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Persuasion (2004)

Persuasion (2004)
4.12 of 5 Votes: 3
0192802631 (ISBN13: 9780192802637)
oxford university press
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Persuasion (2004)
Persuasion (2004)

About book: I want to share something with you. It's a long story and while it might initially seem irrelevant to this book, I assure you there is a point to it.Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.During the summer of 2008 my bestie and I were preparing to go to university. When it was time to move into our halls we had to hire (read: my dad did) a rental van to take our stuff - on account of my friend being entirely impractical and insisting on taking all of her shit. So, on the weekend of said move, my friends older brother agreed to meet us there and help get us settled in.After a 5 hour drive (it should've taken half that time but the sat nav lady was a bitch and fucked us over) we arrive. I get out of the van and spot my friends brother. I halt momentarily in my haste to rush over and say hello when I see the man he's talking to. Talking to my friends brother was quite possibly the most beautiful man I had ever seen. He was much taller than me, lean muscled, with hair that refused to behave and rebelled against product by continuously flopping right onto his forehead despite his many frustrated attempts to brush his hair back with his hand. To complete this look he was wearing the sexiest pair of geek glasses you could ever wish to see. I was an instantly smitten kitten.I finally reach them and this beautiful stranger turns his face in my direction. I'm pretty sure I had a mini orgasm when he did this because my beautiful stranger had the most ridiculous green eyes and a motherfucking chin dimple (drooling may also have happened upon this discovery).While I'm still staring at my beautiful stranger, my friends brother decides to make introductions. . ."Hey, Kat. This is my friend James. James this is-""What the fuck happened to you?" James says.I stand there stunned for all of 0.5 seconds that this beautiful man would speak to me that way especially when he doesn't know me. Then I immediately go into full-on self defence mode. In the fairness of full disclosure I should point out I did look a fright as I was suffering with severe sunburn after being drunk and falling asleep in the sunshine (don't try that at home kids). My skin had blistered all along my left arm and was oozing pus and it really was gross. But I had my pride and my pride took over and I said, "Hey! Don't be rude. For all you know I could have some deadly disease!" "Well, do you?" "Er, no. It's severe sunburn but that's not the point, fucker, and you know it!" He responded by dazzling me with the most irritatingly gorgeous smile as though my outburst was amusing. My response was to gift him with my thousand yard stare which he didn't seem to appreciate. I have no idea why. By now an intense stare down had commenced between myself and James, the man who was originally my beautiful stranger. I did a little victory jig when he looked away first and then went about the business of moving in, all the while internally warring with myself about how I could find such a fucking fucker so attractive.That was the first time I met James.We saw each other intermittently during the following year (we attended different universities). Always verbally sparring. Outwardly I acted as though he was a pain in the arse. Inwardly I secretly loved those moments we shared.For our second year at university my friend and I left the halls and moved into a house with 2 other people. Without realising it at the time this was going to be the beginning of things changing between James and I. It was in my new dwellings I discovered Call of Duty. One of my flatmates had a PlayStation and introduced me to the wonder that is COD. I spent many hours playing this. Honing my skills. Knowing that one day it would be useful. And I was right.Somehow James found out about my new favourite thing and we began playing against each other online. It was here my COD mad skillz were made known.They were made known by my uncanny ability to kill James with a head shot nearly every. single. time. Weirdly this kept making him mad which amused me no end. In order for him to complain at the injustice of it all we began to speak on the phone. This was the start of us becoming best friends.The following three years were spent playing COD regularly, seeing each other when possible but still speaking every day. I learned all his secrets and he learned mine.In 2012 when I graduated university I moved back to London. It was always my intention to do it but I had the added motivation of that's where James was. And for the first time in the four years we'd known each other I was finally going to get to be in the same city as a man who'd come to be my best friend.For the most part I was in heaven with this. But I was internally warring with myself again when the realisation struck me that my feelings were beginning to change. Not willing to risk our friendship I said nothing. Not for once believing that this amazing man could ever feel the same about me.Every time he went out on dates with other women I swear a little bit of me died. I tried going on dates myself but they were always unmitigated disasters due to the fact my heart had already made up its mind and decided it wanted James. December 2012. Two weeks before Christmas and I am sick with flu. For the first time in four days I managed to leave my bed but made it no further than my sofa. James had declared himself my chief nurse during this time. Staying with me, taking care of me, and, knowing how much it mattered to me, making sure my cats were also taken care of. When he wasn't reading to me we were bingeing on box sets of The Wire. During an early episode of the the third series I started feeling a sense of foreboding that something bad was going to happen to my beloved Stringer Bell. I'd barely been able to speak for days but I managed to say, rather croakily, "If David Simon kills off Stringer I promise you I will take up ninja fighting, fly to Baltimore, and use my new found ninja skills on him before threatening to do the same to his family members if he ever kills off my most favourite character, Omar, or Brother Mouzone." James starts chuckling which I wasn't happy about because I was deadly serious. I continue watching The Wire all the while muttering to myself my revenge plans when James says with a smile in his voice, "You're terrible." I still continue my watching but stop my muttering to say jokingly, "I know I am but you still love me." And then, in a voice I'd never ever heard him use before, "Yeah. . . I do." There was something in that tone that caused me to drag my eyes away from the tv. And when I did, that's when I saw he wasn't joking.Because that look on his face. That fucking look. It said everything. I responded in the only way I knew how. With a very loud, despite my sore throat, "WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK?!?!"I was rewarded with the most beautiful smile and I knew we were going to be just fine.I later learned his initial reaction to me was born of shock at seeing me in the flesh that day as he had no clue I would be there. Apparently, a few months before, he had seen a picture of me and told me that looking at it made him feel funny things. The good kind.That's the story of how James and I came to be.Okay, so I bet you're wondering what that has to do with anything. Let me tell you. I've always thought Persuasion was Jane Austen's most romantic novel. A large part of that is to do with this letter that Captain Wentworth writes to Anne: I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, inF. W.I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.And this line after Anne reads it: Such a letter was not soon to be recovered from.This letter was such a simple gesture. It cost nothing. Yet Anne could be in no doubt about anything.Much like that look James gave me that day. And to this day that look is the greatest thing he has ever given me, and bar any future children, always will be.So now I hope you understand why I told you this story.Persuasion is my favourite romance, my favourite second chance romance and my favourite Austen.

I have been feeling sentimental for the past couple of weeks, and it made me think of Persuasion. I haven’t felt sentimental for quite some time, so it feels like a sort of stiff and creaky homecoming in some ways. The Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds movie of Persuasion has traditionally been my go-to movie for sick days, but I haven’t watched it in a couple of years because somehow I lost the feeling that let me sit through a beautiful love story. But, here I am, these past couple of weeks, mulling over sloppy bowls of soup, sliced mutton, intemperate sorbet, skin like macaroons, and some of the best marzipan in all of Bath. Actually, maybe I’m just hungry.Just kidding, but I think there is something in the messy appreciation of food in the movie that speaks to my home-and-family-comfort sensibility. And, yes, this review is going to mostly be about the movie because I saw and loved it before I read the book, and even though I loved the book on its own, it is impossible for me to remember it on its own. So, the food and powder and grease and almost-tangible smells of the movie are going to be all up in this review because they were all up in my reading of the book and are my sense-memory of this story.The real reason I’m feeling sentimental is because I lost some people I love a couple of weeks ago. They didn’t die, but you know how sometimes when you don’t fit into people’s lives anymore, it is a similar mourning to experiencing death? It is for me anyway. This past year, I worked with these four people, who are some of the best people I have met, and we have all been through a lot together. And I love them in that way, where when I see them, my heart jumps into my throat. My dear friends, like family. I am working on the fourth floor of my building now, where I was on the second, and sometimes that is enough to lose people. It is not bad, but mourning is hard.Anne has that sense of not fitting into the lives around her, and I have always identified with that. In a lot of ways, I’ve identified with Anne, and I would say of all the Austen stories, Persuasion resonates with me the most, with the possible exception of Sense and Sensibility. Mostly, the idea of Wentworth coming back, and Anne and he still loving each other, seems to me like the most hopeful and meaningful story of romantic love that Austen tells. They love each other because they know each other, and that is beautiful. I love the cynical humor of Elizabeth and Darcy and the sad wisdom of Marrianne and Col. Brandon, but Anne and Wentworth is the most hopeful couple to me. In my view, if you can come back to love after heartbreak and years, then it was real and not based on inventing an ideal of another person.But, Anne was always identifiable to me in this other way, in her lostness and sense of despising her family, but at the same time being their unappreciated servant. Maybe it is arrogant of me to say I identified with that, but it is true. One morning, after I returned from Peace Corps and was living with my parents to help them with their business, we were sitting on our porch eating breakfast. My dad started telling me not to give up hope about someday getting married because a guy working in our neighbor’s yard the day before had expressed some interest in me. Then, he started describing his trip to the coffee shop the weekend before.“I was sitting and watching people walk by,” he explained, “and there are just so few really attractive women in the world. Sometimes, you’ll see one really attractive woman, and then after her, there will be twenty women who are just ugly. When I was at coffee that morning, I counted forty-six women in a row who weren’t worth looking at. But, it was a rainy morning, and not many women’s looks can hold up to that.”I must have smiled for the rest of the day. It was so wonderful. Anne’s father from Persuasion:He had frequently observed, as he walked, that one handsome face would be followed by thirty, or five-and-thirty, frights; and once, as he had stood in the shop in Bond Street, he had counted eighty-seven women go by, one after another, without there being a tolerable face among them. It had been a frosty morning, to be sure, a sharp frost, which hardly one woman in a thousand could stand the test of.And then, Anne has some culpability in her lostness. The story is sort of Anne’s journey to figuring out how to stand up to her ridiculous family. And, even though Wentworth is the venue through which she can ultimately escape them, I think through the story she does develop her own ability to live her life. And she proves that by choosing the man, for herself, whom she rejected in the past for other people.I remember watching this movie over and over again, watching Anne’s hopelessness about escaping her family, and watching her stand up to them, separate from them, and stop letting herself be victimized, even while keeping her sense of humility and service. I think that development of her character happens related to Wentworth’s return, but also aside from the love story. I think I stopped watching this movie when I stopped being fascinated by that transformation, and it was when I had gone through that transformation myself, though admittedly in a more awkward, ham-fisted way. So, I think this story is always going to be a part of me and maybe a symbol, even, of transformation, long-lasting love, and spiritual intimacy. It is high-falutin’ to use all of those phrases, but I think they apply here. Anne had to revisit her betrayal of Wentworth and develop the sense of self to allow her to reject Mr. Elliott and choose her own life. And even though my absolute favorite part of this story are Anne’s sister and father and the ludicrous stuff they say, the brave quiet around her transformation is the sentiment that brings me back to this story and makes it one of the most comforting I have heard.
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Written July 26, 2014(Read / listened to: July 26 - 27, 2014)5 Huge Stars —this summer's radio classic-serial— Amazing well done!I couldn't help but listen to this lovely old romantic novel yet again. This time excellent narrated by the actress Mirja Burlin (in Swedish) in a new translation (with a bit more contemporary language) from 2013. So very good! All of you who understand our language, do not miss the chance (free here: Sommarklassikern: 'Övertalning' or at SR's app. Written April 30, 2014(Read / listened to: April 13 - 30, 2014)4 1/2 Stars - Heartbreaking romantic about getting another chance - my Austen top favoritePersuasion is an old wonderful favorite story and has been my driving, walking, traveling and ironing audio book for a couple of weeks. This version is expressive and beautifully narrated in an, in my ears, wonderful English by Michael Page.***********************************************************Jane Austen's last completed novel Persuasion from 1816 is about dear Anne Elliot, who was persuaded not to choose the man she loved as a young woman. He, Captain Frederick Wentworth, the man she wanted, was not considered to be of sufficient fine childbirth and family. ‘Soon, however, she began to reason with herself, and try to be feeling less. Eight years, almost eight years had passed, since all had been given up. How absurd to be resuming the agitation which such an interval had banished into distance and indistinctness! What might not eight years do?’Now, several years later risk Anne to become a more and more shriveled and colorless, unmarried spinster sister, approaching thirty. Her very vain and self-satisfied baronet father, Sir Elliot, and her (still) beautiful older sister, Elizabeth sees Anne most as an uninteresting person with no real beauty or spirit. An almost invisible shadow that they do not care very much about.*********************************************************** This love-tale starts when the Elliot family is in some financial problems severe enough to force Sir Elliot to lease his estate, Kellynch Hall, to Admiral Croft and take a more economical residence in Bath. Admiral Croft's wife is the older sister of Captain Wentworth and Anne's life is quickly changing when her old true love once again appears in the neighborhood. But the captain's feelings are bitter and icy and Anne believes her happiness is forever out of reach.‘No: the years which had destroyed her youth and bloom had only given him a more glowing, manly, open look, in no respect lessening his personal advantages. She had seen the same Frederick Wentworth.’This wasn't my first time with this heartbreaking romantic, and as always, in a Austen tale, so funny told and enjoying story. I really L.O.V.E this splendid novel. It is full of great and very funny characters like Anne's smug, spoiled father and her two heartless sisters, all these vibrant and cheerful Musgrove's, the attentive but perhaps not always so wise older godmother Lady Russel, the lovely Croft couple, Anne's gossipy old girlfriend Mrs Smith, and of course the, in the end, adorable emotional hero Captain Whentworth.‘There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison.’..But most of them all I admire the humble but so valiant poor sweet Anne Elliot. A wonderful heroine who beats from a grievous disadvantage. Maybe not the most beautiful and exciting of Austen's heroines, but wise, thoughtful and caring. ~ And even those a bit disheveled women have to get the best man, the 'Prince', sometimes. Right? ***********************************************************This old but still so interesting novel is also very well told in the movie from 1995 and the BBC TV drama from 2007.I can read, hear and watch this story over and over again, just as good every time. is an Austen novel - I don't need to say more. Just wonderful, filled with funny characters and so very romantic. A grand classic novel. A must read!“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.” Like a good romance story ends this book of course grandly romantic. Maybe Austen's best, or at least her most romantic, story. ~ Highly recommended!I LIKE - ...of course - every time~~~~~~~~~~~Get the audio-book for just $1 included a free ebook on Amazon.
Henry Avila
Are second chances possible ? Anne Elliot, 19, insecure, had broken her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, 23, her family objected to the poor sailor, with no apparent prospects, her father Sir Walter Elliot, baronet, a proud man, with a luxury loving streak, ( his late wife, had kept him in check) living in Kellynch- Hall, Somersetshire, the widower, was greatly supported by his eldest daughter, selfish Elizabeth, now 29, the two are very much alike, handsome, arrogant, cold, always looking down at people they think are beneath them, she is the prettiest of his three children, the youngest Mary, frequently claiming illness, to get attention, would marry easy going Charles Musgrove, scolding him for his perceived neglect, and be unable to control her children. Anne's only friend, intelligent, influential, Lady Russell, also had not looked kindly to the marriage. Eight years have passed, the then teenager is now 27, much more sure of herself, and her emotions, Anne is, regrets turning down Wentworth, who has become a captain, with his own ship, war spoils have made him rich, peace declared,( Napoleon in exile ) he is now free to come home...Sir Walter, just can't stop himself from spending all his money, has a position to maintain, in society, dignity demands living like the superior being, he thinks he is, the baronet believes and is entitled to. But going broke fast, Lady Russell, and his lawyer friend, Mr. Sheperd, urges something, to fix the problem, or else ruin, the proud man refuses at first, but reality finally sets in, Sir Walter, has to rent Kellynch -Hall, quietly, to pay the creditors, the shame must be hidden. Moving to the elegant resort town of Bath, with Elizabeth, the most famous in England, seeing important members of the upper class, more his style and enjoys it. Admiral Croft, Captain Wentworth's wise brother- in - law, his pleasant sister Sophia, as bright as her husband, married the now retired naval officer, courageously following him from ship to ship, takes the fabulous mansion ( with war's end, there are a lot of unemployed sailors around ) . The meetings between Anne, ( she stayed behind, for a few months ) and Frederick, are quite uncomfortable, but with their families and friends so entangled, it can not be avoided. The former couple are nervous, what can they talk about, at dinners and parties, traveling to visit a friend, living by the riveting sea, their eyes pretending not to notice each other, which is silly, both are tongue tied, and speak very little between themselves, afraid to make the the first move, but in a room full of noisy, interesting people, many are admirers of Frederick and Anne, still only the two, are important to the duo. Will the Captain and Anne, forget the painful past, and be persuaded to resume their love, can the future bring happiness that has been denied the pair for too many years. Wasted by unperceptive family and friends, who never knew their real feelings ? Jane Austen's novel, asks that question, and the answer while not a surprise, makes for a splendid reading experience...
For more years than I can remember I have thought of Persuasion not only as my favourite Austen novel, but as my favourite novel, full stop. It is a novel which I have read and re-read, and of which I never tire. For all that, it's difficult for me to precisely identify why Persuasion has such an effect on me. It is, of course, beautifully written. Austen's prose is clear and crisp. It is full of wit and sharp satire. The characters are well-drawn and believable. And, of course, it contains one of the most romantic letters in English literature. It may also be that I love Persuasion because each time I read it I notice something new. This time, listening to the audiobook superbly narrated by the wonderful Juliet Stephenson, Austen's subversiveness really struck me. For a woman of gentle birth living in a quiet, retired family environment in the late 18th and early 19th Century, her views about such matters as family relationships and the role of women are not entirely what one might expect. This time round I also thought of the circumstances under which Austen wrote Persuasion. It was her last novel, written during the illness which led to her death at the age of 41. It is quiet and in some respects sad, the autumn and winter setting of the novel permeating its mood. This is a story about second chances, so there is hope and optimism there too. In her biography of Austen, Claire Tomalin described Persuasion as Austen's "present to herself" and to women such as her sister Cassandra "who had lost their chance in life and would never enjoy a second spring".Finally, I thought of how much passion there is in this novel. Austen writes about two characters - Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth - who have been in love, who have parted and who find their love again. Their passion is none the less real for being restrained and is evident in Austen's descriptions of their interractions throughout the novel. In 1850 Charlotte Bronte wrote the following about Austen: [T]he Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. ... Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete, and rather insensible (not senseless) womanI find it hard to accept that anyone who has read and understood Persuasion could accept Bronte's assessment. Austen clearly did understand the turbulent nature of romantic love. The novel sings with that understanding.How many times have I read Persuasion? Truly, I don't know. What I do know is that I will read it - or listen to it - many more times. It is quite simply the fiction love of my life.
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