Elisabeth's Reviews > Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen
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Jun 16, 13

bookshelves: classics, outread-aubrey-challenge-2013

I hadn't re-read this book in a while, and I'd forgotten just how wonderful it is. It's definitely one of my favorite Austen novels. Anne Elliot is a quieter but tremendously appealing heroine; we can empathize with her and feel what she feels. She is a sensitive person who experiences a great deal of emotion, both painful and pleasurable, yet is called upon to conceal most of it. I think there is a heightened sense of characters' feeling and emotions in general in Persuasion, compared to Austen's other novels. There are also much clearer and detailed physical descriptions of people and places, though I don't think Austen ever goes so far as to tell us what color hair someone has!

Another thing that particularly struck me on this reading is that Persuasion seems to contain a much larger number of happy and pleasant people—the Crofts, the Harvilles, the Musgroves, Mrs. Smith. The Crofts are some of the most charming characters in all of Austen, and probably the nicest example of a happy married couple in all her books. Even Lady Russell, though she can be regarded as an antagonist for the role her advice has played in Anne's initial unhappiness, is depicted as a woman of sense and kindness, who in spite of her shortcomings is still a true friend to Anne, and is willing to admit her misjudgment of both Captain Wentworth and Mr. Elliot.
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