Paper Sails

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Title: Paper Sails
Author(s): mjules
Date(s): December 2007
Length: 1,200 words
Genre: character study, backstory, het
Fandom: Persuasion (Jane Austen)
External Links: Yuletide; LJ

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Paper Sails is a vignette by mjules for the novel Persuasion by Jane Austen. It was written in Yuletide 2007 for the recipient Athenae.

A pre-story from Frederick Wentworth's point of view, it covers the period from Anne Elliot's rejection of him until his return to England at the opening of the novel. It is set while Wentworth is on active service in the Navy. The only other canon character to appear is James Benwick; the story parallels his love for Fanny Harville, where her death prevents their marriage, with Wentworth's love for Anne, who is still alive and so offers hope for the couple to be united.

The story is archived in the Yuletide archive and in the author's fanfiction livejournal, Like Whiskey in Coffee. It is rated G. The author's summary is "I wish this boat could carry me to you," a quotation from "Divine Presence" by Iona which is extracted at the end of the vignette.

Part of the inspiration came from the 1995 film adaptation; an author's note in the livejournal version states I owe a great debt of gratitude to unanon, who motivated me to write this story by mutually gushing with me over the fantastic breathing in the movie version of this.

Recs & Reviews

The story was well received, gaining the most comments of any Persuasion story in the original Yuletide archive. It has been recommended at Unfit for Society and elsewhere. Reviewers highlight the quality of the writing, the use of imagery, the poignant tone and the hopeful ending. Readers also commented on the believable characterisation of Wentworth, and the depiction of his friendship with Benwick.

It's a lovely look at Wentworth, angry and heartbroken at Anne's rejection, finding healing on the sea. (Beatrice Otter)[1]
A look at how Captain Wentworth coped with Anne's refusal. Melancholy and beautiful, with of course the sea woven throughout to add to the effect. (Baranduin)[2]
This is Wentworth and his heartbreak and his love for Anne and the sea. (earlwyn)[3]
Short and poignant. Looks at Wentworth's love and his loneliness through a lovely conceit of paper boats. It's a beautiful piece of fic. (technosage)[4]
Beautifully poignant look at Captain Wentworth before he comes back into Anne's life. Lovely imagery. (Victoria P. at Unfit for Society)[5]
An interlude of sorts. A few of Wentworth before the book itself begins. Superbly written and suitably achy. (shipless)[6]


  1. ^ beatrice_otter: Yuletide Recs, Part 1 (Fandoms A-L) (accessed 1 February 2014)
  2. ^ baranduin: Untitled post dated 29 December 2007 (accessed 1 February 2014)
  3. ^ earlwyn: More yuletide recs (accessed 1 February 2014)
  4. ^ technosage: Miscellany of technosagery + Yuletide recs, set 2 (accessed 1 February 2014)
  5. ^ unfitforsociety: i'd love to turn you on (accessed 31 January 2014)
  6. ^ there_again: books: misc. (archive) (accessed 1 February 2014)