Members Meeting - Nov 18 2017
A Meeting of Worlds: Jane Austen and the 21st Century Reader
Paul Butler, one of our newest JASNA Calgary members, gave us a glimpse into his latest novel, The Widow's Fire, a sequel to Persuasion with a focus on Anne's friend, Mrs. Smith. He discussed the morally questionable actions of Mrs. Smith toward Anne in potentially concealing her past with Mr. Elliott until Anne had declared that she had no intention of marrying him. Quite a number of us had missed this somewhat devious act on her part.
His novel is a closer look at Mrs. Smith and focuses on helping our 21st century morality understand some of the themes contained in Jane Austen's novels and in particular, whether or not Mrs. Smith acted in a reasonable way. This sequel, which begins near the end of Persuasion, is written from different characters' points of view. The story includes some of the gallant Captain Wentworth's darker past from when he was at sea, and it proposes possible consequences for his new life with Anne.
Mr. Butler read excerpts from his novel and enticed so many at the meeting that he sold out his supply of books that he had brought with him. He did advise that the book is also for sale online. A re-read of Persuasion is definitely in order, after which comes The Widow's Fire.