Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Currently reading: Captain Wentworth’s Diary

on May 3, 2010
Lastly, there’s Captain Wentworth’s Diary (the most candyflossy of the three!).  I’ve already read Mr Darcy’s and Mr Knightley’s Diary by the same author, which were lots of fun – very faithful to Austen (unlike some other “tributes” I’ve come across) with no inappropriate sexual references or glaringly out of place uses of language.  Interestingly, although similar to Austen’s writing in tone and style, they are extremely light reads – Mr Darcy’s Diary took me a day to read whilst Mr Knightley’s took me two.  Each covers the same period of time as its “counterpart” original novel, although the story of Darcy begins slightly earlier, in order to include Georgiana’s failed elopement with Wickham – a sensible idea to set Darcy firmly in the context of his circumstances – and also continues for a short time after Pride and Prejudice ends, in order to cover the couple’s first Christmas together and conclude a nice little romantic subplot introduced by Grange.  Captain Wentworth’s Diary, however, begins just prior to his first meeting with Anne, in order to cover their courtship, engagement, and the “persuasion” which leads them to be parted eight years before the start of Persuasion.  This is the obvious course of action for anyone wanting to re-tell the story, but I have my concerns, for one main reason: Fanny Harville.  Anyone who’s read Persuasion will know that Captain Benwick, Wentworth’s friend, was engaged to the sister of another friend, Captain Harville.  Before they were able to marry, however, Fanny Harville died, leaving Benwick broken-hearted and miserable, which is how Anne finds him when they first meet.  But anyone who’s read much Austen will know that there is nothing that could be classed as tragedy which takes place in any of the novels – anything like that has happened in the past, as a narrative device to put the affected characters into their present circumstances.  It bothers me, then, to think that somewhere along the line, there will be a tragic death in this book, which is otherwise Austen-esque.  I’ll have to see how that pans out.
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