Persuasion is my favorite book by Jane Austen and it’s very hard to pick only one. It was her last work and it was published posthumously, in 1818. Although very well-liked, Anne Elliot never reached the level of popularity of Emma Woodhouse or Elizabeth Bennet, not even any of the Dashwood sisters. Unfair.
Anne Elliot is an extremely interesting character from Austen’s universe, as kind as many of Jane’s heroines but older (27 years old at the time which is what today, 50?). When we first meet her, she is resentful for having given up a love match to wait for a suitable choice. That’s when destiny brings Captain Wentworth back to her life. He’s the one she gave up but she still loves him. If written by anyone else, the story would be average. Jane Austen’s pages, though, become inspiring and sad, and romantic. It’s a beautiful book, to say the least.
Although it is an amazing story, Persuasion doesn’t have yet a movie. That will change with the project to be starred by Sarah Snook, from Succession.
Sarah will be Anne Elliot and directed by Mahalia Belo (Requiem). The book will be adapted by Jessica Swale (Summerland). Joel Fry (Game of Thrones and Yesterday) was cast as Captain Wentworth.
Persuasion was adapted for TV at least four times: in 1960, 1972, 1995, and 2007. The 1995 version, with Ciáran Hinds (Game of Thrones) and Amanda Root, is very faithful to the book and the best adaptation. The latest version had the talented Sally Hawkins as Anne and she brought sadness to the character that was sweet. Rupert Penry-Jones was her pair. However, Amanda Root is the best of all. So far, anyway.
The conception of Jane Austen’s writing Persuasion is the plot of Miss Austen Regrets, a beautiful BBC movie that isn’t easy to find on streaming and has a great cast: Olivia Williams as Jane plus Imogen Poots, Phyllida Law, Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Bonneville in great performances.
Persuasion was written by Jane Austen right after she finished Emma when she was already sick. Some claim her health prevented the book to be properly developed as Mansfield Park and Emma. I can hardly wait for the movie!