Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Austen in August: Persuasion Read Along

How glorious to have an excuse to read! I haven't started it yet, but in honor of Austen in August and my very favorite of dear Jane's novels, I have coerced my family into allowing me this indulgence. I will read Persuasion! How perfectly delightful! I'm exuberant (can't you tell?).

Misty has provided some very well thought out and tidy guidelines for this discussion (check them out here: Three posts will follow this, addressing in turn the beginning of the book (chapters 1-7), its middle (8-18), and the end (19 on). I doubt I'll be able to resist a further post on the rewritten chapters. All this is to be proceeded by some getting to know you questions, which I will respond to now:

1. Was Persuasion the first Austen book you read?
No. My first Austen novel was Northanger Abbey, but Persuasion is the only Austen I ever encountered in a classroom. That fact is only notable because, as a student of English literature, I was assigned Jane Eyre no less than four times, Middlemarch twice, The Awakening at least three times, and all judiciously dispersed amid regular doses of Virgina Woolf. Amidst all this clamor for the great ladies of literature, where was my sweet Jane? Enduring horrific negligence, an untenable situation which I trust is now being addressed.

2. Is this the first time you've read Persuasion?

Apparently not. I do not know how many times I have read it, but let's just say I am as familiar with the wording of the Baronetage as Sir Walter himself. Further, I have several editions of the book, and am struggling to decide between two which I shall use for the read along: my extremely well-loved Oxford World's Classics (1998), or the annotated edition by David M. Shapard, my review of which you can read here. I think the latter has an edge, if for no reason other than that the former's spine is threatening to give out.

3. How many other Austen books have you read? & 4. Will you read more of them/reread them?

I have read them all numerous times and cannot imagine why I would ever cease to do so. Those familiar with me and this blog are well-acquainted with my passion. One of the things I most look forward to in this read along is hearing from those who have not read Persuasion so many times. I have written here before about how sad it is to lose your first enthusiastic impression of a novel, even when each reread brings new pleasures. Perhaps this will help me recapture a sense of novelty.

Now I am off to start reading, possibly aloud to my child. It might be the only way to get this done.

1 comment:

  1. My kids loved being read to aloud. They fussed and fidgeted for show, but they still remember!