I’m reading ‘Persuasion‘ by Jane Austen at the moment. I adore Jane Austen. I love reading generally and there’s no one else I can think of who can so transport me away from everything that’s going on around me and plonk me right there in 19th century Bath (or wherever). I feel my heart rate slow a bit, my brow unfurrows and I’m smiling when I’m in Austen-land.
I was saving ‘Persuasion’. I’ve read ‘Pride & Prejudice’, ‘Sense & Sensibility’ and ‘Emma’ so many times, but I was consciously staying away from ‘Persuasion’, saving it for a special treat. Oh, it’s lovely! Lovely Anne, I think she might be my new favourite Jane Austen heroine. So overlooked and ill-advised!
People took a lot more notice of what other people said back then. You see played out how one piece of bad advice early on in life can reverberate through a persons whole existence. I wonder how different my life would be today if I had ever taken any notice of peoples (my mothers) advice?
Jane Austen herself though; she’s the greatest heroine of them all. How does someone write like that? Observe so well what people are like? I am never surprised that she is so many peoples perennial favourite. I know I’d sound a lot cleverer if I banged on about someone more obscure. Possibly foreign. Possibly no longer in print and in the original language. But, I like what I like, and I like reading about girls learning about life and getting their man.
(Looking forward now to re-reading ‘Northanger Abbey’, which I have read only once and can’t really remember. Will save the unread ‘Mansfield Park’ for as long as possible though. Possibly. Or maybe, if I just read the first page…).