Of all Jane Austen's great and delightful novels, "Persuasion" is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance.
Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish, spendthrift Sir Walter Elliot, is a woman of quiet charm and deep feelings. When she was nineteen, she fell in love with and was engaged to a naval officer, the fearless and headstrong Captain Wentworth. But the young man had no fortune, and Anne allowed herself to be persuaded, against her profoundest instinct, to give him up.Now, at twenty-seven, and believing that she has lost her bloom, Anne is startled to learn that Captain Wentworth has returned to the neighborhood, a rich man and still unwed. Her never-diminished love is muffled by her pride. He seems cold and unforgiving. Even worse, he appears to be infatuated by the flighty and pretty Louisa Musgrove.
What happens as Anne and Wentworth are thrown together in the social world of Bath and as an eager new suitor appears for Anne is touchingly and wittily told in a masterpiece that is also one of the most entrancing novels in the English language.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
One of England s most beloved authors, Jane Austen wrote such classic novels as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. Published anonymously during her life, Austen s work was renowned for its realism, humour, and commentary on English social rites and society at the time. Austen s writing was supported by her family, particularly by her brother, Henry, and sister, Cassandra, who is believed to have destroyed, at Austen s request, her personal correspondence after Austen s death in 1817. Austen s authorship was revealed by her nephew in A Memoir of Jane Austen, published in 1869, and the literary value of her work has since been recognized by scholars around the world.
Peter Conrad is Tutor in English at Christ Church College, Oxford.
“Critics, especially [recently], value Persuasion highly, as the author’s ‘most deeply felt fiction,’ ‘the novel which in the end the experienced reader of Jane Austen puts at the head of the list.’ . . . Anne wins back Wentworth and wins over the reader; we may, like him, end up thinking Anne’s character ‘perfection itself.’” –from the Introduction by Judith Terry