publication, but added: 'You will not like it, so you need not be impatient. You may perhaps like the Heroine, as she is almost too good for me.' Discriminating critics have, more often, found it her most mature—if least funny—work. The novel was published posthumously in a four-volume bundle along with Northanger Abbey (her least mature work), by John Murray, in December 1817 (dated 1818 on the title page), together with an informative 'Biographical Notice of the Author' written by Jane's brother (and sometime unofficial literary agent) Henry Austen. The novel's action can be precisely placed (thanks to the Baronetage entry on the first page) as being over nine months,summer 1814 to spring 1815.
As usual , preparing my next meeting at the library, I'll propose some questions from my curious quiz book. You'll find the answers here on my blog before the meeting takes place. Let's see how well you know Persuasion.
I / I How old is Anne Elliot?
1/2 What is the dominant element in Sir Walter's character?
1/3 Why is the period (1814) propitious for the letting out of fine country houses like Kellynch Hall? And who duly rents the establishment?
1/4 How are the Crofts related to the Wentworths?
1/15 What is the 'domestic hurricane' in the Musgrovehousehold?
1/16 Bath rings to the bawling of street vendors (such as muffinmen and milk-men) and the 'ceaseless clink of pattens'? What are these?
1/17 What does Sir Walter regret in his heir, William's, otherwise satisfactory appearance?
1/18 How long must Mr William Elliot decently mourn his deceased wife, before being able to remarry?
1/19 How big is the blister on Mrs Croft's heel?
1/20 What, in Admiral Croft's view, is James Benwick's principal failing?
1/21 What kind of acquaintance does Sir Walter tell the Dalrymples he has with Captain Wentworth?
1/22 How old is William Elliot?
1/23 How much has Captain Wentworth in prize money, to support him in civilian life?
1/24 When Captain Harville tells Anne 'if I could but make you comprehend what a man suffers when he takes a last look at his wife and children, and watches the boat he has sent them off in, as long as it is in sight, and then turns away and says, "God knows whether we ever meet again!",' what, exactly, is he picturing?
1/25 What is Anne's final good turn in the novel to those less fortunate than her lucky self?