Mermaid by Olivier Ponsonnet
Illustration by Patience Brewster for The Merbaby by Teresa Bateman
This 1969 Pan edition of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is not likely to gain Austen’s wonderful novel any new fans. Anne Elliott looks like a lightskirt, while Captain Wentworth looks vaguely menacing.
Too bad; Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen book, Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliott my favorite Austen characters, and this one of my favorite book selections:
“I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.”
"Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”