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Archive for the ‘Persuasion’ Category

Jane Austen’s Persuasion left much to be discussed; everything from the writing style (and using words like “Hitherto”) to the culture of the day in the early 1800’s, to just keeping track of who was who in the novel!

A majority of the group thought the book was a struggle to read; one person had finished it just that morning; and two had not finished it yet! However, one person found that they really enjoyed reading about that time period. Almost everyone though struggled with keeping track of all the characters, and many found that they were re-reading paragraphs to try and really comprehend what was happening. Many people thought that it was a book that required a close reading; not something to be skimmed.

There was a lot of discussion as well about the fact that this was Jane Austen’s last novel; and that it was printed after she had died. We all wondered if it was perhaps a first draft, or were left wondering how much time she really got to spend on it. Many of us had heard from other friends and readers that enjoy Austen’s work that Persuasion is one of the hardest of her books to read; and that it is not often the book they would choose to introduce someone to Austen’s writing.

Still, everyone thought it was great to get to “check an Austen book off the reading list!”

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Anne Elliot, after staying at Uppercross and visiting Lyme, joins the rest of her family (minus Mary) in Bath; a city known since Roman times as a spa town.

Bath

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“The Cobb” offers as the backdrop for a dramatic scene in Persuasion; so just what is it? It’s a harbor wall, which was first referred to in a document in 1328, developed into a major port, and during Jane Austen’s time, from 1780 into the mid 1800’s, it was a hub of shipbuilding. The Cobb

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“The young people were all wild to see Lyme. … it was only seventeen miles from Upercross,…” – and so many of the cast of characters from Persuasion go to Lyme (also known as Lyme Regis), where we meet some pretty important characters and plot points! Lyme Regis England

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All those Elizabeths and Charles and Musgroves got you confused? With help from www.pemberley.com and Wikipedia we’ve created a character chart to help you keep track of who’s who and what cousins are which: 

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“Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire,…” – these are the opening words of Jane Austen’s Persusaion; and while Sir Walter Elliot and Kellynch Hall are fictional; Somerset County is not. So let’s take a trip to the south of England and see Somerset!

For more information on Somerset County; check out these links:

Somerset County Council

Somerset County Wikipedia Page

Official Somerset Tourism Website

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Have you caught Jane Austen fever reading Persuasion? Besides reading other Austen novels; you can also check out these Austen-inspired films in the Lisle Library’s DVD collection!

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