I was absolutely thrilled when Laurel Ann Nattress invited me to add to her short story collection, and I knew straight away which story I wanted to write. Persuasion is my favourite of Jane’s novels and I’ve always been particularly intrigued by two questions that arise out of the book whenever I read it. Firstly, how do Anne and Frederick meet initially, and secondly, how does her family take the news that she’s accepted his proposal of marriage a second time?
I began thinking about all the time that has elapsed after their broken engagement, a period of eight and a half years. Anne has never stopped loving Captain Wentworth in all that time:
“…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!”
I imagined all those years of waiting and longing, and wanted to hear their thoughts. Even when Anne knows that Frederick is coming to claim her hand, there is still the ordeal of an interview with her father to be undertaken, and she begins to doubt that what she longs for may not happen after all. How will her sisters Elizabeth and Mary react to the news? Will they be happy for her or will the weaknesses in their characters run true to form? I was also able to indulge in a little flashback scene at Edward Wentworth’s rectory where Anne and a young lieutenant first meet and are thrown together and it was such fun to describe the scene.
I had such a wonderful time writing this story, and I hope you will enjoy it along with all the other fabulous stories!