Wishlist Wednesday #9

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto your shelves.

I have spoken many times about how much I adore The Folio Society’s Austen collection. Well, they’ve just released their edition of Persuasion so… get ready to hear a little more about it.

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‘Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch-hall in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage.’ With the opening of Persuasion, we appear to be in known Austen territory: the empty-headed Sir Walter, whose only reading is the Baronetage (mainly the page about himself), promises familiar delights. Yet the atmosphere of this book is as different from Austen’s earlier works as autumn is to spring. Anne Elliot is haunted by her past mistake in turning down her first love, Frederick Wentworth, due to pressure from her family – misplaced persuasion. But a financial calamity will put her, unexpectedly, in the way of a second chance. Jane Austen’s last finished novel, Persuasion shows her at her most moving, powerful and mature. As C. S. Lewis wrote, ‘It is, in a sense in which the other novels are not, a love story.’


 

If you’re not an Austen fan, Persuasion is the book I recommend reading after Pride and Prejudice. It is not ‘light, bright and sparkling’ like Pride and Prejudice – it is a lot more mature, and you can often find it on autumn reading lists. Austen died in the midst of editing it, so it isn’t as polished as her other works – but out of all of her novels, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion have a fairly similar structure. It’s also the most beautiful love story – sure, Wentworth can be a bit of a jerk, but that man can write a letter.

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Bound in metallic cloth with a matching slip case, and featuring gorgeous colour illustrations, I think I would be terrified to crack open this edition – it is far too beautiful (… and expensive) to be ruined by my clumsy self. It won’t stop me coveting The Folio Society’s Austen collection though.

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