However, I do love Austen biographies, essay collections and novels which pay homage but do not lift the characters and storylines or somehow manage to introduce zombies! I've been re-reading Persuasion for Rachel's reading week and dipping into A Truth Universally Acknowledged, Susannah Carson's selected essay collection.
Somerset Maugham has written an extremely interesting, if acerbic, essay on Pride and Prejudice which includes some radical thoughts on Persuasion. While acknowledging that Persuasion has a 'rare charm' he is unconvinced by the scene on the Cobb at Lyme and asks how Louisa managed to fall on her head when she was being jumped down from the stile. He also raises the question of Captain Wentworth's reaction to the fall:
'Anyhow she was unconscious, and the fuss that is made is unbelievable. Everybody loses his head. Captain Wentworth, who has seen action and made a fortune out of prize money is paralysed with horror.' W Somerset Maugham
My own thoughts are that Austen wanted to demonstrate that Wentworth was not invincible and this was an opportunity for Anne to assert her quiet strength. I'd love to know what you think.