Thursday, February 3, 2011

Love Stories

It's February (if you hadn't noticed) the month of LOVE.

When it became a full month's worth of love is beyond me, and whether or not you are feeling all that love is another thing entirely (I myself was dumped a number of times on Valentines Day, so I'm feeling your pain).

PersuasionBut since I'm a bit dry on the book/song combo's I thought I'd focus my posts for this month on the best love stories I've ever read.

I'm a fool for a good love story, but I really dislike love triangles. Inevitably somebody in a love triangle ends up dead and it really bugs me. Yet it's pretty hard to find a love story out there that doesn't include death.

Why is that?!

Is the notion of living out a life together so boring that we'd rather kill the person off then write about the wedding?

Well, my favorite love story of all takes place after the heart break. Granted the heartbreak in this novel isn't that of death, but of family disapproval.

PersuasionIf you haven't ever read Jane Austen's Persuasion, I really suggest you take the time to do so. That or at least watch the movie (the one with Ciarin Hinds), but either way you need to acquaint yourself with Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth.

This is, by far, my favorite Jane Austen and, in my most humble opinion, outstrips Pride and Prejudice.
"Persuasion is widely appreciated as a moving love story despite what has been labelled as a simple plot, and exemplifies Austen's acclaimed wit and ironic narrative style.[citation needed]Austen wrote Persuasion in a hurry, during the onset of the illness from which she eventually died; as a result, the novel is both shorter and arguably less polished than Mansfield Parkand Emma, and was not subject to the usual pattern of careful retrospective revision.
Although the impact of Austen's failing health at the time of writing this novel cannot be overlooked, the novel is strikingly original in several ways. Persuasion is the first of Austen's novels to feature as the central character a woman who, by the standards of the time, is well past the first bloom of youth; biographer Claire Tomalin characterizes the book as Austen's "present to herself, to Miss Sharp, to Cassandra, to Martha Lloyd . . . to all women who had lost their chance in life and would never enjoy a second spring."[4]" --Wikipededia
It's the only Jane Austen novel with a clear, precise and profound declaration of love.

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you." 
One of the first blog posts I ever wrote for Literary Soundtrack was about this book. I connected it with the song "If You're Not the One" by Daniel Bedingfield (here) which says:

"I don't wanna run away but I can't take it, I don't understand
If I'm not made for you, then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Is there anyway that I can stay in your arms?"
So if you haven't read Persuasion, I suggest you take the time to do so. It's not a long book and I'm confident you'll love it.

Hey I got my little sister to fall in love with it and she's addicted to psychological thrillers.

In this post:
Book: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Music: If You're Not the One by Daniel Bedingfield


Shelley said...

You are totally right. Although my writing couldn't be further from Austen's in time and place, I still find Persuasion her best. Who on Wikipedia dares suggest that the novel shows signs of hurry? It does not.

Cannwin said...

Who knows... it is wiki after all. "Pish Posh" that's what I say. :)

danya said...

Love that movie version of Persuasion! And oh, best love letter ever :D

Rummanah Aasi said...

That's a great film adaptation and I think that song perfectly captures the longing and desperation of the Captain. Great choice!

Cannwin said...


I completely agree. I've seen only clips of the other adaptation (with the blonde, young Wentworth) and completely disapproved. I'm very pro Ciarin Hinds.

I tried to get my husband to let me name our son Wentworth... he didn't go for it. Something about no son of his being named after a Jane Austen novel. Psh.

Anonymous said...

My name is Dawn and I've never read a Jane Austen novel. *gasp* I'm planning to read them ALL this year...can't wait to get to this one!!

Cannwin said...


Start with this one! :) I actually hadn't ever read a Jane Austen Novel until I was in my mid twenties. In fact all I knew about Pride and Prejudice was that it was some stuffy classic that probably had incomprehensible English.

Boy was I wrong.

Funny thing is the first introduction to P&P that I had was from watching a Bollywood version. I read the book after I saw the movie so all of the characters in the book ended up being Indian in my mind and I couldn't switch them over to English to save my life. It took quite a few more theatrical renditions before Eliza Bennett finally became an Englishwoman in my mind. :)

I guess I'm the same way with Harry Potter. In my head HP and Daniel Radcliffe are the same person.

Cari Hislop said...

I agree! Persuasion is one of the best romance novels ever. The characters are all so real whether annoying, funny or creepy. Jane saved her best till last! Pride and Prejudice is good, but it's missing the suppressed passion that drives Persuasion. And yes the BBC version with Ciarn Hinds, or however you spell his name, THAT should remain the definitive version. The newer one...I knew it was going to be c**p when I saw they'd cast that cardboard blonde guy as Captain Wentworth. And the heroine was far too pretty...and they totally and utterly changed the plot. I tried to watch it one day when I was sick, but I couldn't bear it. It was so bad it was almost painful. I had to turn it off and read a book.

mariel said...

Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel too ;)


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