Persuasion 200: Knowing her own mind — 21 Comments

  1. This little snippet was just delicious! Thank you – Anne Elliot is a favorite of mine, and seeing her come to a clearer understanding of her own mind is very welcome!

  2. Loved this vignette–although I doubt that I should very much like clear cakes. However, I do adore a crisp lemon tea biscuit and a small wedge of shortbread, of course! 🙂

    Have a lovely week, everyone!

    Susanne 🙂

  3. This missing scene was delightful. Anne expressing her own opinion for the first time. Lady Russell held her tongue, but I couldn’t help thinking of what Lady Catherine might’ve said of her voicing her decided opinions for one so young (though older than Elizabeth was). Interesting that Lady Russell thought she should not have a say in her life and would blindly follow her guidance, flawed as it is. She thinks an honorable man is not good enough for Anne, but a cad is.

    Mr. Elliott reminds me so much of Wickham, saying what each person wants to hear. I am glad Anne sees him for what he is. Someone not to be trusted. I’d hate to imagine what her life would’ve been like with him. The cake she’s eating sounds interesting…I’m glad she is indulging herself, observing those around her and their relationships, and making her own decision. Good for her!

    Thank you for a wonderful piece, Grace. I like getting into Anne’s head. Looking forward to the next missing scene. Would live to find that confectionary shop.

    • Unfortunately, for all her good intentions, Lady Russell is not a stellar judge of character, blinded somewhat by her appreciation of rank and wealth.

      I think many of Austen’s bad guys, Willoughby, Mr Elliot, Wickham, Frank Churchill, Henry Crawford, all shard a strong similarity. I think most of them would have behaved similarly in similar circumstances. Frank Churchhill was a little better than the rest…

      Thanks, Deboorah!

  4. How funny to think of Lady Russell’s reaction to Anne’s comment. She needs to let Sir Walter have it also. I really enjoy these reflections of Anne’s and how she is growing more confident and true to herself. Frederick will find the true Anne at the end.

    • I think for a woman in that era, especially in Anne’s position, ill favored as she was by her father, to speak her mind to him could have been disastrous. He could easily have put her out with nothing and the hope of finding charity with her sister Mary. Unfortunately that was a reality of the era.

      Thanks Maggie!

  5. The pastry side of me is quite fascinated by the concept of the almond clear cake. It makes me think of the cherry meltaways my father used to bring me. Crunchy sugar on the outside and soft cherry jelly candy on the inside. Calling it a cake though throws me for a loop. LOL One of the things about Anne that drives me batty (in canon) is that she spends the majority of the book doing precisely as she is told or instructed to do. It’s great to see her realizing that she has the capability inside of herself to make her own decisions and know her own mind.

    • I am mad to find a recipe for the clear cake – it sounds wonderful to me. I am so happy, too, to get a glimpse inside Anne’s head and see that she finds she can make up her own mind not just at the very end of the novel. Those kind of turnabouts seem too abrupt to me, something my husband and I call the “Hitchcock effect” where the protagonist and heroine are thrown together at the beginning of a movie, fall in love in the first ten minutes, then go about solving the mystery together – slam, bam, here’s whodunnit!

      • I wrote the descriptions form a recipe I had and now I can’t find it and it is driving me mad! I will post it as son as I find it again!

        I have to agree, it would have liked to have gotten more opportunity to see into Anne’s head in the original.

        • Oh, a recipe would be so wonderful if you can find it. However, driving yourself mad over it, is probably not a good thing… 😀 Thank you for the effort, even if it doesn’t prove fruitful!

    • I think you’ve got the description spot on, Stephanie. They did use some odd terms then for food. Pastry dough was called ‘paste’ for example.

      I think Anne is a character who is more difficult to understand through modern eyes. She was doing exactly the right things for her day, but to us, it is difficult to appreciate. Thanks!

  6. Anne’s revelation is freeing…almost euphoric. I honestly think she hated confrontation. This was so well done Maria. I could almost taste the almond cake.

  7. I’ll agree with everyone else that it’s about time that Anne learned to listen to herself, and express herself to Lady Russell! She has been so isolated by having her own opinions (even if she didn’t utter any out loud!), and to have others constantly disparage or disagree with them has probably worn her down as much as everything else.

  8. This segment reflects exactly how I interpreted Anne’s thoughts in reading the book or watching the movie(s). I just think she was too well mannered to express herself before. But with 8 years to contemplate how listening to and minding what others said and told her to do or what was best for her, Anne can see and feel the results. She is too wise to let others tell her who she should marry and I am sure she is holding her breath to see how Frederick acts. Glad she found a moment’s pleasure in her cake and in being able to sit and think.

    Thank you for this part of our story.

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