There is a new movie version of Persuasion coming down the pike soon, from Searchlight and BBC films, featuring Sarah Snook. I am excited! I love Persuasion, as many of us do, and it doesn’t always get as much love as Pride and Prejudice. I was a little surprised to see that the last one was in 2007. Does that feel more than fourteen years away to anyone else? (I think the decade that was 2020 has confused me!)
Anyway, I watched the Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds version with my daughter recently, and ahh! Ciarán Hinds! He’s my favorite!
But then whenever I watch the later one with Rupert Penry-Jones…he’s my favorite! I really hope they choose a great Captain Wentworth to hold the new movie together.
I think the real factor is that I’m starting to prefer the older actors. [I call this the White Collar test (from the mystery show White Collar, not referring to cravats!) The two male leads were both great actors, and my sisters, while talking about “the cute guy on White Collar” realized much later that they were not at all talking about the same one. My sisters have a lot in common, but they’re twelve years apart! Side note: my White Collar test is not to be confused with my X-Men test, in which I analyze women based on whether they prefer Professor X or Magneto.]
But anyway, all that aside, Persuasion is such a wonderful book! That has been amply covered by others, but today I just want to focus on one facet:
Anne does not blame or judge herself for refusing Captain Wentworth the first time. Yes, she regrets it, and comments how she would never give similar advice to a similar young couple, but she doesn’t engage in any retrospective shaming of her younger self.
I see and hear this coming from friends and family it makes me sad! Regrets and missed opportunities are inevitable, and sadly, the more life-altering, the more painful they are. But I love how Anne looks back at her younger self with kindness. Without her mother, while very young, with only Lady Russel to guide her, Anne made the choice as best she could.
She also forgives Lady Russel! Wow! (More has been written on that, however, so I’ll leave it.)
During the years after breaking her engagement, Anne, with all her intelligence and good sense, could still have become a melancholy, bitter woman. Instead, the forgiveness she extends to her mentor and to her past self allows her to walk gently into the next sphere of life.
She is a compassionate and patient person, but I don’t think that would have lasted if she had a deep-seated frustration and anger with her young self.
(This, in fact, makes me think unexpectedly of Mr. Rochester, who cannot stop calling himself a fool for his mistake. His situation was worse, having been tricked by his father and brother into a bad marriage, but one can imagine that even a portion of Anne’s forgiveness and kindness would have significantly changed his life. Instead, he runs toward “every vice” as his bitterness grows.)
Anyway, can’t wait for the new Persuasion movie! If anyone has any Persuasion fic recommendations, please let me know. I’m in the mood for more!
That’s all for today, folks!