Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cinderella Party: Persuasion by Jane Austen // Guest post by Jessica Prescott

Persuasion by Jane Austen
A guest post by Jessica Prescott

Before I begin, I’d really like to thank Heidi for allowing me to do this guest post on Persuasion for Cinderella Week—it’s such a wonderful honor! Persuasion has been my favorite Jane Austen novel, hands down, ever since the day I read those gorgeous final scenes for the first time as a teenage girl. (And no, I don’t just refer to “The Letter”—although that was obviously a huge part of it ;-) ) To this day, Persuasion remains one of the most powerful love stories I’ve ever read; and I firmly believe it is Austen’s best work. Until Heidi included it in her Cinderella Week list, however, I never thought of it as a “Cinderella story” in any way. 

I see now, however, that this novel is, most definitely, a Cinderella story—perhaps one of the most beautifully written Cinderella stories ever to grace the world of fiction. (Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, I suppose . . . we are dealing with Jane Austen, after all.) I probably won’t be able to cover all its Cinderella-like elements in this post, but I’ll try to hit the most important ones. 

First, we have the most important feature of any Cinderella story—a beautiful, kind-hearted, but completely undervalued and mistreated heroine. Voila. Anne Elliot. 

Although nobody around her recognizes it, Anne is truly beautiful—actually, she’s the Austen heroine that I have the most vivid mental picture of, thanks to Austen’s short but evocative description in chapter 1: “delicate features and mild dark eyes.” Personally, I always imagine her looking somewhat like a young Enya: 

(With a different haircut, naturally ;-) )

Besides her outward beauty, Anne is also genuinely kind, sweet, loving, and gentle—astonishingly so, in fact, given the treatment she’s received all her life. Neither her father nor her two sisters care anything about her; but she’s always doing something for them, trying to help them out and make them more comfortable. She seems to be one of those characters who just want to be kind and helpful to others, whether the favor is returned or not. Obviously, a deeply admirable trait—and a very “Cinderella-like” one as well. After all, isn’t Cinderella always busy working for her stepmother and stepsisters, even though they do nothing whatsoever to show their gratitude? 

What about the “evil stepmother” element? At first glance, it seems that Austen has replaced the evil stepmother with an evil stepfather—and although Sir Walter isn’t technically a “stepfather,” he is unquestionably evil. Here he has a daughter who is quite possibly the nicest character in the history of British literature, and he shows not the smallest bit of affection for her or concern for her welfare. On the contrary, he is always trying to make her feel worthless—leaving her behind when he takes Elizabeth to London, refusing her money, making fun of her friends . . . the list goes on and on. To say nothing of the fact that he does his best to ruin her entire life by refusing his consent to her earlier match with Wentworth—okay, I’ll stop now. Suffice it to say that I hate the man. 

However. An argument can be made (Heidi was the first to point this out to me) that Lady Russell is something of an “evil stepmother” figure as well. I, personally, think she definitely is. Not just because she fulfills the “evil stepmother” function by being an obstacle in the way of Anne’s relationship with her “prince,” but because she is also a deeply flawed character. Not truly “evil” in the way Sir Walter and Mr. Elliot are—but still. I think she’s much more than just a good person who happens to make some mistakes (as Anne, for example, regards her). In my opinion, Lady Russell makes what are called “culpable mistakes.” In other words, she makes Mistakes She Should Not Have Made. She makes mistakes because there’s something seriously wrong with her character, something she would do well to fix before any more time elapses. Namely—the desire for control. Lady Russell’s real motive (whether she admits it to herself or not) is to run Anne’s life, to make all her choices for her. And that’s just wrong. Even though she believes that she knows what’s best for Anne, it’s still wrong to try to force another person’s choices. Yes, I know she regarded Anne as a daughter and all that, but once your daughter (or your son) has reached adulthood, you absolutely have to step aside and give them control of their own destiny. You can’t live their lives for them. 

So . . . that was a bit of an Anti-Russell Rant. Let’s move on to happier subjects. Like the Prince. Otherwise known as Captain Frederick Wentworth. 

And is he ever a prince. Captain Wentworth will always have a special place in my heart—and I think in the hearts of almost all Austen fans—for his fiery, passionate nature, his unbending loyalty, and his genuine sweetness and humility. (The guy even agrees to be friends with Lady Russell, folks. Now that’s charity.) Oh—and he has dark eyes that glow. Like, they actually glow. Go read “The Letter” scene again and you’ll see what I’m talking about. 

By the way, Captain Wentworth is a hard guy to match with a picture. I know how he should look, but there aren’t many actors out there who fit the bill. The only person I know of who actually “works”—to my mind anyway—is Ioan Gruffudd:

(Watch out, Mr. Elliot; he has a sword and he knows how to use it. ;-) ) 

Interestingly, the usual Cinderella pattern is turned upside down here—Anne and Wentworth do come from completely different “worlds” (social positions), but this time it’s Anne who has the high status and Captain Wentworth who is the apparent nobody. Initially, at any rate—once Wentworth makes his fortune and Anne’s family loses theirs, the roles are reversed yet again . . . But yes. The girl and her prince meet, they fall in love, they plan to get married . . . and then they’re swept apart. Just like in all Cinderella stories. But here, the separation doesn’t just last a couple of days or weeks. Instead, Anne and Wentworth are divided for eight long years. 

(I don’t like thinking about that part. It hurts.) 

And when they meet again, of course, the “stepmother” (Lady Russell) is still trying to throw obstacles in the way of their relationship. (I hate how she tries to persuade Anne to accept Mr. Elliot. Never mind that she “didn’t know” how bad he was. She has no business trying to make Anne’s choices for her.) And of course, we have Henrietta and Louisa Musgrove as well, whom (as Heidi also pointed out) can easily been seen as another pair of “stepsisters.” Don’t they remind you of Cinderella’s sisters fighting over the glass slipper to try and win the prince? “Oh, it will surely fit my foot—no, it will surely fit my foot!” 

But . . . fortunately . . . Henrietta marries Charles Hayter, Louisa goes off with Captain Benwick, and Wentworth finally realizes that he still loves Anne and—equally important—that she still loves him. And then . . . we come to everybody’s favorite part. The Letter Scene. 

This is, of course, the counterpart of the “slipper fits” scene in a real Cinderella story. And it’s every bit as thrilling, romantic, beautiful and—ultimately—satisfying. Not just the words of the letter itself (although they’re absolutely phenomenal) but just the way the whole thing is written. Listen: 

“. . . and instantly crossing the room to the writing table, and standing with his back towards Mrs. Musgrove, he drew out a letter from under the scattered paper, placed it before Anne with eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her for a moment, and hastily collecting his gloves, was again out of the room, almost before Mrs. Musgrove was aware of his being in it . . .” 

*swallows hard* 

Is that not complete and utter gorgeousness? (Told ya his eyes glowed, by the way.) 

Finally, Cinderella and her prince are together again. Finally, Anne Elliot has someone who loves her—truly loves her—the way she deserves to be loved. Finally, Lady Russell and Sir Walter have both been put in their proper places. And finally, we have reached the end of another glorious Jane Austen romance—which also happens to be one of the best Cinderella stories of all time. 

I love Persuasion. I don’t think I shall ever stop loving it.

(Thanks again, Heidi—I had so much fun!)

~     ~     ~

Note from Heidi: Thank you so much, Jessica!! I love this!! ;)


  1. I love this I love this I love this!!!!

    Not that I haven't already read it, of course :P But I still love it! And it is SO TRUE. Every word of it. And the pictures are perfect!! I definitely think Enya looks like Anne. And Ioan Gruffudd would be perfect as Captain Wentworth.


    *runs away squealing with delight because of this post*

    1. *giggles* Thank you SO much, Rosie m'dear--that means a lot!!

      Yes--wouldn't Enya have made a PERFECT Anne? If only she could time-travel . . . and if only she was an actress in addition to a singer . . . Oh, well, we can dream, can't we? :-)

    2. You're welcome :)

      AHEM OF COURSE WE CAN DREAM!!!!!!! Where would we be without it? :P

    3. Where would we be without it? I don't know. I suspect we'd be dead. ;-)

  2. Heidi--thank you SO MUCH for letting me do this! I really, really enjoyed the opportunity to think more deeply about "Persuasion," since it's my favorite Austen novel. And I absolutely LOVE all the pictures you chose--especially the last one :-)

    1. jessica,
      Oh, you're most welcome... and oh good, I'm so glad! :) I still just LOVE all this!! ;D


    Okay. I'm done. I LOVE IT.

    ~ N

    1. I KNOW RIGHT???? And actually, that idea isn't just an "impossible dream"--it really COULD work for a new BBC adaptation, because he's roughly the right age (42). PLUS HIS EYES ACTUALLY DO GLOW AND CAN'T YOU JUST SEE HIM AS WENTWORTH BECAUSE HE WOULD BE AMAZING. THE END.

      Ahem. I am calm.

      Thank you so much for commenting! :-)

  4. This was so awesome! Loved the post, Jessica! I'm a huge fan of Persuasion (and Jane Austen), yet somehow I've never made the connection between the book and Cinderella, but I love the idea! So cool.

    And Wentworth's letter. *SIGH* It has to be the most beautiful declaration of love in a book ever!

    1. Thank you so much, Faith! No, I had never really realized the connection either--until I saw "Persuasion" on Heidi's list of Cinderella retellings and it hit me like a ton of bricks. :-) (Don't you just love "aha" moments like that? I sure do.)

      Yesssssssssssss. The man has a Way With Words. No question about it. ;-)

  5. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! (Abject apologies about the late nature of this comment. Ahem.)

    Jessica, I've got to echo Heidi: I LOVE this :) I mean to say. Gahh.

    IOAN GRUFFUDD AS WENTWORTH. The end. That is just…I can't…suffice it to say, I'd never thought of that before, but HECK YES!!!!

    Persuasion is my favorite JA story :) It's the one that appeals the most to my Romantic Sensibilities. IT'S JUST SO BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLL!

    Anyway, I'm rambling. Basically, I just adored how you highlighted the Cinderella aspects of the story. NOW I understand (more) how this can be classified as a Cinderella story ;)

    And ooh! Tantalizing idea: a young Enya as Anne. Hmm…I like this, I do ;D (And I completely know what you mean about Lady Russell; the woman is DEPLORABLE. Don't even Get Me Started on her.)

    Lovely, LOVELY post, dearie! :D

    1. Thank you SO MUCH, Olivia darling!!!! Really, that just made my day!! Everybody is being so kind with the comments and everything--it's amazing :-)

      I know--can't you just SEE him??? He's perfect--eyes, smile, EVERYTHING!! I don't know why I didn't think of him sooner, either . . . I was kind of casting about for pictures of a good "Wentworth," having considered and abandoned the idea of Richard Armitage--and I remembered the Horatio Hornblower movies. And then I went to Google and found some photos . . . and suddenly I was like, "EUREKA!!!!" ;-)

      Yes, Persuasion is always going to be my favorite, too. Just IS. I love it so much. It's totally her best book.

      Yes--she really looks just like Anne ought to, don't you think? Plus, I know Anne Elliot technically "couldn't sing," but when you listen to some of Enya's songs, she SOUNDS like I imagine Anne would if she had been able to sing. (Okay, that was convoluted, but I think you know what I mean.) Especially that one song "If I Could Be Where You Are"--it reminds me a lot of Anne and Captain Wentworth.

  6. You did an excellent job on this review, Jessica! I never thought of Persuasion as a Cinderella story, either, but I see now how the resemblance can be drawn. :)

    Wow! I never pictured Captain Wentworth as Ioan Gruffudd, but now that you mention it...I think he really might make a good Wentworth! (I have yet to see a movie where I totally approve of the casting for Captain Wentworth...) I wish somebody would make a new version of Persuasion because, in my opinion, they just haven't gotten it right yet. The two versions I've seen were too short, for one thing.

    I'm glad you were able to do a guest post for the party! Your writing style is very good, and I really enjoyed reading what you had to say. :)

    ~Miss March

    1. Miss March, thank you SO much!! I really do appreciate the compliment! :-)

      Yes, I also wish BBC would make a new adaptation (AND cast Ioan Gruffudd as Wentworth ;-) ) because, like you, I'm not really satisfied with either of the existing versions. I've never watched the '95 film all the way through--but from what I've seen of it, Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root totally don't fit my conception of what Anne and Wentworth are supposed to be like. I have seen the full 2007 movie, and while there were SOME things I liked about it, overall I just wasn't impressed. Like you said, it was too short and it felt kind of "rushed"--and plus, Sally Fields doesn't look or act at all like the Anne of my imagination. Rupert Penry-Jones was ALMOST right . . . but not quite. I guess maybe I'm kind of picky because this is my favorite Jane Austen novel--but I really do feel that a fresh new film adaptation is called for!

      Here's hoping that maybe BBC will read this at some point . . . ;-)

    2. Yeah, I really didn't like Anne in the 2007 version. Amanda Root was a lot better in my opinion, though perhaps not the best Anne imaginable. As for Ciaran Hinds, he did not fit my mental image of Captain Wentworth at all, but I liked him a lot better than I thought I would. Still, they haven't hit on a perfect Captain Wentworth, yet. :)

      I know. I'm kind of picky, too. There are only two Jane Austen adaptions that I'm TOTALLY satisfied with and those are P&P '95 and Emma '09. (Have you seen those?)

    3. Yes . . . I think, for me, Amanda Root just LOOKS so different from the way that I imagine Anne that it's really, really hard for me to actually accept her in the role. I can be a very "visual" person sometimes that way--I get a picture in my head, and then I don't want to change it :-)

      I have seen both of them! Like you, I was completely satisfied with Emma 09--it couldn't have been better. (Well, okay, so I didn't really like their casting for Harriet Smith--but that's pretty minor.) Now, P&P 95 . . . ummmmmmmm . . . how shall I say this? ;-) Okay, basically, I DON'T really like it. Except for Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy--he was either perfect or almost-perfect (hard for me to decide, haha). But I had a LOT of trouble seeing Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet--to me, she was much too mature and sensible and even-tempered to be the real Lizzy from the novel. I know not everybody agrees with me on this, but when I read "Pride and Prejudice," I get a sense of Lizzy as a feisty, headstrong girl--a real firebrand. And Jennifer Ehle's Lizzy just didn't have that "firebrand" feel for me . . . so I just couldn't accept her as Lizzy, and that kind of ruined the whole movie for me (since she's the most important character.) I like Keira Knightley's performance in the 2005 film much better--but I don't think she was perfect, by any means. Personally, I think that if we are to have a truly great P&P adaptation, BBC needs to cast Daisy Ridley as Lizzy Bennet. Seriously. I know that sounds silly because right now she's really famous for her role in "Star Wars" and "Star Wars" ain't Jane Austen--but she would be absolutely spot-on. She IS Lizzy.

      The other adaptation (besides Emma 09) which I'm completely satisfied with is Sense and Sensibility 2008. (All except for that stupid opening scene which I always skip, of course ;) ) I really, really love their casting for all the lead characters--Elinor, Marianne, Edward, Colonel Brandon, Willoughby--and most of the minor ones, too. And the plot, pacing, scenery, costumes, and everything else is beautifully done, also. It's my favorite Jane Austen adaptation, and also one of my all-time favorite movies :-) What's your opinion on S&S 08--have you seen it?

    4. Oh yes! I can understand that! It's hard to accept an actor/actress when they don't look ANYTHING like the character in your imagination.

      Your reasons for not liking P&P '95 are perfectly understandable. For myself, I grew up on that movie-- actually watched it long before I read the book--so I don't have a problem at all with Jennifer Ehle's interpretation of the character. For me she IS Lizzy. But I can definitely understand why she wouldn't work for you if you imagine Lizzy as a more feisty, headstrong girl. That does sound more like Keira Knightley's interpretation. Personally though, I really think Jennifer Ehle did a good job of capturing Lizzy's feisty/headstrong nature, while still keeping her true to her sense of propriety and good breeding. Keira Knightley's Lizzy was a little over the top for me, and I felt sometimes like she was getting awfully close to behaving as badly as Lydia and Kitty. (Which is something Lizzy should never do. ;))

      Haha! Well, due to the fact that I've never seen Star Wars I can't really say whether the idea of Daisy Ridley playing Lizzy sounds silly or not. I did look her up though, and judging from how she looks I can see why you would choose her. She'd make a very pretty Lizzy, and she definitely looks like she could pull off the headstrong, feisty personality. (She reminds me a little of Keira Knightly, actually.) I wonder if they will make another Pride and Prejudice sometime.

      Ah, yes. Sense and Sensibility 2008. I have seen that movie. Like you, I could definitely do without that opening scene (*abhorrent shivers*), but aside from that, I did enjoy it--though I have to admit it wasn't my favorite. I REALLY liked Edward and Elinor. Edward's character especially was more fleshed out than in the older adaption and I liked that. (The scene where he's chopping wood in the rain. *sigh* I love scenes like that.) As for Marianne, I think I liked her better in the '95 version. She seemed a little more boring in the 2008 movie. And Willoughby! *gulp* I ABHORED him in the '08 movie. Sorry, but it's the truth. He just really didn't do it for me. He was WAY too creepy. I just can't see how anyone could have been fooled by him! :/

      All in all, though, I'd say it was a good adaption. It was nice to have a little more of the story included, since the '95 movie was so short. Maybe if I watched it a second time I would like it better. You never know. :)

    5. Right! Whereas, when I was growing up, all I ever knew was the novel version of the story--I didn't watch either P&P movie until last year, when I was 20. So, naturally, my ideas of how JA intended Lizzy to be/act were quite fixed by that time . . . (This is not to say my ideas are necessarily "right"; they're just "fixed." If that makes sense :-) )

      Yes, I agree Keira's Lizzy is a bit over-the-top sometimes (which is one reason why I feel 2005 is not perfect and we need a new adaptation). But for me, Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth is just so calm and mature-seeming that I can't really picture her as Lizzy at all . . . I think Daisy Ridley, on the other hand, would be able to strike the "perfect balance" between feistiness and maturity. If only they would cast her. They probably won't, though. *sigh*

      There are so few clips of Daisy Ridley as Rey on Youtube, it's hard to show you what I mean . . . This one is the best I could find:
      It's a trailer, basically, but it shows you some of what she's like.

      Ohhhhhhh, yes, I LOVE the chopping-wood-in-the-rain scene. Poor, poor Edward. He's such a sweetheart--I feel terrible for everything he has to go through.

      See, I hate Willoughby's character in the '08 version, but that's exactly why I prefer Dominic Cooper over Greg Wise--because he shows me what a truly awful person Willoughby really IS. I felt like the '95 version kind of "glossed over" Willoughby's faults, which bothers me.

    6. Sorry it has taken me this long to respond. I just wanted to comment on what you said about Willoughby. I agree with you, Dominic Cooper certainly is more dislikable so I understand why you would prefer his performance. It certainly does make you more aware of how bad Willoughby really is. However, I guess one of the reasons why I don't like Dominic Cooper's Willoughby is for the very fact that he IS so bad. Because from reading the book, I really think Willoughby should at least have the appearance of being a nice guy. He has some genuinely good feelings, I believe, but is just too concerned for his own comfort and temporary pleasures to discipline himself as he ought. The thing I dislike about the '08 Willoughby is that he strikes me as a man who is out to take advantage of any young lady who will fall for him, and I really don't think that's how Willoughby acts in the book. Also, I feel like the Dashwoods would have easily seen through him. He just doesn't appear trustworthy at all.

      Interesting what you said about the '95 version glossing over Willoughby's faults, though. I sort of had that feeling too, and it bothered me as well. It annoys me dreadfully when movies gloss over the faults of the characters. :P

      Sorry for rambling on like this...I just have a lot of fun talking about different characters in stories :) By the way, have you read Sense and Sensibility? It's been awhile since I read it, so I really should give it a reread. :)

    7. Hey, that's okay--I really love character discussions like this, too! :-) Yes, I have read Sense and Sensibility several times . . . it's not my favorite Austen novel, but I do know it pretty well.

      See, that IS how I interpret Willoughby's character--somebody who will take advantage of pretty much any girl that he can. That's exactly what he does to Eliza Williams, and that's what he STARTED to do Marianne, also. By his own admission, when he first met her, he wasn't attracted to her in the least and had no intention of being serious, but just played along with HER affection to see what he could get out of it. Until . . . he actually found himself in love with her, and that complicated matters.

      So . . . yeah. It gets confusing, because Austen TALKS about him as though he were a good guy at heart but with no self-control, but then the things that she actually makes him DO say otherwise. I think she herself was somewhat conflicted about him, whether he was really good or bad . . . but I, personally, think that the "true Willoughby," as it were, is pretty much 100% evil. So that's why I like Dominic Cooper better--because he shows that so well.

    8. That makes a lot of sense. If that's how you see Willoughby's character in the book than I understand even more why you like Dominic Cooper's portrayal. I guess I really ought to read the book again and refresh my memory. :)

    9. I could be wrong, too--that's just kind of how it strikes me? Maybe I'll re-read it, too, one of these days! :-)

  7. Oh, I can definitely see why you'd picture Enya as Anne. Except, the picture you included reminded me of someone else...Fanny in Mansfield Park, although I have not seen this version. Here's a picture: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5CtoADbwshk/Ug18p7OdTpI/AAAAAAAAHcI/hRRCrIS73ug/s1600/mansfield+park+fanny+price+frances+o'connor.jpg

    Ugh, Sir Walter is definitely horrible. And Lady Russell! That's interesting how they both can be "evil step parent" figures in the story...I never thought of Persuasion as a Cinderella story either, but your post is definitely revealing how it is! Let me read on....

    Hmm...Ioan Gruffudd as Cap. Wentworth? That's definitely an interesting idea...I'm not sure what I think of it yet....but I'm inclined to say yes. ;)

    8 years. That's so sad. :(

    Awww, this post was so beautiful. Bravo, Jessica!! You did a fantastic job. I can definitely now see how Persuasion is a Cinderella story and it's so exciting!!

    Due to some Very Wonderful friends, I received Persuasion for a Christmas gift (it was so exciting!!) and I'm dyyying to start reading it. I have to finish Sense and Sensibility first. I'm reading it for the first time and am absolutely loving it.

    But anyways. Persuasion. I can not wait. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Natalie!! I'm so happy you liked it!

      I can see what you mean--they do look a little bit alike! Although, I've always thought that Frances O'Connor was much too dark and sturdy-looking to play Fanny Price properly--Fanny is supposed to be pale and thin and fragile. But then, I think with that version, they were purposely trying to alter Fanny's character from the novel (which makes me REALLY MAD, btw, because Fanny is my favorite JA character ever and it's my humble opinion that she's perfect just the way she is ;-) )

      Ohhhhhh, you're getting ready to read Persuasion for the first time? That's so exciting!! I really hope you enjoy it--I truly believe it's JA's best novel. It's just such a beautiful story.

    2. Jessica,
      I love Fanny too!! I don't think she's my absolute favorite, but I definitely can relate to her and admire her. She really is an underrated heroine.

      Frances O'Connor is not how I picture Fanny either (which is some of the reason I've never watched that version...I've heard it's quite different from the novel, plus they added a bunch of...stuff :P). I picture her with blonde hair, for one thing, and as you said, more fragile. I did a Mansfield Park "how I picture the characters" post last year. Here's the link if you'd like to check it out: http://ramblings-of-a-red-head-girl.blogspot.com/2014/09/my-mansfield-park-cast.html

      Not that you have to, of course. Only I thought I'd mention it. :)

    3. I checked out your dream cast--lovely job! Yes, I do think a young Claire Foy with dyed-blonde hair would have made an excellent Fanny. The sad thing is, she's a bot too old for the role now :-(

      Have you ever seen the 2007 BBC version? Fanny and Edmund are both HORRIBLE (IMHO) but Haley Atwell does an absolutely amazing job playing Mary Crawford. I watch that film mainly to see Haley :-)

    4. Aw, thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)
      I know. :( Have you seen Little Dorrit? Claire Foy does an amazing job in that. It's my favorite Dickens miniseries. :)

      No, I haven't, but I've heard of it and would like to see it. You're right, I've seen photos of the actors and they look NOTHING like how I picture Fanny and Edmund...but I may still try it. I'd like to see Hayley Atwell as Mary! :)

    5. I've seen clips of LD and was very, very impressed with Claire Foy, but I've never watched the whole thing. In general, I don't tend to like Dickens because his stories have So Much Emotional Drama, and that's not really my "thing" . . . which is why I haven't tried the whole series yet. Maybe I will someday! :-)

      She does a great job--I only wish the overall movie was better so that she'd get more credit for her performance. Because she was awesome. I'll never be able to think of "Mary Crawford" again without seeing Haley Atwell.

    6. Jessica,
      Haha, this is very true. Dickens excels at drama!
      Well, I hope you do enjoy if it you ever see it! Even if you watched it only for Arthur and Amy (one of the sweetest couples EVER imho!) it's worth it. :)

    7. Thanks for the recommendation--I'll definitely keep it in mind! Yes--from what I've seen of them, they look very "awwwwwwww" :-)

  8. Jessica, that is a lovely post about a truly lovely book. Persuasion is also my favorite Austen novel, and for very good reason, many of which you laid out.

    Your post also got me to thinking. As much as it pains us that Anne and Wentworth were separated for so many terrible years, it was for a reason. Anne grew into a fine young woman who finally was able to know her own mind and make her own decisions. Wentworth discovered his own worth in their absence from one another. So even though we might be in agony over those 8 years, it was all in the will of God. I smile as I see how He used two such conniving people as Sir Walter and Lady Russell and turned a bad situation around towards good, in the best way possible, even if it was 8 years longer than we, or Anne and Wentworth, would have liked. I love how the story is about patience and fortitude in the face of adversity, and of course, kindness and compassion, two virtues that Anne flawlessly represents.

    Great post!

    1. Oh, and I almost forgot, but have you ever read Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange? If you haven't, you simply must because it is delightful!

      My review is here, if you're interested. :)


    2. Thank you so much, Carissa! I really appreciate your kind comment!

      Yes, I think you're right--even though it was a terribly painful separation, Anne and Wentworth WERE both much more "ready" for their marriage by the end of the story. Anne did need to learn how to make her own decisions and stand up for what she wanted . . . and Wentworth needed to become more patient and more forgiving. So everything DID work out for the best, after all :-)

      No, I've never read that! I'll have to check it out! :-)

  9. I loved your review! I had not thought of Persuasion as a Cinderella story but after seeing Heidi put it on the list and reading this review, I can't see it as anything else but a Cinderella story.

    I think that Ioan Gruffudd makes a good Captain Wentworth. I have seen the 1995 version of Persuasion, but I didn't think the actor playing Captain Wentworth looked like what I had imagined him to be.

    1. Thanks so much, Ekaterina!! :-)

      Yes, I'd absolutely love to see him cast as Wentworth! I think he'd be perfect :-) And I agree--Ciaran Hinds (the '95 Wentworth) doesn't look much like my idea of him at all. He's much more suited to playing villains, I think. Have you ever seen "Amazing Grace" (which coincidentally has Ioan Gruffudd in it, haha)? Ciaran Hinds plays one of the main "bad guys" and he's PERFECT. Quite scary and chilling, actually :-)

    2. I haven't seen Amazing Grace, although everyone says that it's really good. I can definitely picture Ciacan Hinds as a villain. Scary and chilling...he sounds as if he did a great job as a villain.

    3. After you mentioned Amazing Grace, I finally placed a hold on it at the library, and finished watching it last night. It was so amazing! Wow. Now I know why everyone thinks it's a great movie.

    4. Oh, I'm so glad you liked it!! Yes, isn't it AWESOME? William Wilberforce . . . I can't even tell you how much I love him. He just leaves me speechless.

      "No matter how loud you shout, you CANNOT DROWN OUT THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE!!!"

      Yeah, baby.

  10. WONDERFUL post, Jessica! And oh wow, yes, Ioan Gruffudd would be delicious as Captain Wentworth, though I've always liked to imagine Gregory Peck in the role more, myself. But Ioan in his 30s would have been perfect as Wentworth <3

    1. Thank you so much, Hamlette!!!! That makes me really happy!!

      Gregory Peck--now, that's something I never thought of! I seriously need to watch Roman Holiday--I've never seen a Gregory Peck movie, actually :-( But yeah, I do wish they would cast Ioan if they make a new adaptation. He has exactly the right eyes and EVERYTHING.

    2. Gregory Peck as Captain Wentworth!!!! I LOVE IT! I might just love the combination because of my inherited love of Gregory Peck from my mom and my grandmother. Whenever we discuss handsome leading men, Gregory Peck is always the first or one of the first actors we mention. I also love Gregory Peck for his acting skills, and I think he would act Captain Wentworth perfectly. Thanks Hamlette, now when I reread Persuasion, I'm going to be thinking of him. :-)

      Jessia, you really need to watch a Gregory Peck movie. Roman Holiday is a really fun movie. :-) I personally like him in more serious roles like Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee actually cried on set while they were filming the movie because Gregory Peck looked so much like her father, who the character, Atticus, based off of.

    3. He sounds amazing--I really need to keep that in mind :-) Thanks for the recommendation!


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