Books: Persuasion by Jane Austen (Chapters I–VI)

More from my stack of classics that I never got around to reading, and in particular the Jane Austen novels I have not yet read.

In this one, the persecuted party is Anne Elliot, middle daughter of a baronet. She is perpetually overlooked by her family, and her one "claim to fame" is that she nearly married one Captain Frederick Wentworth except her father refused to allow such a "low" connection.

Anne lives retiringly in her sister Elizabeth's shadow. Their younger sister Mary is married and lives in the area. And their dead mother's friend Lady Russell also lives close by; Anne is used to spending a fair amount of time in her company, and is something of a favorite of Lady Russell's, though that lady has done little enough to promote Anne to her own family. I gather Lady Russell has tried to get Elizabeth and Sir Walter to take notice of Anne to little avail. But Lady Russell also opposed the match with Captain Wentworth thinking the then 19-year-old Anne would find it a hard living being a military wife.

That was some seven or so years ago. Now Elizabeth and Sir Walter have removed to Bath and Anne is to join them at Christmas. For now Anne is splitting her time between Lady Russell's home and her sister Mary's.

Where is the conflict? Why, here: Sir Walter was forced to let their grand home and move to Bath because of his debts. He has let the estate to relatives of Captain Wentworth. And now, of course, that very man is expected to come visit his sister and brother-in-law. (Well, either Frederick or his brother Edward; it has not been made clear which.) So of course Anne is on tenterhooks in case it is Frederick.

That encapsulates the goings on thus far. I'm reading some old Book of the Month Club edition from 1996 that has illustrations by Hugh Thomson, too. Quite fun.

No comments: