Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Captain Wentworth’s Diary

on May 7, 2010

I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally finished the above.  It’s been a very busy week with no end of meetings so it’s taken me longer than the other two but I finished reading it this afternoon. My reservations about the death of Fanny Harville, I feel, were justified: whilst Amanda Grange’s treatment of the subject was sensitive and in keeping with the tone of Austen’s books, I still felt that the fact that it took place during the narrative was out of keeping with Austen’s world.  That said, this is, of course, told from the point of view of a man rather than a woman and perhaps Grange felt that it wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate after all.

The rest of the book completely lived up to my expectations and it was interesting to see how Grange filled in the blanks when the narrative of Persuasion takes Anne away from Wentworth so that they are no longer experiencing the same events, such as the time Wentworth spends with his brother and sister-in-law when Anne first goes to Bath.

As a story it was no less exciting for the fact that it was known to me and I found myself feeling the same sense of anticipation towards the end as I do whenever I read Persuasion itself.  As with the original novel, my favourite passage was that in which Frederick covertly writes a note to Anne and manages to deliver it to her by pretending to have forgotten his gloves.  Grange manages to convey the same sense of nervousness and edginess on Wentworth’s part throughout the scene as Austen does on Anne’s, and it was beautifully embellished by interspersing sections of the letter with the conversation taking place in the room as Wentworth writes, spurring him on to add particular details as he hears what Anne is saying.  It gave fresh significance to the letter and a kind of  “real-time” element to the passage.

All-in-all I found this light and enjoyable and, as with the previous two Diaries I have read, a lovely complement to Austen’s original novel.


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