Jane Austen’s most convincing heroines are often her most unconventional ones; from the spirited Elizabeth, to the flawed yet kindhearted Emma or, in the case of ‘Persuasion’, the outwardly drab and mundane Anne, who has long since lost her youthful bloom but has regained a spiritual boom which very few of the asinine characters who surround her are able to see. Indeed, a common theme in all of Austen’s novels is how fundamentally flawed our perceptions of others is-from Wickham to Elliot, Austen’s novels offer a conveyor belt of superficially charming, with the crux of the novel revolving around the heroine’s journey to uncovering their duplicitous nature.
‘Persuasion’ revolves around the world of Anne Elliot and her re-encounter with a man she wrongly spurned when she was 19, Captain Wentworth. The reader has no doubt the story will end with them finding love, however, as with most Austen stories, the real fun is around the comedy of errors and Austen’s pastiches of human behaviours-in many sense the outcome is irrelevant as what matters most is the journey the characters take to get their destinations. ‘Persuasion’ may not my favourite Jane Austen novel-it lacks the verve of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or the depth of ‘Mansfield Park’, however it likely the most emblematic of all Austen’s novels and the one which best captures her views on the pitfalls of human interaction.