Friday, March 11, 2016

Back to the Classics: Persuasion (1817)

*Disclaimer - I'm not planning to give a synopsis of any of the books I review.  I don't like to read them in others' reviews because I can always find out what the book is about.  I do, however, enjoy reading why someone liked a book and what that person may have gotten out of it.  So, that is what I plan to do.

Persuasion (1817) by Jane Austen was a delight to read.  She is such a charming and insightful author.  The only other Austen I've read is Pride and Prejudice, but that was years ago so I can't really compare the two.  Although now I know that I'll definitely be reading more of her works!  (And I'm wondering why I haven't read more of her before now...)

The idea of persuasion and influence, and the consequences - good or bad - that can result from being influenced by others (or by influencing others), is the overarching theme of Persuasion.
"Anne wondered whether it ever occurred to him now, to question the justness of his own previous opinion as to the universal felicity and advantage of firmness of character; and whether it might not strike him that, like all other qualities of the mind, it should have its proportions and limits.  She thought it could scarcely escape him to feel that a persuadable temper might sometimes be as much in favour of happiness as a very resolute character."
Austen also wittingly describes the egocentric nature of humanity through the characters of Anne's family, especially her extremely vain and conceited father, and her absurdly self-absorbed sister, Mary.  Reading about them was almost laugh-out-loud funny, but at the same time brought to the surface my own selfish tendencies and attitudes and how ridiculous I can be at times.  :/

Austen writes so beautifully - this was the first "classic" I have read in a long time and I had to go slower than normal and look up so many words, lol!  But definitely worth the time (for me, especially, as I'm not a speed reader - I like to take it all in) and I know my mental muscles have grown :)

5/5 stars

What have you read lately?

Linked up with Back to the Classics Challenge

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