How about celebrating Valentine’s Day this month by reading (hopefully re-reading) Jane Austen’s Persuasion which has just turned 200? Her brother arranged publication after her death. It has to be one of the world’s great love stories.
I challenge all of you to come up with a more moving, wonderful love letter than the one Wentworth writes to Anne while in the same room with her: “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 …”. If there is a better love letter than that anywhere in fiction, then I am yet to find it! I am also still waiting for a man to write me a love letter even a fraction as good.
Persuasion is an utterly beautiful novel, with Anne such a marvellous heroine, a depiction of one of the greatest whiners in history in Mary Musgrove, and some wonderful comedy mixed in with the deep emotion. Give yourself one of life’s best treats and read this book this month. The picture above shows Amanda Root as Anne and Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth in a 1995 movie adaptation.
In April I am off to Philadelphia to speak at a Persuasion conference, and don’t forget that the Jane Austen Society of Australia will hold its conference on the same novel from 6 – 8 July in Canberra.
What do you think of Captain Wentworth’s letter? Can you recommend other beautiful love letters in literature? Let me know and comment here.
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