Persuasion 200: Anne Learns Wentworth’s Sister is in the Area by Marilyn Brant — 34 Comments

  1. I enjoyed your chapter very much. I only noticed one thing, the description of Mr. Monkford as “curator”– I believe that should be “curate”, hopefully others could confirm this. I think you had Anne’s emotions very well, poor thing to finally appreciate how they ignore her all the time, so she can make a quick getaway and they didn’t even notice her state of mind and emotions.

    Thank you!

    • Evelyn, thank you!!
      I’m delighted you enjoyed the chapter, and yes (!!), it definitely should have been curate! I just fixed it in the text above — so glad you caught that 😉 .
      I appreciate your taking the time to read it all and share your thoughts!!

  2. Beautifully written. How you make us feel Anne’s pain as it comes fully back to her mind… “the memories that followed paid no heed to such minutae. They came to her in relentless waves, crashing one after the other on the shores of recollection. Her mind’s eye saw them in vivid detail. She blinked, trying to clear her vision, but all she could see was his face. All she could hear was his voice. ” And “Anne forced herself to breathe — siphoning the air into her lungs with great care”. It was agonizingly beautiful. I enjoyed, in a painfully, sad way, reading it. I’ve already read it 3 times. I also loved the details, such as the pigeons. Thank you for the heartrending excerpt. 🙂

    • Oh, Deborah, thank you so much! 😉
      I’m truly pleased to know that you enjoyed the scene and by your description of it as “agonizingly beautiful”… *hug!* I’ve always loved that deeply emotional aspect of Persuasion — there’s so much heartache for both Anne and Frederick — that their reunion at the end of the novel is especially powerful. Jane Austen’s genius in setting up the story this perfectly makes it so easy for all of us to feel Anne’s shock and turmoil at this revelation…

  3. The curator stopped me. It is curate. I just accepted it as a typo or a spell check forcing a spelling I don’t want. I loved this. The use of the water images to reflect Anne’s emotions was compelling: “relentless waves, crashing on the shores of recollection” ; “a rapid river threatening to drown”; “siphoning the air” as if she were drowning. I could feel those emotions as the world around her faded and the essence of Fredrick overwhelmed her. All of this drove me on and I couldn’t stop. What a wonderful excerpt. Thank you so much.

    • Maggie, yes, that was definitely a typo!! Thank you so much for picking up on it! I just corrected it in the text above 😉 .
      As for the water imagery, I’m thrilled you enjoyed those lines and the emotions they conveyed. I’ve felt that way myself when receiving very surprising news. I always imagined that Anne would associate her feelings for Frederick with the sea, almost no matter what the nature of the emotion, but especially when overwhelmed…
      Thanks for taking time to read my scene and for all of your lovely comments!

  4. An excellent episode, Marilyn! So ironic, too, that it’s Wentworth’s sister who is taking their place at Kellynch. How humiliating and devastating at the same time. You did a brilliant job showing how totally self-absorbed her family is. Poor Anne.

    • Oh, Monica, thank you!!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the chapter 🙂 .
      As for the self-absorption of Sir Walter and Elizabeth, the two of them (AND Mrs. Clay, for that matter!) irritate me greatly every time I reread scenes from Persuasion, LOL. Anne is too kind to have the thoughts about them that *I* would have, but I love the way Austen lets the reader know just how vain and myopic they are…

  5. Beautiful job, Marilyn! You brought so much emotion into this brief snippet. This section made me hold my breath: “Only someone with Frederick’s keen eye would be observant enough to recognize changes such as these. And he, of course, was not here.” You may not write Regency much, but you bring all your strengths as a writer with you when you do!

    • Abigail, thank you…it means the world to me to hear that, especially from you! I always fear I’m going to let down my fabulous historical-writing Austen Variations friends by slipping too much of a modern vibe into a JA scene… Or that Jane herself will rise from the grave just long enough to smack me for messing with her characters 🙂 . xo

  6. Poor Anne! Her emotions and her feelings of devastation flow from your words. Well done, you!

    Do you think Mrs Croft knew of her brother’s failed proposal? I wonder if she chose Kellynch because of that knowledge, or because of her brother’s curacy at Monkford. Seems like a huge coincidence that of all the estates available for lease, she and the Admiral would choose the one belonging to her brother’s potential in-laws.

    Thank you for writing!

    • June,
      Thanks so much!! I’m glad you thought I was able to get those emotions across… I feel for Anne!
      As for your question, it’s something I’ve always wondered, too. My guess is that Frederick would not have told her directly — too much pride and hurt on his part — but Sophia struck me as a very clever and observant woman, and I think she’d always suspected there was an attachment there. So, perhaps she did know… 😉

  7. Oh Marilyn, I had to take some deep breathes after reading this beautifully written chapter! The photo of Ciarin Hinds was perfect for the scene! Anne’s anguish was so real. Thank you!

  8. A heart rending chapter..once again poor Anne is overwhelmed by feelings with no one to turn that house no one even captured her emotions so very well..Contemporary or Recency era you did a wonderful job

    • Thank you, Stephanie!!
      I’m so glad you felt I’d gotten at her emotions — and stayed reasonable well within the era ;). Poor Anne! Every time I read through those early scenes of Persuasion or watch one of the films, I get anxious right along with her…

  9. Very enjoyable! The part I really liked was your description of Frederick – that he had no gift for subtlety and “He could hide neither his adoration nor his fury.” That is such a compelling description, and must be one of the aspects of his personality that fascinates and attracts Anne, who has to constantly hide her emotions.

    The only word that made me wonder if it was of the era was “zapped.” That strikes me as a “modern”-ish word, but honestly I don’t know.

    Thanks for this chapter!

    • Kathy, thank you! I’m so glad you liked the description of Frederick, and I love what you wrote about how Anne would be fascinated by his boldness/lack of subtlety, given her need to hide her feelings so often. What an wonderful observation!

      As for “zapped” — ah, you’re probably right about the word!! In fact, that entire sentence was likely too much a walk on the contemporary side 😀 . A “spark of passion so warm” (rather than “hot”) might have been more likely…and I was trying to evoke lightning with the word “zapped” but maybe “struck” would have been a bit more in keeping with JA’s language. Always fun to play around with these phrases!

  10. As others have stated your descriptions are very powerful and I, too, loved the connection to the sea and Frederick. Sadly, for Anne, the memories of his responses to her, even subtle, changes of emotion make her so much more aware of her feelings…knowing that of all people he would have seen how she was affected. Lovely.

    • Sheila,
      Thank you for your kind thoughts and for sharing your impressions of the scene with me!
      I know what you mean about Anne and her memories… I think it’s this reaction that makes that later scene (with Capt. Wentworth overhearing her while writing his letter) especially poignant. She’d reached a point where she’s actually willing to confess aloud how the memory of love still haunts her 😉 .

  11. Well done! I’m not one for noticing the time period things. I get mentally involved in the emotion of the writing and unless there is a typo to kick me out of my trance, it’s all lost to me. LOL My issue with Persuasion is I tend to think like Frederick “It is the worst evil of too yielding and indecisive a character, that no influence over it can be depended on. You are never sure of a good impression being durable; everybody may sway it.” I can acknowledge that he may not have been the best financial choice at the time, but when you love that strongly… LOL well anyway…

    Lovely chapter Marilyn!

    • Stephanie, thank you so much!!
      I’m delighted you enjoyed the chapter and weren’t mentally booted out by anything too strange in the text 😀 .
      Loved what you wrote about thinking like Frederick and the quote you shared! It’s his strength of character that I appreciate so much about him in that novel. I guess the one thing that keeps me feeling understanding about Anne’s initial refusal is that it wasn’t Frederick’s lack of money or even her family’s disapproval that most fueled her decision, but it was her fear that by marrying him, she might be holding him back somehow in his career. If I’m remembering correctly, Lady Russell presented that angle to Anne as part of her argument in trying to convince her to break the engagement… But, yeah, I always want to scream, “He doesn’t care about any of that! Lady Russell is wrong! Just marry him anyway!!” LOL.

  12. Marilyn, that was superb! I’ve told you before I think you write Regency beautifully, but I’ll reiterate it!

    This was incredibly moving, you had me right there with Anne, feeling all she was feeling, so much so I was having difficulty breathing myself.

    This was so lovely:

    “but the memories that followed paid no heed to such minutae. They came to her in relentless waves, crashing one after the other on the shores of recollection. Her mind’s eye saw them in vivid detail. She blinked, trying to clear her vision, but all she could see was his face. All she could hear was his voice.”

    Sigh – sad and happy combined 😀

    • Sandra, in regards to the picture – yes!
      What an excellent eye you have!! 😉
      And thank you so very much for your sweet comments about the chapter — how you’ve made me smile! I’m delighted you enjoyed it…

  13. This is brilliant, Marilyn. Your depiction of Anne’s roller-coaster of emotions is well-written that I feel her pain and suffering. I’m eagerly awaiting your next instalment in this project.

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