Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Persuasion - Vivienne
Though Pride & Prejudice was my favorite Jane Austen novel for a long time, Persuasion is becoming my favorite as an adult. It speaks of mature love, what it means to sacrifice, and also the importance of learning from your mistakes.
Most of my Regency stories feature a lost-love theme where characters who were once lovers or friends meet years later and rekindle their romance. What draws me to Persuasion, and to these kinds of stories, is the belief that we can always learn from our mistakes and that love can grow and change over time. I also believe that when you truly love someone, a part of them stays with you, even if the relationship ends.
When Anne Elliot lets her friend and others talk her out of marrying Frederick Wentworth, she sacrifices herself for her family and friends. She does what is expected of her and she values pleasing others over pleasing herself (which is arguably Anne's greatest flaw). But after she does what everyone wants, Anne retreats into her role as the devoted sister and daughter and becomes nearly invisible.
Captain Wentworth carries the hurt of Anne's rejection for years and even if part of him wants to stay angry with Anne, when he sees her again, the old feelings come back. He doesn't let on at first, and even attempts to find a new match, but circumstances force him to deal with his feelings for Anne. He comes to realize that he cannot live without her and when he proposes this time, it is with a new respect for her and a deeper affection.
Though I really enjoy love-at-first sight stories, there is something about lost-love and friends-to-lovers stories that always get me. It's like the click of a key in the lock or the last puzzle piece being put into place.
What is your favorite reunion or lost love story from history or literature?
*Answer in the comments to win a copy of my novella, Lady Northam's Wicked Surrender.