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Persuasion (Wisehouse Classics - With Illustrations by H.M. Brock) Paperback – 17 Aug 2016
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About the Author
Jane Austen (1775 - 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels which interpret, critique and comment upon the life of the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Her most highly praised novel during her lifetime was Pride and Prejudice, her second published novel. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. The author's major novels are rarely out of print today, although they were first published anonymously and brought her little fame and brief reviews during her lifetime. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation as an author occurred in 1869, fifty-two years after her death, when her nephew's publication of A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider audience. Austen's most successful novel during her lifetime was Pride and Prejudice, which went through two editions at the time. Her third published novel was Mansfield Park, which (despite being largely overlooked by reviewers) was successful during her lifetime. All of Austen's major novels were first published between 1811 and 1818. From 1811 to 1816, with the publication of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published author. Austen wrote two additional novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818) and began another, eventually titled Sanditon, before her death. During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries Austen's writings have inspired a large number of critical essays and literary anthologies, establishing her as a British author of international fame. Her novels have inspired films, from 1940's Pride and Prejudice starring Laurence Olivier to more recent productions: Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship (2016).
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As a heroine, Fanny Price may appear a little too moralistic and virtuous for some modern day readers to be able to identify with well, but her aunt, the dreadful Mrs Norris, who makes it her life's mission to make Fanny feel inferior, is a very convincing character whose behaviour towards her niece will soon have the reader sympathising with poor Fanny and hoping that she will finally be rewarded with the suitor she deserves. I first read this book when I was about twelve years old and have read it on more than one occasion since - however for this most recent re-reading experience I decided to opt for the Kindle Whispersync for Voice combination which means that you can download this Kindle Version: Mansfield Park free of charge and then download this Audible download version: Mansfield Park (narrated by Frances Barber) for less than three pounds (at the time of writing), alternatively you can download this Audible audio version: Mansfield Park (narrated by Juliet Stevenson) for less than three pounds also. Either way, you'll save quite a lot of money and will have the benefit of switching between the Kindle and the audio version wherever you happen to be, without ever losing your place. Highly Recommended.
Often considered the most mature of all Austen’s novels this has always found many devoted readers since its first publication, with its power being fully appreciated since the late 19th Century, and has remained so. Fully developed and a joy to read, it is a shame that Ms Austen died before she could carry on writing, as it is evident from this book that she still had a lot to give us, and in a very powerful and subtle way.
When Anne was younger, so she forged a relationship was a certain Frederick Wentworth, but with pressure placed on her by her father, older sister and family friend, so it never came to anything. Arguing that Anne was too young, that her prospective lover had not enough money, and no satisfactory position, so relationships were broken off. Years later though, things have changed and with both of them single will they rekindle former feelings and marry?
We can clearly see where the title of this comes from, and in fact it was Jane’s brother who gave us this, as according to family tradition this would originally probably have been entitled The Elliots, if Jane had lived.
Taking in certain themes such as remaining true to yourself and your ideals, so this is very much a novel for those with some maturity. So we are led to believe, Anne is past her bloom, when she looked good, and so we can gather that she is plain, but she is intelligent. As for Wentworth we are reminded that at the time money and prestige can come out of war, where booty can be gotten from captured vessels of the enemy.
In all this is a very satisfactory read that has been enjoyed by those who love reading for generations.
Set in and around the fictional village of Highbury, Surrey so we also take in the bigger houses and estates in the area. At one of the larger houses lives Emma with her father, her sister being already married. Jane Austen before she started writing this had already said that she was going to create a character that people would probably not like, but in fact Emma has been liked, and still is, as we see her develop in this tale.
Thinking herself a matchmaker so we see Emma going about trying to find a suitable suitor for Harriet, although she has one, which so Emma believes is beneath her. And with her dabbling and outspoken manner so we see the consequences of her actions, not even realising when others are in thrall to her charms.
With some unforgettable characters, such as the fussy, dithering and rather old maidenish Mr Woodhouse, we also have the non-stop talking Miss Bates, who makes a great comic character, as well as others. With Highbury also appearing here quite a bit, so the place really comes to life, instead of being just a backdrop, showing Austen was on top form and creating something with a bit more realism and substance.
Full of wit and insight into the characters this has some great sparkling dialogue and is a joy to read. A comedy of manners, as well as what we nowadays term a romantic comedy, this also takes in the place of women at the period and social status. There is lots of incident here with its dances and other events, as well as a lot of eating – so probably not the best book to read if you are on a diet.
With so many adaptations most people have already seen this, if not read it before, but it certainly pays to read this and come back to it, as it is something that is just so enjoyable.
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