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Old 01-22-2013, 07:07 AM   #16
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I thought that the ending gives us another example of superb irony. Mrs Clay and William Elliot have been at war for the entire novel. Mrs Clay knows that Sir Walter is clearly dumb enough to marry her for all she has to do is to flatter him outrageously and that Elizabeth is dumb enough to ignore that possibility until it is too late. Mr Elliot knows that by marrying Anne, he will always be around to circumvent Mrs Clay's designs. But Anne doesn't co-operate.

Thus, William Elliot buys off Mrs Clay by making her his mistress:

The news of his cousin Anne's engagement burst on Mr Elliot most unexpectedly. It deranged his best plan of domestic happiness, his best hope of keeping Sir Walter single by the watchfulness which a son-in-law's rights would have given. But, though discomfited and disappointed, he could still do something for his own interest and his own enjoyment. He soon quitted Bath; and on Mrs Clay's quitting it soon afterwards, and being next heard of as established under his protection in London, it was evident how double a game he had been playing, and how determined he was to save himself from being cut out by one artful woman, at least.

But Mrs Clay may triumph in the end:

Mrs Clay's affections had overpowered her interest, and she had sacrificed, for the young man's sake, the possibility of scheming longer for Sir Walter. She has abilities, however, as well as affections; and it is now a doubtful point whether his cunning, or hers, may finally carry the day; whether, after preventing her from being the wife of Sir Walter, he may not be wheedled and caressed at last into making her the wife of Sir William.

That paragraph is vintage Austen irony!

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:19 AM   #17
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It is satisfying to see the two schemers ending up with each other.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:09 PM   #18
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Sorry - still reading this.

I'm finding it tough going at the moment. I've heard from a couple of friends that Persuasion is not the best start to Jane Austen, but I'm slowly but surely beginning to warm to Anne and even Captain Wentworth (through a layer of indirection).

I'm only 40% through so at this stage I don't think I'll finish until the weekend.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:52 PM   #19
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Sorry - still reading this.

I'm finding it tough going at the moment. I've heard from a couple of friends that Persuasion is not the best start to Jane Austen,
I think that's true. Pride and Prejudice is flat-out funny with a host of comic characters, and while Persuasion has its moments (all of Sir Walter's mirrors!), it's not a comic novel, which P&P is.

For those who've found themselves left flat by Persuasion, I'd strongly suggest trying P&P or Emma before giving up on Austen.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #20
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For those who've found themselves left flat by Persuasion, I'd strongly suggest trying P&P or Emma before giving up on Austen.
Almost exactly the recommendation given to me.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:42 PM   #21
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Still reading this too...about 40%. I'm quite enjoying it but keep getting sidetracked by other books.

PS: As an avid knitter, I'm also enjoying the Jane Austen Knits magazines. It's nice to read more of Austen's works so I have a better frame of reference for the knits featured.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:55 AM   #22
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Still reading this too...about 40%. I'm quite enjoying it but keep getting sidetracked by other books.

PS: As an avid knitter, I'm also enjoying the Jane Austen Knits magazines. It's nice to read more of Austen's works so I have a better frame of reference for the knits featured.
Fascinating. Do you do crochet as well? If so: http://www.amazon.com/Austentatious-.../dp/0762441461

I've become a bit of a crochet nut in the last 6 months.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:43 AM   #23
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I don't crochet....but will definitely share this with my friends that do. Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:53 AM   #24
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On a different tack, rereading "Persuasion" reminded me of a poem by Rudyard Kipling to be found in "Debits and Credits". It's called "Jane's Marriage" and is as follows:

Jane went to Paradise:
That was only fair.
Good Sir Walter met her first,
And led her up the stair.
Henry and Tobias,
And Miguel of Spain,
Stood with Shakespeare at the top
To welcome Jane.

Then the Three Archangels
Offered out of hand,
Anything in Heaven's gift
That she might command.
Azrael's eyes upon her,
Raphael's wings above,
Michael's sword against her heart,
Jane said: 'Love.'

Instantly the under-
standing Seraphim
Laid their fingers on their lips
And went to look for him.
Stole across the Zodiac,
Harnessed Charles's Wain,
And whispered round the Nebulae
'Who loved Jane?'

In a private limbo
Where none had thought to look,
Sat a Hampshire gentleman
Reading of a book.
It was called Persuasion,
And it told the plain
Story of the love between
Him and Jane.

He heard the question
Circle Heaven through -
Closed the book and answered:
'I did - and do!'
Quietly but speedily
(As Captain Wentworth moved)
Entered into Paradise
The man Jane loved!

I don't think Kipling was a good poet (though a great writer of short stories), but I find his affection for Jane Austen very charming.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:27 AM   #25
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I'm tickled that Kipling sees Sir Walter Scott as coequal to Shakespeare, Fielding and Cervantes; Smollett isn't quite the reach. Great fun.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:51 AM   #26
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I'm only a little more than halfway through this right now

I'm getting through it okay, but it just hasn't enthralled me like Pride and Prejudice did.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #27
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On a different tack, rereading "Persuasion" reminded me of a poem by Rudyard Kipling to be found in "Debits and Credits". It's called "Jane's Marriage" and is as follows:

I don't think Kipling was a good poet (though a great writer of short stories), but I find his affection for Jane Austen very charming.
That does have more charm than I usually associate with Kipling. Thanks for sharing it!
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:41 PM   #28
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For those, who read this or any other Jane Austen book for the first time: Persuasion initially had another ending how Anne and Capt. Wentworth finally found together.

You can read it here: http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/pcanchap.html
but her manuscript was not easy to read!

I find it highly interesting to compare these different versions and I love the actual ending much more. You pierce my soul!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:28 PM   #29
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I'm tickled that Kipling sees Sir Walter Scott as coequal to Shakespeare, Fielding and Cervantes; Smollett isn't quite the reach. Great fun.
I read it as being Sir Walter Raleigh, not Sir Walter Scott - who I think would have outlived Jane by quite a bit, wouldn't he?
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:29 PM   #30
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For those, who read this or any other Jane Austen book for the first time: Persuasion initially had another ending how Anne and Capt. Wentworth finally found together.

You can read it here: http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/pcanchap.html
but her manuscript was not easy to read!

I find it highly interesting to compare these different versions and I love the actual ending much more. You pierce my soul!
Many thanks for this link, Billi - really interesting to see the draft version and compare it with the final one.
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