The Widow’s Fire by Paul Butler: Exploring the Shadow Side of Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Consumed by Ink

So you think Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth live happily ever after? Well, Paul Butler wasn’t so sure. He saw a side of Mrs. Smith that the rest of us missed. Is she really the caring, innocent widow that Anne adores, or is she just manipulating us all into thinking she is?

When James at The Miramichi Reader offered to send me this book from Inanna Publications, I jumped at the chance. I was curious to see what Butler had done with such a beloved classic. Plus it gave me an excuse to re-read Persuasion after almost 20 years!

[Favourite line from Persuasion:  “Allowances, large allowances, she knew, must be made for the ideas of those who spoke.”]

One thing Butler did not do was change any of what Jane Austen wrote in Persuasion. What he did do was imagine a longer, darker ending to the…

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