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Differing from Austen's other novels in adopting a more sober tone, this one describes the ordeals of Anne Elliot, who has been persuaded by her family to reject Captain Wentworth. This and the other Real Reads retellings are a fantastic way to introduce young children to some of the best-known and best-loved classics; beautifully presented and skilfully retold (and condensed – 64 pages in total) and illustrated, they are true to the original plot, capture something of the flavour and tone of the original work, while simplifying the narrative and dialogue. They’re primarily aimed for younger readers – 8-13 year olds but are also a great ‘quick fix’ for teenagers and adults.
The Lovereading comment:
What is it about Jane Austen? How did a fairly ordinary woman who lived two hundred years ago, and who nobody took that much notice of in her own short lifetime, become so famous?
We feel it’s because she questioned. She explored what really mattered in life and relationships. She was one of the first women to write about what women really wanted. That’s a question which is just as important today as it was then, which may be why her books are just as popular now as they ever have been.
Jane was an intelligent, witty and observant writer who loved stories. From a very early age she was encouraged to read and write, and wrote her first novel in her teens. Though Jane never really left home, the fact that she didn’t marry and have children gave her the time to write and the freedom to move within the different circles of people she described so vividly.
And though she was only aware of some of what was happening in the wider world, Jane lived in exciting times, in many ways not unlike our own. After long centuries when little had changed in England, people were starting to think more about important social issues like freedom, personal responsibility, and the relationship between love and duty. Tastes in art, architecture and literature were changing rapidly, from a more formal and rigid ‘classicism’ to a freer and more adventurous ‘romanticism’.
The year of Jane Austen’s birth, 1775, was also when the great landscape painter John Turner was born, when the American Revolution began, and when James Watt invented the steam engine, the machine which would transform the Victorian landscape. In Jane’s lifetime the French Revolution took place, Britain lost its American colonies, and a new British colony was established at Botany Bay in Australia. Ludwig van Beethoven, Josef Haydn and Leopold Mozart were all composing; William Wordsworth, John Keats and Percy Shelley were writing their best-known poetry. What a time to be alive!
To take a look at the other classic novels published by Real Reads click here.
After eight years of heartache, can anyone love again? Eight years ago, Anne Elliot was persuaded that her family’s honour was more important than her own happiness. She has suffered ever since. Now the man she turned away has returned. Can Captain Wentworth forgive Anne, or will he be charmed instead by the beautiful Louisa? Will Anne be persuaded to marry her cousin, or will she find the strength to follow her heart? The extravagance of Anne’s foolish father, the greedy plotting of false friends, and a near-fatal accident bring danger into Anne’s safe world. Their hearts assailed by resentment, regrets and rivals, can Anne and Captain Wentworth now reach across the void that separates them to love each other again?
|Publication date:||24th March 2008|
|Author:||Jane Austen - retold by Gill Tavner|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775, at the rectory in the village of Steventon in Hampshire, England. The youngest but one of eight children, she was educated mainly at home and never lived apart from her family. She played a lot with her brothers, but was closest to her older sister, Cassandra. The children wrote and performed plays to amuse themselves, and even as a little girl Jane was encouraged to write. When she was fourteen she wrote her first novel, Love and Freindship (yes, she couldnâ€™t spell!), and then a rather ambitious History of England. In her ...More About Jane Austen - retold by Gill Tavner