Bookworm finds a description of Obama in Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'

by CynthiaYockey on August 22, 2009

Over at Right Wing News, Bookworm has some apt then-and-now musings:

There’s a reason for my little extended meditation on Obama’s personality as it first appeared and as it actually is. For my own pleasure, I’ve been rereading Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which stands second only to Pride & Prejudice in my estimation. P&P is a youthful work about first chances. Persuasion, which was Austen’s last book, is a mature work about second chances.

Austen makes clear, though, that not all people are deserving of second chances. An important character in the book, although he doesn’t fully make an appearance until about halfway through is a Mr. Eliot, a cousin to the heroine, and the heir to her father, a baronet. Early in the book, Jane Austen explains that, in his 20s, this Mr. Eliot rudely ignored any family claims on him and, showing disrespect to the title in a class conscious age, married a “low born” woman simply for her money. Later in the book, he reappears in his 30s, ostensibly a changed character. All are charmed — except for Anne, the heroine, who does not trust him. Her suspicions prove to be true, when she learns from a reliable source that he was and is a debauched, immoral and cruel man.

Click here to read the whole thing and see the remarkable insight Austen displays into a character so remarkably like Obama.

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