Today is the birthday of one of our favorite Jane Austen heroines. A big Happy Birthday to dearest Anne Elliot! Anne was born August 9th, 1787, this means that if she were a real person alive today she'd be 224 years old! But don't tell her I told you!
Of all of Jane Austen's novels Persuasion is unique in that the authoress starts off by giving us clear dates and places as to where the events that follow are happening.
"Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed. This was the page at which the favourite volume always opened:
"ELLIOT OF KELLYNCH HALL.'Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married, July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of Gloucester, by which lady (who died 1800) he has issue Elizabeth, born June 1, 1785; Anne, born August 9, 1787; a still-born son, November 5, 1789; Mary, born November 20, 1791.'"
-Excerpt from the very beginning of Chapter 1 from Jane Austen's Persuasion
If you're not familiar with Anne or you need to get reaquainted the best way to decribe her is how Jane Austen did herself:
"...but Anne, with an elegance of mind and sweetness of character, which must have placed her high with any people of real understanding, was nobody with either father or sister; her word had no weight; her convenience was always to give way -- she was only Anne.
To Lady Russell, indeed, she was a most dear and highly valued god-daughter, favourite, and friend. Lady Russell loved them all, but it was only in Anne that she could fancy the mother to revive again.
A few years before, Anne Elliot had been a very pretty girl, but her bloom had vanished early; and as even in its height, her father had found little to admire in her (so totally different were her delicate features and mild dark eyes from his own), there could be nothing in them, now that she was faded and thin, to excite his esteem." - Persuasion, Chapter 1
She also says Anne is "an extremely pretty girl, with gentleness, modesty, taste, and feeling." (Persuasion, Chapter 4)
When I thought of what kind of party would interest Anne the first thing that came to mind is 'definitely not a card party', because as Anne says "I am no card-player" (Persuasion, Chapter 22).
Again when I thought about the type of people that should be invited to her birthday party I remembered what she told her cousin: "My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company." (Persuasion, Chapter 16).
While others may wish for balls and galas, where prestigious guests dance the night away, that simply won't do for our birthday girl. The only type of party that will suit Miss Anne Elliot is a small intimate party where her dearest friends can enjoy a little music, a few parlor games, and lots of fun and laughter!
So let's get this party started!
Keep an eye out for more Anne and Persuasion related posts throughout the day!
Very Excitedly Your's,