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Persuasion 200: Both Lady Russell and Anne Elliot pause for thought – by Cassandra Grafton — 40 Comments

  1. What a beautiful piece of writing, Cassandra, but you have completely reduced me to tears! Perfectly done-you’ve managed to create a whole story in a few short passages-I wish you’d hurry up and get started on another book-I can’t wait to read it!!! A fabulous episode!

  2. Oh, my! How beautifully written. I am speechless. As Jane says, “Perfectly done…..a whole story in a few short passages.” It touched my heart. 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness! How beautiful. The photographs added atmosphere to the writing. They were all soft and fragile looking…like Anne’s feelings. I can’t say more but Thank you. What a wonderful gift so early in the morning.

    • Yes, the photo about the house and flower and decorated so beautiful, how did you take the picture, how did you find the place so beautiful.

      • Thank you for your interest, Linda!

        The photos (except for the one of the cottages at the bottom of the post) are all taken in a village called Martock in Somerset where we used to live. As Kellynch is in Somerset, it felt appropriate to use some to represent the village and the houses Anne might have visited.

        (The cottages at the end are at Stourhead in the neighbouring county of Wiltshire).

  4. Dear Cassandra, you always write with so much heart! It is a pleasure reading your stories and getting inside the feelings of the characters. It helps me feel more tender toward Lady Russell, for sure! I must admit, when Anne first discovers the letter, I wondered for a minute if it might be something that her beloved Captain Wentworth might have written to the mother of the lady he loved! 🙂 It seemed a little strange to me that he was not even mentioned, but the story here was about her other losses, I think! It was indeed a complete little story! Thank you!

    • You are so kind, Carol!

      You are quite correct, Anne’s sadness here was about leaving her beloved Kellynch and her one link to her mother.

      It’s a good thought, re Wentworth, but the scenes we are adding can’t disturb the natural pattern of the novel, and if Anne saw he had written to her mother, I am not sure she could resist reading/keeping it (I don’t think I could!!) and who knows where that might go! Perhaps that’s a great idea for Persuasion variation!

  5. I completely agree with all the wonderful comments above. This is such a touching, sensitive scene, giving us great insight into Lady Russell and Anne. I’ve never liked Lady Russell very much, and this made me want to give her a second chance.

    • Thank you, Susan, and for the shares on Facebook!

      I think it’s fairly logical to resent Lady Russell because we feel so badly for Anne and Wentworth having to part, but I genuinely believe she acted in what she felt were Anne’s best interests at the time.

  6. Thank you for gifting us with two touching scenes, Cassandra. The accompanying photographs are lovely and give us the mood to immerse ourselves into Anne and Lady Russell’s shoes. Forgive me for not remembering the detailed plot of Persuasion as I read it several years ago, but does Anne live with Mary when Admiral Croft and his wife come to live in Kellynch Hall? Is this when Lady Russell is away on vacation?

    • Yes, you are correct, Luthien! Lady Russell takes herself off visiting after the Elliots leave Kellynch. She drops Anne at Mary’s where she is to stay until Lady Russell returns (near Christmas) to escort her to her family in Bath. Therefore, she is not around when the Crofts move into Kellynch.

      So pleased you enjoyed the post and the photos!

  7. You made me cry! I too have never liked Lady Russell, but this demonstrates that she truly does love Anne. Not for selfishness, not for worldly acclaim, but for her genuine and constant friendship that endures beyond the grave.

    • PS – and I like the idea that Anne knows that when she is in Bath, her mother’s grave isn’t untended and forgotten, because LR is there.

    • Sorry, June! 🙁

      I do think Lady Russell acted in what she felt was Anne’s best interest, no one else’s, at the time. Was it the right advice? You could argue either way, though of course we all feel so sad for Anne being parted from her Captain!

  8. This made me cry! So lovely, and the pictures were the perfect accompaniment. I can’t imagine losing my mom – and if the rest of my family were as awful as the Elliots (thank God they aren’t), it’d make the loss that much worse. I have mixed emotions regarding Lady Russell sometimes but this was such a sympathetic scene. Thank you!

    • Sorry to raise tears, Monica! 🙁

      So pleased you enjoyed the photos. I share your mixed emotions about Lady Russell but her attachment to her friend is enduring, and I believe she shares this love to include Anne too. I always feel, of the three daughters, Anne is most like her mother was.

  9. a beautiful piece…puts Lady Russell in a new light (still not a fan of the lady) but I can see her heart is in the right place and will give her the benefit of the doubt. This is a bright spot in Anne’s dismal existence, she deserves so much more from life.

    • Yes, she does, Stephanie, I agree! Poor Anne – this is a very sad time for her, not just having to leave all that is dear to her at her family home but also knowing her time in the country is limited before she will be confined to Bath for several years.

  10. Tears and heartbreak but still she smiles. Like others before me have said, beautifully written. It is nice to see this side of Lady Russell and one is almost able to forgive her. The scene at her mother’s graveside has gone a long way in helping. Thank you.

  11. Absolutely gorgeous scene, Sandra!! So touching…
    Thank you for sharing your lovely writing with us — and I enjoyed the beautiful pictures you chose to accompany your scene, too 😉 .

    • Thank you, Marilyn! They are from a Somerset village where we used to live and I felt the cottages represented well those Anne may have visited.

  12. I’ll add my praise as well — the whole chapter was very touching. It was nice to see this “side” of Lady Russell who seemed so interfering in the original, but now we see how she has suffered a loss of a dear friend as well. I think Anne’s remembrance of her mother’s advice is also bittersweet — I think it would be OK for Anne to “be strong, be sensible, and smile” if her life wasn’t so devoid of affection from her family. So in some ways I found her mother’s advice to be even sadder because she was doing nothing but be strong and sensible for her ungrateful family!

    • I know, poor Anne. It really isn’t much of a life, is it, when she is so insignificant to so many who should care for her. I am glad her mother doesn’t know how she is treated. 🙁

      The ‘be strong, be sensible, and smile’ is Maria Grace’s line from an earlier P200 excerpt.

  13. Yes, both Lady Russell’s letter to her old friend, Anne’s visit to her mother’s grave and the discovery of the letters tucked under the stone were very moving. I have tears in my eyes. The photographs, also, add to the whole atmosphere. Like several have mentioned Lady Russell produces mixed feelings. We know she loves Anne but we resent that, over all others, her words pushed Anne to reject Capt. Wentworth. Here it is brought home that her relationships with both the mother and daughter are based on love and true concern and thus motivated from all the right reasons. Thank you for a beautiful touching piece..

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