[identity profile] slytherin-gypsy.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ship_manifesto
Title: I Have Loved None But You.
Author: [profile] slytherin_gypsy 
Fandom: Jane Austen's Persuasion.
Pairing: Frederick Wentworth/Anne Elliot.
Word Count: 4178 words.
Author's Notes: Although Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, Persuasion is a close second. While the relationship between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet is widely acclaimed, the one between Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot is much less known. It is a pity, for it is a true example of love withstanding time and adversities. I’ve decided to write this manifesto as a way to share my love for this amazing couple.
Comments, suggestions, corrections and recommendations are very welcome.

1. It Is Never Too Late For True Love: Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot, the twenty-seven-year-old middle daughter of a bankrupt baronet. Eight years before the beginning of the novel she had been briefly engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a naval officer with no fortune or certain prospects, but was persuaded to break off the relationship, something she has regretted ever since. Wentworth, now a respected and rich Captain, returns to her life when the Crofts (his sister and her husband) become the tenants of Kellynch Hall (the Elliot’s property, leased to assuage Sir Walter’s debts).

Anne, who has been radically altered by time, can do nothing but watch as Frederick starts to get involved with the Musgrove girls, Henrietta and Louisa, the younger sisters of her brother-in-law, in whose house she is a guest. No match comes out of it however: Henrietta becomes engaged her cousin, Charles Hayter, while Louisa, after an accident that leaves her much altered, decides to marry a friend of Wentworth’s, Captain Benwick. Meanwhile Anne, who has removed to Bath to join her father and older sister, begins to receive the attentions of her cousin and father’s heir, William Elliot. They do not, however, come to an understanding as it is generally expected because Anne does not trust him completely (and in this she proves to be wise, for despite appearances his character is not good) and she cannot forget Wentworth, who had been incredibly jealous of Mr. Elliot’s attentions to her.

In the end Wentworth, after overhearing a conversation between Anne and his friend Captain Harville about the strength and endurance of love, writes her a letter confessing he has never stopped loving her, renews his addresses and is joyously accepted.

Persuasion is the last novel Jane Austen completed and it was published after her death. Some people believe it was left somewhat unfinished and that had Austen been in better health, she would have revised it further and perhaps added a third volume. Claire Tomalin, who wrote a biography about Austen, believes the book was her “present to herself... to all women who had lost their chance in life and would never enjoy a second spring” as its protagonist, Anne Elliot, is much older than Austen’s other heroines and well past her first bloom of youth.

2. The Girl Who Lost And Regained Her Bloom: Anne Elliot

       Anne Elliot: Ann Firbank (1971), Amanda Root (1995) and Sally Hawkins (2007).

Anne Elliot is the middle daughter of Sir William Elliot (her sister Elizabeth being two years older and her sister Mary four years younger), a baronet whose expensive habits have led to staggering debts. She lost her mother at the age of fourteen and since then has been principally guided by her godmother, Lady Russell. She is constantly overlooked by her father and older sister, who are more concerned with good looks and rank than with good character, but has become hardened to their affronts.

Anne is known for her elegance of mind, sweetness of character and the gentleness and rightness of her manners. She is also modest and very sensible, not being easily overwhelmed by shock or prone to panic, characteristics that makes her invaluable in an emergency. Anne is esteemed as a friend and confidante by all who know her (the exception being her father and older sister); she is always glad to be of use, as she believes that is all the comfort she can expect in life. At the local dances, she is relegated to playing the piano, not, like the other young ladies, to showcase her talents, but to allow the other young women to dance, a pastime she no longer partakes in.

At nineteen, Anne was considered an extremely pretty girl, with delicate features and dark eyes. After breaking of the engagement to Frederick Wentworth, however, her lingering feelings for him and regret over the way things ended “clouded every enjoyment of youth, and an early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect”. At twenty-seven, she was already faded and thin (“haggard” in her father’s own words). The months she stays with her sister at Uppercross improve her looks, something that is remarked upon by Lady Russell and Sir Walter (in a rare show of goodwill towards her) and makes her the object of her cousin’s admiration.
Above all else, Anne regrets having broken of the understanding with Frederick Wentworth. While she does not blame Lady Russell for persuading her, her romantic side overcame her prudent one as the years passed and she began to believe that she would have been happier if they had remained engaged, despite whatever difficulties they might have encountered. One thing that is made clear is that Anne, despite trying to convince herself she has become hardened to Wentworth’s presence after he re-enters her life, has never forgotten him. Even though she is overlooked and underappreciated by her father and older sister, she has not tried to escape them by marrying someone else, though she had plenty of opportunities. At twenty-two she received a proposal from Charles Musgrove, but despite the mutual esteem between them she turns him down. Captain Benwick admires her exceedingly, and yet despite being flattered and quite certain at the time that Wentworth was set to marry Louisa, she never considers it more than a compliment. Her cousin, Mr. Elliot, is so taken with her that rumors of their union circulate around Bath, but though she considers him a sensible and agreeable man and admits that the idea of eventually filling her mother’s place at Kellynch is tempting, she knows she cannot accept him even before she learns about his true character.

3. The Gallant Captain: Frederick Wentworth

        Frederick Wentworth: Bryan Marshall (1971), Ciarán Hinds (1995) and Rupert Penry-Jones (2007).

Frederick Wentworth is a naval officer who, despite having nothing but himself to recommend him, managed to make a handsome fortune in his years during his years of service (something around twenty-five thousand pounds). He is a very handsome man, intelligent, headstrong and fearless. He has a sanguine temper and charming manners, with no shyness or reserve, a “fine dashing fellow” in Dick Musgrove’s estimation. He despises feeble characters and admires those that, like him, are very decisive.

Wentworth was made a Commander at the age of twenty-three and, being turned ashore, spent six months living with his brother Edward, a curate, in Somersetshire, where he met Anne and became warmly attached to her. After she breaks their engagement he feels himself ill used and leaves the country harboring a deep resentment towards her. In the next eight years he managed, through hard work and sheer luck, to distinguish himself. He returns to Somersetshire to visit his sister and her husband and is determined to find a wife. He has never managed to find a woman equal to Anne in his estimation and has stopped trying: he decides he is ready to settle for any young woman with a strong mind and sweetness of manner; anyone, in short, who is not Anne Elliot.

Wentworth begins to involve himself with Louisa and Henrietta Musgrove. While he was certainly very thoughtless when he accepted the attentions of both Musgrove girls at the same time, he is no rogue. He had not the least intention of causing a malicious competition between them (which did not happen) or of causing Charles Hayter, Henrietta’s beau, any pain (since he did not know about him). After Henrietta and Hayter reconcile, it seems that he has decided to offer for Louisa and it is clear that he admires her determination. Said determination, however, proves to be her undoing, as it leads to a serious accident in Lyme, for which Wentworth feels partially responsible. When his friend Captain Harville declares he is considered by all an engaged man, Frederick is shocked to see his behavior might have caused certain expectations. He does his best to try to cool things (not seeing Louisa while she recovers, going to visit his brother for an extended period), but is willing to do the honorable thing if it is clear it is expected of him, despite having realized by that time that he had not managed to forget Anne. It's only after Louisa becomes engaged to Captain Benwick that Frederick follows Anne to Bath, hoping that some of her feelings for him remained.

4. You Pierce My Soul: Anne and Frederick’s Story

Anne and Frederick met during the summer of 1806, when he "had nothing to do, and she had hardly anybody to love" and became quickly attached to one another and then engaged. While her father did not deny his consent, he made it clear he disapproved of her choice and would do nothing for her in financial terms. Her older sister also clearly disapproves of him as well, but it is the opinion of Anne's godmother, Lady Russell, whom she loved and relied upon, that persuades her to break-off the engagement. Anne yields to caution and duty, believing she is being prudent and self-denying for his sake more than her own. Frederick, however, does not see her point of view and leaves the country resenting her for breaking his heart. Despite wanting to, his pride keeps him from writing to Anne in 1808, when he was in a much more better position financially, and asking her to renew their engagement, something she admits she would have done.

Some people question Anne's motives for breaking off the engagement, wondering if she really was consulting his good and not her own. Her prudence, however, cannot be denied. Despite the fact that all of Wentworth's predictions came true and he achieved fame and fortune, he admits that great part of it was due to sheer luck. Anne might have easily been left an impoverished widow or a grieving fiancée like Captain Benwick. Had Wentworth had the misfortune to be injured, they might have ended like the Harvilles, with little to live, but with love and good humor to sustain them. They could, however, have ended up like the Fanny Price's family in Mansfield Park: impoverished and bitter about their lot in life, with Anne being nothing more than an unwelcome burden to her husband.

Even as eight years pass, they do not forget each other: Anne follows Frederick and his family through the Navy list and the newspapers; Frederick compares every woman he meets to Anne (none manages to be her equal). They meet again in the summer of 1814, when Frederick comes to Kellynch to stay with his sister and her husband. While Anne believes that time has not lessened Frederick's looks, his first comment about her is that she is so altered he would not have recognized her (to his credit, he probably spoke without thinking and certainly did not expect her to learn about it). Later, as his bitterness subsides and they are reconciled, he tells her that in his mind she could never alter (Anne lets this pleasing blunder pass).

Anne tries to become hardened to his presence, but has little success, even if she does not admit it. She is pained to see that he clearly still resents her. Yet, despite the fact that he interacts with Anne as little as civility will allow, Wentworth is always aware of her and looks after her comfort. This is easily seen when he removes young Walter Musgrove (who had fastened himself on her and was making a nuisance of himself, ignoring the scolding he received from both Anne and Charles Hayter) and when he leads her into the Croft's gig after their long walk to Winthrop, as he recognizes she is very tired.

  "In another moment, she found herself being released from him; some one was taking him from her." (1905/1906 illustration by C.E. Brock)

Their pleasure trip to Lyme with the Musgroves is a cataclysm for change. First, Anne is admired by a passing gentleman (who turns out to be her cousin), making Frederick aware that he is not as immune to her as he has pretended to be. Louisa's fall from the Cobb prompts him to recognize Anne's worth (“no one so proper, so capable as Anne”), making the realization that he might have inadvertently bound himself to Louisa painful. When news of Louisa's engagement reaches him, he goes to Bath after Anne, who has joined her father and older sister.

When they meet at Molland's, for the first time she is the one who is composed (having had time to prepare for his presence) while he is awkward at first, showing signs of not being nearly as indifferent as Anne once believed. When they talk about Louisa's engagement to Benwick, he shows clearly that he does not feel himself to be ill-used by his friend as Anne once feared, but that he cannot comprehend how Benwick managed to recover from Fanny Harville's death, as he was so attached to her, a woman that Wentworth considered a "very superior creature". "A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman. He ought not; he does not", he says, causing in Anne both confusion and gratification. Their meeting, however, is interrupted by Mr. Elliot, who leads Anne away. 

  Anne (Amanda Root) and Frederick (Ciarán Hinds) meet at Molland’s.

Frederick is besieged by jealousy when he realizes the degree of attention Mr. Elliot is paying to Anne and how such a union would be well received by those closest to her. He is afraid that she will be persuaded to accept her cousin, even if she does not love him. When they meet in the Concert Rooms he tries to ascertain her feelings for him, but Mr. Elliot's attentions make him leave in a fit of jealousy. Anne is extremely glad to realize that he is jealous of her cousin as it shows how strong his feelings for her still are, yet does not know how to tell him the truth about her own feelings.

  Anne (Sally Hawkins), accompanied by her cousin, Mr. Elliot (Tobias Menzes), looks for Captain Wentworth at the concert in Bath.

She inadvertently manages to do so through a conversation she has with Captain Harville about the constancy of men and women's feelings, which is overheard by Wentworth.

"I hope I do justice to all that is felt by you, and by those who resemble you. God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures! I should deserve utter contempt if I dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman. No, I believe you capable of everything great and good in your married lives. I believe you equal to every important exertion, and to every domestic forbearance, so long as--if I may be allowed the expression--so long as you have an object. I mean while the woman you love lives, and lives for you. All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one; you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone."
- Anne to Captain Harville, chapter eleven of volume two (part twenty-three).

Moved by her words, Frederick declares himself through one of the most beautiful fictional letters ever written:

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan.--Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes?--I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others.--Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in

F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening, or never.
- Frederick's letter to Anne, chapter eleven of volume two (part twenty-three).

Meeting once more in the streets of Bath, they are finally reunited. This time they have no true opposition: Sir Walter is somewhat pleased this time around (because besides having money, Frederick is very good looking), Lady Russell recognizes she was wrong in her previous assessment of Wentworth's merits, Mary is gratified by the connection and it is clear through the novel that Admiral and Mrs. Croft hold Anne in high regard. With nothing to deter them and so much affection between them, who can be in doubt of what followed?

5. With the advantage of maturity of mind, consciousness of right, and one independent fortune between them: Why Ship Frederick/Anne?

Despite a very promising start, it took Frederick and Anne eight and a half years to finally be together. Neither of them is blameless when it comes to that long separation: Anne made a bad decision in breaking off the engagement and Frederick, guided by pride and resentment, kept them apart unnecessarily for six years. Yet Anne broke the engagement with the best of motives, truly believing it would be the best thing for both of them and Wentworth recognizes that their misery for many years was his fault and tries to make amends.

I think that Frederick and Anne are suited to each other because even if they come from very different backgrounds and have distinct personalities, their opinions match in many respects (for instance, being both much more concerned with superiority of mind than with superiority of rank and fortune). They are acquainted with the other's preferences and feelings and are always very much aware of each other when in company, even when they try to be indifferent.

They are constant to one another not because they have no options, but simply because they could never find anyone that surpassed their estimation of the other's character. Even when he is unsuccessfully trying to attach himself to another, Wentworth cares about Anne's wellbeing and comfort. Even though Anne is happy to learn Frederick is not to marry Louisa, she worries about how his feelings were affected. Being apart makes them muddle through; together they manage to find happiness.

Ultimately, shipping Frederick/Anne is much more than just following the dictates of canon: it's believing that love can transcend the test of time, misunderstandings, hurt pride and machinations.

6. What Could Have Been: The Cancelled Chapters of Persuasion

In Austen's initial draft, the reconciliation between Anne and Frederick occurred in a very different way. The original chapter ten of volume two (later re-written as chapters ten and eleven or parts twenty-two and twenty-three) had the Admiral give Frederick a painful task: believing that Anne is to marry Mr. Elliot and that they would like to settle at Kellynch, the Admiral wants Frederick to say that he is willing to cancel the lease if they so desire it. Anne tells Wentworth that there is no truth in such report and after realizing that their feelings have not changed, they are reconciled.

Austen considered this ending "tame and flat" and re-wrote it, adding such iconic scenes as the conversation between Anne and Captain Harville and Frederick's letter. The original chapter ten, however, has not been forgotten, as the basic plot (Wentworth talking to Anne about Mr. Elliot on behalf of the Admiral) has been included in both the 1995 and in the 2007 adaptations of Persuasion.

The original chapter ten is included in some versions of the novel and can be found here (as it is written in shorthand and hardly has any paragraphs, it can be a little hard to follow).

7. From the Book to the Screen

There have been four adaptations of Persuasion:

- A 1960/1961 black and white adaptation starring Daphne Slater as Anne Elliot  and Paul Daneman as Frederick Wentworth.

- A 1971 adaptation starring Ann Firbank as Anne Elliot and Bryan Marshall as Frederick Wentworth.
  Some scenes from this version are available on Youtube.

- A 1995 adaptation starring Amanda Root as Anne Elliot and Ciarán Hinds as Frederick Wentworth.
The 1995 version seems to be the favorite adaptation with fans. While some people complain that the actors looked older than they are supposed to and that they are not as attractive as they should be, most people agree that this version is very faithful to the original novel.
Here's a trailer and a promo of it for Masterpiece Theater.

- A 2007 adaptation starring Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot and Rupert Penry-Jones as Frederick Wentworth.
The 2007 version is a bit more controversial than the 1995 one: some have loved it, some hated it. The costumes, the locations and the score have been praised, while the end (especially the part where Anne literally runs around Bath and the kiss she shares with Wentworth) has been highly criticized.
Here is a trailer for the DVD and a teaser for Persuasion as part of the 2007 Jane Austen Season on ITV.

8. Searching For More?
A) General information about the Novel:
- As it is copyright free, the entire novel is available online. Among other places, you can find a copy through Project Gutenberg (including also an Audio Book version). More links for the novel can be found at the Persuasion page on Wikipedia.
- A Persuasion FAQ at the Republic of Pemberley, covering some interesting questions about the novel.
- A calendar for the events of Persuasion compiled by Ellen Moody.
B) Jane Austen Fanfiction Archives:
Most Austen fanfic archives are, in fact, almost exclusively Pride and Prejudice archives and many require you to create an account to view the stories. There are, however, some places one can find Persuasion fics without having to register. Among them are:
- The Derbyshire Writers’ Guild - One of the oldest and largest archives of Jane Austen fan fiction on the internet, accepts fanfics up to PG-13. The archive has two separate sections: The Epilogue Abbey (fics set in the same time period as Jane Austen's novels) and The Fantasia Gallery (adaptations set in different time periods, parodies, etc...). Complete stories are marked by a teal dot; Persuasion stories are accompanied by the initials ~Per~.
- The Persuasion page of the Bits of Ivory archive.
C) LJ Communities:
[livejournal.com profile] janeites, [livejournal.com profile] jane_austen - General Jane Austen communities.
[livejournal.com profile] bbccostumedrama - A comm that, despite the name, discusses Costume Dramas from all sources. Jane Austen’s work is a frequent topic of discussion and Persuasion comes up occasionally.
D) The Jane Austen Fanfiction Index
The Index lists almost all Austen fics available on the internet. You can search for all Persuasion fics, and even specific tropes (such as "Alternate Backstory" or "Modern Fics"). Login and Password information can be found here.

9. Fanfic Recs
- Stardust by Ulrike and Cindy C. (WIP)
Anna von Eltow and Friedrich Wingendorff meet again after eight years and a world war apart in 1948 Germany.
As a rule I don’t: a) read modern retellings of Jane Austen’s novels; b) rec works in progress. This story, however, is so amazing that it deserves to be an exception.
- A Misstep On The Cobb by Amy P.
Everyone's feelings soon come to light when Anne falls off the stairs at the Cobb.”
An interesting what-if story told from Louisa's point of view that shows what could have happened had Anne been the one to fall on that fateful day. It explores Frederick’s feelings quite a bit.
- Lise's Persuasion fics (The Benefits of Retrenching, End of Innocence, Persuade Me , among others), some of the most popular in the fandom.

10. Art, Fanart and Music
- All of C.E. Brock's illustrations for Persuasion.
- A wallpaper of Frederick’s letter, using one of Brock's drawings, made by olde_fashioned
- Captain Wentworth by Ysa
- Captain Wentworth by MathildeE
- Anne Elliot by jroberts
- Lady Russell and Anne Elliot by Himmapaan
- An Anne/Frederick Fanmix by me
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