The coronation is behind us, not that many in the U.S. were waiting breathlessly when it was before us. But it is to be acknowledged, if not universally, that it went off splendidly. We, meaning the whole world, had the chance to see it for the first time ever.
Jane Austen was born the year that the Americans ditched their English king. No rigid social hierarchy plagued the colonies, who were too busy fighting and farming to worry about who should have precedence in seating, and who should go in first to a formal dinner. But such matters concerned Sir Walter Elliott and two of his daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, in Persuasion, Austen’s brilliant satire on manners. The heroine of this book is the middle daughter, Anne, now a faded beauty of 27. Eight years before, she had been dissuaded from marrying the handsome but impecunious Frederick Wentworth. Now he is returned from fighting the Napoleonic wars, a Navy captain, setting Anne’s heart aflutter all over again.
This is a classic romance setup, with misunderstandings and unkindnesses all around, ending in a HEA (happy ever after) for all the “good” characters, and disrepute for the baddies. This is also a