Anne Elliot, a lovely, thoughtful, warm-hearted 19 year old woman, accepted a proposal of marriage from the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth. He was clever, confident, and ambitious, but poor and with no particular family connections to recommend him. Her older friend and mentor, Lady Russell, acting in place of Anne’s late mother, persuaded her to break the engagement.
Now at age 27 and still unmarried, Anne re-encounters her former love. Wentworth is now a captain and wealthy from maritime victories in the Napoleonic wars. However, he has not forgiven Anne for rejecting him.
Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book :
Quote #5: How can people that suffer from very difficult and complicated life still be happy and high spirited?
In the course of a second visit she talked with great openness, and Anne’s astonishment increased. She could scarcely imagine a more cheerless situation in itself than Mrs Smith’s. She had been very fond of her husband: she had buried him. She had been used to affluence: it was gone. She had no child to connect her with life and happiness again, no relations to assist in the arrangement of perplexed affairs, no health to make all the rest supportable. Her accommodations were limited to a noisy parlour, and a dark bedroom behind, with no possibility of moving from one to the other without assistance, which there was only one servant in the house to afford, and she never quitted the house but to be conveyed into the warm bath. Yet, in spite of all this, Anne had reason to believe that she had moments only of languor and depression, to hours of occupation and enjoyment. How could it be? She watched, observed, reflected, and finally determined that this was not a case of fortitude or of resignation only. A submissive spirit might be patient, a strong understanding would supply resolution, but here was something more; here was that elasticity of mind, that disposition to be comforted, that power of turning readily from evil to good, and of finding employment which carried her out of herself, which was from nature alone. It was the choicest gift of Heaven; and Anne viewed her friend as one of those instances in which, by a merciful appointment, it seems designed to counterbalance almost every other want.