200 years ago, Jane Austen’s Persuasion was published and became a widely known book throughout the world. Though Jane is known most for her Pride and Prejudice and her Mansfield Park, Persuasion is just another of her many classics.
Just like her others, Jane Austen sticks to her unique heroines. In Persuasion, Anne Elliot is the oldest of all Jane’s heroines at 27. Eight years before the story starts, she’s betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she breaks off the engagement due to the persuasion by her friend, Lady Russell, that such a match is unworthy. The breakup leaves Anne with a deep and long-lasting regret. When Wentworth later returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant on the Elliot estate. The novel centers around one question: Will Ann and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
As always, Jane Austen fills our hearts with love for her characters.
One of my most beloved classics turns 140 years old this year! Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a beloved classic by everyone.
Like most classics love plays a vital part in this classic as Anna falls madly in love with the dashing Count Vronsky even though she’s married. Their consuming passion makes them a target for hate and disgust, causing Anna’s increasing isolation. The heart-wrenching course of their relationship contrasts sharply with friends and family who surround them, especially the newlyweds Kitty and Levin, who forge a bond as they struggle to make a life together.
This is a masterpiece not just because of the unforgettable woman at its core or the stark drama of her fate, but also because it explores and lightens the deepest question on how to live a fulfilled life.
Everyone knows about the wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a child adopted by Catherine’s father. After her father’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and ultimately humiliated by Catherine’s brother and wrongly believes that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, so he leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return as a wealthy and polished man. He exacts a terrible revenge for his former miseries.
This classic turns 170 years old this year!