Getting to Know Modern Persuasion: Meet Karen

characters5Every time I re-read Persuasion, I take something new away.  This time I am far more focused on Lady Russell than I ever have been before.  While we discuss that on a different post, it made me want to focus on her counterpart in Modern Persuasion.

While Emma may treat her father like a child, Karen is the one who played the role of parent and mentor to our heroine.  It is a role that has shifted over the years, but Emma only starts to see that during the story.

Here are 5 things you won’t learn about Karen from reading Modern Persuasion:

  1. Karen didn’t like Harry Potter and still doesn’t get what is so great about it.
  2. Karen is a book snob.  Other than the books she reads for work, she only reads those that are nominated for the Booker Prize.
  3. While Emma is her favorite Shaw sister, she did try to bond with Mary.  For example, she would take Mary out for tacos on Tuesdays.  Karen never wanted children of her own, so she found Mary far needier than she was capable of giving.
  4. Her favorite animal is the peacock.  She decorates her office with peacocks and everything is in shades of blue or green.
  5. Her one weakness is astrology.  She reads her horoscope (and Emma’s… and Walter’s) before anything else.  That being said, she picks up the New York Times right after.

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