Thoughts about “Persuasion”

Sigh . . . Persuasion is finished in two days. Now I feel like beginning it all over again. This is definitely one of the best love stories. I rank it up there with Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables . . . and for me, that’s saying an awful lot.

This book has been an encouragement and comfort to me. One reason is that an unusual love story isn’t a bad one that no one would write or talk about.  The unusualness of it gives it more drama, I think. And although I don’t wish to wait for a man for eight years it was encouraging (even from a book character) to hear of a man’s unwavering love for a woman.

This unwavering love, I am sure, is the real point of the story. Surely the female reader isn’t meant to fall in love with Captain Wentworth as we’re led to fall in love with other book characters, because he barely said a word and was really not directly in the story very much. I have felt as Anne did, that women’s feelings for men outlived those of them for us, not in reciprocated love, but when all hope seemed to be lost or nearly so for love from the other. But no, for eight long years Captain Wentworth had affections only for Anne—at times he was hurt and angry in this love, but he still loved and he eventually had the courage to come back and tell her so.

<<<Spoiler for the romantic story here>>>

Here’s the beautiful letter Captain Wentworth finally wrote to Anne to tell her he still loved her and always had. (I underlined my most favorite parts.)

“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 forever. 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 . . . 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 in F. 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.”


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