Sunday, January 06, 2013

The 10 best Jane Austen characters

Paula Byrne's most recent book, published in January 2013 to mark the bicentenary of the first publication of Pride and Prejudice, is an innovative biography called The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things.

She named a list of the ten best Jane Austen characters for the Observer, including:
Sir Walter Elliot in Persuasion

Fathers often come off badly in Austen’s novels. Sir Walter Elliot, father of Anne, the heroine of Persuasion, is a selfish, heartless man, absorbed by himself and his title. He’s almost a caricature of the dim-witted upper classes. He is vain to the point of absurdity. His house is lined with mirrors. Obsessed by keeping up appearances, he will only be seen in public with attractive or well-born people. He dislikes sailors because of their orange tan and supposed lack of breeding. He’s so vain he probably thinks this feature’s about him.
Read about another Austen character Byrne tagged.

Persuasion is among Marjorie Kehe's list of ten perfect books for Valentine's Day gifts, Howard Jacobson's 5 favorite literary heroines and top ten novels of sexual jealousy, Elizabeth Buchan's top ten books guaranteed to give comfort during the ending of a relationship, and appears on John Mullan's list of ten of the best concerts in literature.

The Page 99 Test: Persuasion.

--Marshal Zeringue