Persuasion - complete illustrated novel by Jane Austen. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

 
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"His good looks and his rank had one fair claim on his attachment; since to them he must have owed a wife of very superior character to any thing deserved by his own. Lady Elliot had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable; whose judgement and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful infatuation which made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards.--She had humoured, or softened, or concealed his failings, and promoted his real respectability for seventeen years; and though not the very happiest being in the world herself, had found enough in her duties, her friends, and her children, to attach her to life, and make it no matter of indifference to her when she was called on to quit them. --Three girls, the two eldest sixteen and fourteen, was an awful legacy for a mother to bequeath, an awful charge rather, to confide to the authority and guidance of a conceited, silly father."

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Customer Reviews:

  • one of the darker Jane Austen novels
    I started reading this novel years ago, when I was reading all of Jane Austen, and I didn't finish it. It was too tense and agonizing. The suspense was almost painful: here is this young woman in her late twenties, still in love with a man she rejected because of family pressure eight years ago, and he comes back into her life. At first he seems cold and distant, but then she begins to think that maybe he still loves her too. But in this society, the woman can't speak first. She can't simply say to him, "I still love you, and I'm sorry I didn't accept your proposal eight years ago. I was given bad advice by my family." No, she has to wait for him to put aside his pride and ask if maybe she's changed her mind about him. She's on pins and needles the whole time, and there are terrible humiliations, and she's treated very badly by her family, but in the end it all works out.

    Still, it's so painful to think that women once lived like this: utterly dependent on marriage for survival; dreading being an old maid; prevented from doing any kind of real work at all; prisoners of a rigid class system; and silenced by rigid gender role conventions....more info
  • Boring, like all other Austin novels
    I must say Jane Austen is incredibly boring and all her novels are stories of women's aspirations to marry wealthy and noble men to support them. Most great literature is so wonderful because of its timelessness, touching on universal feelings and ideas. While it may have been groundbreaking in its time, it is so dull now. We women have already established our desires of equality in culture and have already acknowledged at least an inkling of what feminine independence is but this novel is a back step. Also, it is so predictable. Of course all of the characters will end up married, and most likely to their man of choice. This book is dull and predictable and is restricted by its time period. If you want to delve into the past then maybe pick it up, but otherwise, it's unexciting, and it still feeds on social classes and marriage as a woman's reliance on a man for social and fiscal support. ...more info
  • not her best
    I am not quite sure why Persuasion is not quite as good as
    Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice. It is a well constructed
    story, and if anything, the secondary characters are more amusing
    than those in her other novels. However, the main characters
    are just too restrained (maybe repressed is a better word
    here). Their exchanges, and frequently lack thereof, makes it a bit
    frustrating. However, this is still an excellent read - entertaining
    from start to finish. ...more info
  • "There could have been no two hearts so open, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved."
    Would you let someone persuade you to leave the one you love? That is what Anne Elliot does. Frederick Wentworth is a dashing naval officer, but well beneath Anne's station. She is, after all, the daughter of Sir Walter Elliot, baronet and master of Kellynch Hall. Not only is Wentworth a penniless officer, he is also ambitious and confident. According to Anne's particular friend Lady Russell, those qualities are unbecoming in a man. And so, out of safety, Anne severs her engagement to Wentworth. Fast-forward eight years. Anne is now twenty-seven, still single, still disinclined to marry. Her father has little money and is now forced to let Kellynch Hall to a well-respected admiral. Among the admiral's society is Anne's former fianc®¶, now Captain Wentworth, well respected and very rich. Anne's love for Wentworth reemerges, but is it too late? Is his indifference so big that he won't even speak to her? Could she somehow persuade him to give their love another try?

    This is Jane Austen's final finished work. It was published in 1818, one year after her death. Persuasion is a masterpiece and my second favorite Austen (after Pride and Prejudice). This novel contains Austen's signature comedy of manners, but it's not her funniest effort. It is, however, her most romantic. Whose heart doesn't break when Anne watches Wentworth court both the Musgrove sisters, and listens to her sister and brother-in-law argue over who Wentworth should choose to be his bride? Who hasn't choked up with The Letter? (Persuasion fans know what I'm talking about.) This is the third -- or is it the fourth? -- time I read this book, and I still tear up when I read that bit! Persuasion is a wonderful novel, but it isn't perfect. Various secondary characters are either one-dimensional or underdeveloped, and I would have liked the scenes in Lyme to be expanded, for those are my favorite scenes. Alas, if you're an Austen fan, there is plenty of her signature stuff here: the pretentious gentry, the unscrupulous opportunists, the parties and get-togethers and courtships and descriptions of the countryside. I like that this novel is partly set in Bath, giving it the genuine Regency setting that makes Jane Austen unique. If you've never read Persuasion, I cannot persuade you to read this enough! And if you've read this and are a fan, may I perhaps persuade you to read it again?...more info
  • Don't overlook this Austen classic
    Although also a romance like Austen's better known novels, Emma and Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion is a subtle one, with a theme not of whirlwind passion but of constancy and devotion. The main character, Anne Elliott, was very much in love with Captain Wentworth as a young girl, but was persuaded by friends and family to reject him as a husband. Broken-hearted, Wentworth went to sea, and the novel actually begins when he re-enters Anne's life eight years later, having made his career and his money.

    Anne is a character to whom the reader can easily relate: introspective, analyzing everything and flawed, able to make make mistakes and recover from them. She narrowly averts an unhappy life by not letting her friends and family persuade her again to marry her cousin, who has money and manners but turns out to be quite despicable. And while Captain Wentworth does not have the dash or charm of a Mr. Darcy, he is Anne's one true love, as prone to the follies of a broken heart as she is subject to the strong influence of those around her.

    The underlying theme is about choices and following one's heart. If Anne had only listened to her own feelings instead of allowing others to sway her, she would have found happiness sooner. Despite what seems like an afterthought of a speech at the end of the novel, when Anne justifies her earlier behavior, this seems to be a strongly feminist novel, advocating the rights of women to choose their own way in life and their own partners for life, rather than be guided solely by considerations of fortune and class.

    This is also one of Austen's funnier novels, particularly the scenes featuring Anne's sisters and father, who are incredibly self-absorbed. Their dialogue--constantly misreading the situation in their own favor or stating something when the opposite is true--brings a welcome lightheartedness to the story....more info
  • Literature that heals your soul
    I just recently went through a really rough break up and a friend of mine suggested that I read this book to start working on getting over it. It is a beautifully written book and the story is not at all predictable. It twists and turns and the whole time you find yourself on the edge of your seat, not able to put the book down untill you find out what is going to happen between Anne and Mr. Wentworth... will they see eachother? Will they speak? The characters are all very clear, and all very different. There's the annoying " it's all about her" sister, the well to do Friend, the loner bookworm, the bitter widow, the scheming cousin, each character is unique. Anne is polite and loveable. Everyone loves her and you will too. In the end, this beautiful love story gives a single girl like me hope that there is that perfect someone out there for me, but you don't have to be going through a loss to love this book. Everyone should read it. It is one of my new favorites of all time!...more info
  • Very Good EDITION Of This Classic
    Everyone else has said all there is to say about Austen, her writing, and this plot. I want to thank Penguin Classics for the endnotes in this edition. They were comprehensive, clear, attractively presented (instead of being wedged into the text), and helpful to 21st-century readers of this early 19th-century novel. The scholarly introduction (with a spoiler warning, how thoughtful!) and the biographical timeline help place the book in both literary and chronological context, and were substantive additions to this work....more info
  • Follow your heart (while you're still pretty)
    Jane Austen's last novel, posthumously published in 1818, is about the possibility of having a second chance for love after one's made the mistake of following advice contrary to natural inclinations. The story centers on Anne Elliot, descendant of an illustrious family from the nobility of Somerset. Her mother has died and she lives with her father, an insufferably vain and irresponsible character, who has spent most of his fortune in a stupid way. Anne also lives with her elder sister Elizabeth, another unlikable person. They treat Anne with contempt and humiliation. The youngest sister, Mary has been married to a good man with a good social position. Turns out that the Elliot's have run out of money and they must move to a more humble house in order to lease the manor. The new tenant is an Admiral Croft, married to the sister of Captain Frederick Wentworth, a former boyfriend of Anne. Eight years ago, this man had proposed marriage to Anne, but he had been rejected after Anne's family, and in particular a fomer best friend of her mother's, had convinced her that she could find a much better prospect (Wentworth was by that time a beginner in the Navy and didn't have money). Anne has suffered ever since, because she really loved him and the much better prospect seems never to appear. Wentworth himself was deeply hurt by the rejection, but now he has come back from the war rich and with a promising future. The Elliots, the Crofts, and the Musgroves (Mary's husband's family) develop a good social relationship and Captain Wentworth is frequently invited to parties and reunions.

    The rest of the novel is centered on Anne's feelings and her ambivalent emotions: on the one hand, she tries to be as little as possible in the company of Wentworth, but on the other she is very anxious about finding out if he still feels something for her. But Wentworth is cold and silent with her, showing respect but also letting her know how offended he feels. Mary's sister in law, Louisa Musgrove, falls for the handsome captain, and it seems like they will get married. That is, until she has an accident in the resort of Lyme, which changes the course of action.


    With a conventional and almost predictable plot, Austen manages nonetheless to write an acute psychological portrait, and a wonderful story. Her prose is terse and fluid, with a subdued sense of humor. Anne is a credible and likable character, always a good friend even if her relatives despise and ill-treat her and her beauty has started to fade. She is fully conscious of what a terrible mistake she made when she rejected a good, hardworking man who loved and respected her, and who is now an attractive option for many young women. Sexual tension is ever present in this world of repression and hipocrisy, and the self-affirming and independent Anne stands above the rest of the characters, as a prefiguration of the modern, self-reliant woman. One of the best by Jane Austen.

    ...more info
  • I am a Jane Austen addict
    I have to admit I am a Jane Austen addict. I just can't help but enjoy her witty dialog set in old English times. Sometimes I wish we talked more like they did. I feel like she just takes me back to a time long past, but very much alive and rich. This is the fourth book I have read of hers, and I loved it every bit as much as the others. I highly recommend reading it....more info
  • Delightful character analysis
    This novel, written by the mature Jane Austen and published after her death, reveals the strengths of Austen's art. First, she is a careful and exact observer of human character, as compared to those that base a novel of emotion or behavior. Second, she is totally aware of class distinctions and the determinism that is created by a rigid class structure. She explores how character is independent of class but often mistakenly associated with upper class persons. Third, Austen is also a comedic writer, full of wit and funny portrayals of hypocrites, though many may find fault with my interpretation below since this aspect of Austen's art is rarely discussed. Fourth, Austen carefully portrays the world of 17th century upper class women which could be viewed as oppressive, paternalistic, and deterministic. However she continually portrays women as resilient actors rather than victims.

    She was a superb observer and interpreter of human character. This is different from those contemporary authors who are more likely to explore emotion and behavior. Character in the work of Austen is destiny and good character eventually leads to better outcomes and poor character leads to worse outcomes. Whereas at times her characters exhibit emotion, they are more likely to withhold emotion and when this withholding is done carefully and discretely, Austen would see this as signs of good character. Whereas she has high regard for honesty, she seems to see honesty as having both a proper method of presentation and to have proper timing in order to have impact. The letter Captain Wentworth writes to Anne Elliott at the end of the novel is a perfect example of suppressed emotion transformed into carefully strategically timed truth-telling.

    Class differences play and huge role in the works of Austen and Persuasion explores this with the romance of a rich girl of noble family in love with a handsome but middle class young man who both have reversal of fortune and 8 years later re-encounter each other. Anne Elliott is surrounded by a father, two sisters, and her deceased mother's best friend; all of whom use social class as a cognitive short hand for who is worthy and who is not. Anne is the character that can penetrate the smoke of social class to see the true strengths of character underneath. Interestingly, when Persuasion was written, the Napoleonic wars were over and many young men who made their fortunes in the British navy returned with fortunes into English society. Here the new rich encounter the old landed rich, a formula for social upheaval. Austen perfectly articulates this as the Elliott family vacates their ancestral home, Kellynch, and rent the mansion to an Admiral and his wife.

    Austen was witty and could be considered a comedic writer. Her descriptions of human folly, prejudice, snobbery, and hypocrisy are all skillfully handled. She never preaches. She allows the snob, the fool, the hypocrite to reveal themselves through their speech and interactions. The outburst of Anne's father, Sir Elliott, upon hearing this his daughter is visiting a sickly poor school friend instead of visiting barely know distant rich relatives is priceless.

    In summary, Austen's Persuasion is a good example of Austen's considerable skill at character analysis and revelation and development of character in social interactions and social contexts. She is delightful to read.
    ...more info
  • Another Enjoyable Austen
    Persuasion, Jane Austen's last novel, is the story of Anne Elliott and Frederick Wentworth, two young lovers who are persuaded to be separated rather than marrying when they first fall in love around age nineteen because of lack of prospects. The story picks up eight years later when circumstances have changed and the now Captain Wentworth has returned to the area with a successful career and Anne's family is now reduced in financial status. Anne wonders if perhaps Frederick might still harbor feelings for her, but this being Austen, things never go smoothly and there is quite a lot of wondering and subterfuge, and colorful characters to keep things amusing.

    This is not my favorite Austen; things started off quite slowly and there is not a great deal of dialogue. I did enjoy the fact that Frederick and Anne rediscovered each other relatively later in their lives, and as always, the build-up to the happy ending kept me smiling. While Persuasion doesn't have quite the emotional zing that Austen's earlier works do, it is still enjoyable. I doubt there's such a thing as an Austen novel that won't capture you in some way, and Persuasion accomplishes just that in its subtle, quiet style. ...more info
  • For Austen Lovers
    This book answered a lot of questions that came up after I saw the movie i.e. what's with Mrs. Clay and the young Mr. Elliot? A must read if you really want to understand the movie. ...more info
  • Love's Barriers Delightfully Probed in Polite Conversation
    Persuasion is Jane Austen's most sophisticated story and writing. She lovingly and incisively demonstrates the problems of being a well-bred sensitive person in a society that's more intrigued by social standing, money, and polite conversation than by good character.

    Persuasion is Anne Elliot's story. The title's initial allusion is to Anne's brush with matrimony when a promising, but not rich, naval officer, Captain Wentworth, proposed and she fell in love with him at 19. But Anne's deceased mother's friend, Lady Russell, persuaded Anne not to make the match. Up until the time of the story, Anne hasn't had another suitor and she's now well past the usual age of marriage at 29 and "her bloom had vanish early." Her father's spendthrift ways mean that Anne could bring little money to a marriage so she's expecting not to marry.

    While in her social class that lack of a husband is a drawback, in reality her family is a greater problem. Her father, Sir Walter Elliot, is a baronet who spends too much money, is obsessed by social rank, loves to be around the "beautiful people" and admire himself in a mirror, and keeps company with an unsuitable, scheming widow, Mrs. Clay, who is looking for a husband and has latched onto Elizabeth as friend. Anne's older sister, Elizabeth, is also unmarried and is as equally obsessed with social status as their father. Both Sir Walter and Elizabeth fail to value Anne and looked to her to suit their conveniences. The other daughter, Mary, is married but the connection doesn't thrill either Sir Walter or Elizabeth. Mary sees Anne as a virtual servant who should wait on her every beck and call when Anne is her guest.

    Due to Sir Walter's over spending of his income, it is decided he will rent the family estate, Kellynch Hall, while he, Elizabeth, and Anne take up less expensive quarters and a reduced social life in Bath. This change sets lots of new events into motion, not the least of which is Anne being re-introduced to Captain Wentworth who now has a fortune and seems to be looking for a lively, young wife. Only their common commitment to being polite makes time in one another's company tolerable. What strong emotions burn under the surface? She's very embarrassed, but Captain Wentworth is hard to read.

    In the course of the book, you'll find out a lot about social climbing in Regency England, the finances of the social elites and those who were up-and-coming, how marriage agreements were struck, and how the naval officers differed from the gentry. You'll also be impressed, I'm sure, by the patina of politeness that served as a social lubricant among people who often didn't care a trifle for one another.

    In such a society, people mostly wore masks of being thoughtful, considerate people while in reality they were seldom thinking about very much and didn't care much for others. Anne Elliot is the exception in that her heart and mind are actually devoted to the service of others.

    One of the most interesting parts of the story is how it was possible (mostly by accident) to sort out the phonies from among those with glittering manners.

    Anne Elliot is one of the most memorable and admirable characters in English literature. Do read this book and find out about the other kinds of persuasion that took place during this year of her fictional life. You'll be delighted that you did.

    ...more info
  • Her Last Finished Effort...
    When Jane Austen finished "Persuasion" in 1816, she was already suffering from the effects of the disease that would kill her the following year. "Persuasion" is rather shorter than its precessors such as "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice". It is however the polished work of a mature author, and easily holds its own with her other finished novels.

    As the story opens, Sir Walter Elliot, a vain and foppish baronet facing bankruptcy, is persuaded to rent his home and move his family to Bath in order to economize on expenses. The middle daughter, Anne, unmarried and ignored by her family, is shocked to learn that the prospective renters are an Admiral Croft and his wife, whose brother is one Frederick Wentworth. Eight years earlier, Wentworth, then a young naval officer lacking wealth and status, had wooed Anne, who was persuaded by her mentor, Lady Russell, to reject his suit on the grounds of his lack of prospects. The kind-hearted but much put-upon Anne is left behind by her family to close up the house and to take care of her hypochondriac married younger sister Mary, who lives nearby.

    While visiting with Mary and her husband Charles Musgrave, Anne encounters the now Captain Wentworth, wealthy with prize money and looking for a potential wife among Charles' two sisters. Wentworth is distant and correct with Anne. When Wentworth proposes a visit to the seaside village of Lyme Regis, Anne is included in the group. While there, Wentworth appears to settle on Louisa Musgrave, only to have Louisa be seriously injured in an accident. The practical Anne takes charge in the crisis, causing Wentworth to take renewed notice of her.

    Anne ends up in Bath, where her family pursues a meaningless round of social calls. A handsome and long-missing cousin materializes to reconcile with the Elliots and to pay court to Anne. The long-suffering Anne must balance his suspicious attentions with the unclear intentions of Wentworth, who follows Anne to Bath.

    Anne still loves Wentworth, but hardly dares to hope that he will pass up younger and more attractive women to renew his relationship with her. The inarticulate Wentworth finally finds his voice in a note to Anne, giving her another chance to make the right choice.

    In this final novel, Anne wrestles with a dilemma common to Austen heroines, whether to marry for love or money and security. The younger Anne was persuaded not to marry for love because Wentworth lacked the money and prospects to give her the security of her station in life. In revisiting that choice, Anne concludes that the advice was correct under the circumstances but proven wrong by subsequent events. Anne believes in marrying for love; the further implication of her internal argument is that she and Wentworth should have waited for each other while he acquired the financial security necessary for their successful life together.

    "Persuasion" is a well-written and moving story, filled with the usual well-developed characters and often biting social commentary of a Jane Austen novel. It is very highly recommended to her fans and to those readers looking for an excellent period romance....more info
  • An enchanting love story
    Dear Anne Elliot has always done what was most prudent, and as such, when her father and godmother tried to persuade her not to marry her beloved Frederick Wentworth, she complied. But, she never stopped loving Mr. Wentworth, and she zealously followed his heroic career in the Royal Navy. And now, eight years later, when her family falls on hard times and are forced to rent out their home, she finds herself thrown together with the now rich young Captain Wentworth. However, Captain Wentworth was quite hurt by Anne's rejection of him, and as such they are doomed to never be together again, right?

    This is actually Jane Austen's last novel. She was working on it as her health declined, and the book was published posthumously. As such, it is said that it does not have the "polish" of some of her better-known works, and that it probably true. But, it is nonetheless an enchanting love story, extolling the self-made man (whom Anne's aristocratic father looks down on) and the constant-as-a-star, Penelope-like woman.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think that it is an excellent story that still reads well even after 190 years! I loved the characters, their trials and tribulations, and love that both separates them and binds them together. I highly recommend this great book!...more info
  • Persuasion DVD
    I would recommend reading the book before or after seeing any adaptation of Persuasion. It helps to get to know the main characters a little better. Buying this book is well worth the money, because you will get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Austen's wit and character analysis is brilliant....more info
  • persuasion
    One can get lost in this story and spend some time in places of beauty, both in the heart and in the world. You will join the characters and feel the passion!...more info
  • Such a huge disappointment.
    When I saw Masterpiece Theater was doing a series on Jane Austen and her novels, I decided to read them in the order the shows would air--starting with Persuasion. It was the first and last of Austen's that I will read. She may well have captured the mores and social rules of the time, but she didn't create characters I could really care about. I stuck with it to the end and found the revelations about Mr. Elliot to come out of nowhere and the ending romance to be something we could see coming from the very start. I'll take Edith Wharton over Austen any day. ...more info
  • Persuasion is a short novel which will persuade you that Jane Austen is worthy of the highest rank in English fiction!
    Jane Austen's shortest and last novel is Persuasion. Austen had only 11 months to live when she completed it in 1816. Austen is the best writer in the language at taking a few upper-middle class rural families, a few love stories and arch social commentary into the heady mix that is her literary genius! Her observations of the social mores and balls, clothing style, music, literature, architecture and daily life of Regency England
    (1811-1820-the Prince Regent George IV assumed responsibility while his father George III became insane). is superb in its comic prose.
    The tale's main theme is how humans are persuaded to perform and also avoid moral actions which will determine how they live their lives. Eight years prior to the novel's opening we learn that Anne Eliot had earlier rejected the proposal of British naval officer Frederick Wentworth. She was persuaded to pursue this action due to the advice of her of a well meaning wealthy woman.
    Now Anne's impecunious and fatuously highfaultin baronet of a father has to lease his home due to pay his many debts. Her older sister Elizabeth is a hypocritcal prig who has to be one of the most odious creatures in Austen's work. Captain Wentworth returns to the village of Kellynch since his sister and her husband have rented the Eliot home. (they have departed for the watering hole of Bath). Eventually Anne and her Wentworth met, reconcile and are wed. Along the way we meet such characters as Anne's idiotic sister Mary and her husband who spends most of his time hunting. There are also a few subsidary love stories featuring Anne's siblings and the Musgrave girls. The fall of Lousia Mulgrave off the cob at Lyme is famous at is shows Anne that Wentworth still has feelings of love for her.
    The novel is lighter and less complex than such tomes as "Pride and Prejudice", "Mansfield Park" and "Emma." It was published in four volumes along with Jane's early work "Northanger Abbey" following her early death.
    One is left to wonder how many more small but elegant literary gems would have been produced by Miss Austen. Her books take us back over 150 years to a relatively stable and staid society. If one would be allowed b by the literary gods to invite three authors to dinner this reviewer would choose: Samuel Johnson, Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen. "Persuasion"
    will be broadcast on the BBC production to be shown on Masterpiece Theatre this autumn. Hopefully viewers of the series will turn to the real McCoy and enjoy the many pages of the preacher's kid named Jane!...more info
  • Persuasion...
    is Austen's novel which begins with Anne Elliot thinking about a lost love instead of a future love.

    Beautifully written, it is a novel that makes readers wonder if there is going to be the "characters meet and finally get married" ending that is so typical in Austen novels. Anne Elliot is 27, unmarried, and living at home with her father and older unmarried sister who are concerned about appearing more wealthy than they actually are. When the family is convinced by Lady Russell to rent out their home and move to a more economical space, Anne ends up going to care for her younger sister Mary Musgrove.

    Anne's visit with her sister's family becomes uncomfortable once Captain Wentworth becomes a frequent visitor there. Wentworth is the love that Anne regretfully let slip away, having been influenced by her good friend Lady Russell that his social status was inferior to Anne's. Wentworth and Anne are both convinced that their relationship is over and their communication with one another is formal, yet limited.

    Anne is not sure what to make of Captain Wentworth's interest with Louisa and Henrietta (Charles Musgrove's sisters), and more than one gentleman takes a romantic interest in Anne. Both Anne and Wentworth distance themselves from each other in an attempt to forget that they ever loved each other.

    It is when Anne is away from Wentworth, and at home with her father and sister that she begins to realize how much she loves Wentworth. She wonders if she is too late, if the chance for love has really passed. Even though she loves Wentworth, Anne is still concerned about what her father and Lady Russell will think of him.

    Readers can only speculate as to the ending of the novel, which appears to be more uncertain than the endings in Austen's other novels. The art of persuasion, as well as social status, and the contrasting views of the elders and the youth, makes this novel one of Jane Austen's best.
    ...more info
  • I love Jane Austen
    And, who doesn't? She's my favorite author and has been for a long time. I first read this book about 7 years ago and of course fell in love with it. I re-read it for a book club next week. I very rarely read books a second time. I think this is only my 3rd time.

    It is a beautifully-written book, like all her others. In Persuasion, Anne Elliot is persuaded by a family friend to not pursue a relationship with Captain Wentworth because of his inferior place in society. Many years later, she is reacquainted with him and her love for him has not diminished. She is unsure of how he feels about her. He is now a prestigious and admired captain; his station in life completely changed from before.

    They find each other in the same social circles, but his pride and her uncertainty of his feelings prevents them from reuniting. At some point, it is believed that each of them is attached to another.

    The novel has its funny assortment of characters just like all of Austen's works. And, Austen saves the wonderful union of Anne and Captain Wentworth for the last pages, as in her other books. But, that makes it sweet as you finally read the happy ending. I actually cried as I read the touching letter he writes to Anne at the end....more info
  • Vintage Austen But Not Her Best
    This is one of Jane Austen's five novels as a mature author. As with four of the other five, it follows the same formula of a financially disadvantaged young woman who meets and marries a wealthier man. The exception is her novel "Emma" where the protagonist has her owns means. There are no axe murders in an Austen novel or any nasty elements. Her stories take place in small English towns and they all have a variety of characters including a few willful women and usually one male rogue.

    As background information, I have read all of Austen's novels, and I have read various analyses of Austen's work.

    "Pride and Prejudice" is Jane Austen's finest novel. That book is the perfect balance of story, prose, structure, and interesting characters. It evokes many emotional responses in the reader. That novel is among the greatest novels of all time on par with for example Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" or Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." From a strictly literary point of view, "Mansfield Park" is the most complicated and sophisticated literary work penned by Austen.

    So, where does that leave "Persuasion" among her novels? The present novel is good and it is generally thought of as one of her five best. It is one of her mature novels - as opposed to Northanger Abbey, an early work. It has a good story and good characters. I liked her treatment of Captain Wentworth. The description and the story about the primary character, Anne Elliot, is vintage Austen writing and story telling. But overall it does not quite reach the heights of those other two great Austen novels. Still, I rate it somewhere between 4 and 5 stars. It is more a question of whether you like the story or not, since it follows the Austen formula. All of her five mature novels share a certain fixed writing style and a common structure, or the Austen formula as mentioned above. She uses the early pages to introduce the families, and other characters, and give start the story. She moves characters around from place to place in part for time shifting. She does a wrap up in the last few chapters.

    Those opening chapters are an obstacle for most readers. She uses her own vocabulary and has an unusual way of structuring her prose. That structure is a trademark of Austen's writing. Also, she manages to work in a lot of drama and social issues with some humor and irony.

    Austen wrote the novel based on contemporay life in England from approximately 1814 to 1815, in the post Napolean period, and it was published in 1816 after her other works. Overall I would rate it as excellent but not her best. It is similar to "Sense and Sensibility"and much better than her early novel "Northanger Abbey" in terms of literary sophistication and the characters, and it ranks behind the two novels mentioned above and "Emma." Those three (Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park) are her finest works.

    Most Austen fans will love the book, and I would recommend the novel.
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  • The most ascerbic of Austin's novels
    Readers of Jane Austin will immediately recognise the basic plot of Persuasion: single women/girls being courted by men of various levels of eligibility. Two sisters (a third is already married) and their father, a minor noble, have fallen on hard times. Sir Walter Elliot has been widowed, they have lived beyond their means, and now they must rent out the family estate and live in diminished circumstances in Bath. The putative heir to the estate, cousin William Elliot, is vain and arrogant, refusing any interaction with the family.

    The main character of Persuasion is Anne, the disregarded middle Elliot daughter. She is kind, gentle, and tolerant, which puts her is rigid conflict with the rest of her family who are pompously jealous of rank and privelege. In fact, the rest of the Elliot family supplies much of the satire for the novel: their scheming to arrange meetings with their betters and the scorn they show to their lessers. This reviewer might even go so far as to say that the humour is not so much satirical as it is ascerbic - nowhere else does Austin seem to dislike her characters so much, and to make them the objects of such ridicule. This is not a criticism, as this ascerbic wit sets up many funny moments and observations; more, I think, than any of her previous works.

    Unfortunately, I found this to be the most confusing of Austin's works: I had trouble keeping track of all the characters. Confusion is increased because all the men seem to be named Charles! Luckily, a thorough knowledge of all the characters is not required to follow the main storylines (although the reader might miss a few subtle jokes).

    I'm not an expert on Jane Austin, nor on English literature. However, I have read most of Austin's works, and this layman's opinion is that Persuasion is enjoyable and the funniest of Austin's works....more info
  • Refreshing!
    In Jane Austen's last novel, Persuasion, we meet the Elliot family: Sir Walter and his daughters, Elizabeth, Mary and the youngest daughter Anne. Over 8 years ago Anne became engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a man with no one to recommend him. After much persuasion from a family friend, Lady Russell, Anne breaks off the engagement. When the reader meets Anne it is more than 8 years later and circumstances have brought her and the now Captain Frederick Wentworth back into each other's lives. Will they be able to rekindle their relationship or did Anne's initial refusal ruin all hope for them to be together...?

    Reading Jane Austen is truly refreshing! The subtleness with which Austen delves into the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth among other characters is beautifully done. A great read! ...more info
  • Great timing!
    Thank you for the fast deliver. I was impressed. The book is great....more info
  • Quintessential Austen
    Certainly one of the greatest literary minds of all time is that of Jane Austen, an author who has been much-maligned by her unfair modern association with "chick-lit" (it's nice that "Bridget Jones' Diary" was based on "Pride and Prejudice," but that should not reflect unduly on Austen's work). The trick is that while Austen's novels do tend to center on a romantic plot they are imbued with many other facets that make them so much more than trifling entertainments. Sharp social commentary is particularly prevalent in all of her novels, perhaps none more-so than her final work, "Persuasion" -- with its deft handling of a woman's place in society and of the difficulties imposed by class barriers. Its focus is on Anne Elliot, middle child of the pretentious Sir Walter, who has no use for her in his life -- choosing to favor his eldest daughter Elizabeth (who, truly, takes after her father in all selfish respects) and to offer regard to his youngest, Mary, at least as a woman who has fulfilled her purpose by marrying satisfactorily. Years earlier Lady Russell, a family friend who became a sort of surrogate parent to Anne after her mother's death, persuaded Anne to break her engagement to her beloved Frederick Wentworth, believing him to be an inferior sort of person who would only make Anne miserable in time. Now, eight years later, Wentworth is a successful captain in the British navy who has proven that he would have been a more than worthy match for Anne in situation as well as affection. But when he comes back into her life, Anne must live with the consequences of her earlier decision as Wentworth appears to have moved on -- actively seeking a wife right under Anne's nose. Anne also finds herself being courted by her cousin William, who would be a perfectly sensible match for her, but since her heart still belongs to Captain Wentworth she cannot bear to consider it. The plot conventions will be familiar to fans of Austen, but that does not detract from the sharpness and enjoyability of the tale in the slightest. The keen observations are on target, and "Persuasion" has the added benefit of having some of the best characters in the Austen canon this side of "Pride and Prejudice". Anne proves to be a heroine worthy of Elizabeth Bennet's approval, and Captain Wentworth an amiable counterpoint to the steelier Mr. Darcy. Mary's histrionics are reminiscent of the wailings of Mrs. Bennet, providing blissful comic relief without becoming too overbearing. Best of all, naturally, is the omnipresent Austen wit -- an incomparable achievement in all of her novels, on fine display here in "Persuasion". Anyone who has not yet experienced Jane Austen is missing out on some enjoyable and delightfully thought-provoking reading, and should get started as soon as possible....more info
  • Romance and Social Satire- an exciting hybrid...
    Persuasion was Austen's last completed novel before her death and was written whilst the novelist was dying, which may explain its shorter length when compared to her other novels. Although briefer in the telling, it lacks none of the hallmarks of Austen's style including the omniscient ironic (and sometimes in this work cynical) narrative voice and her witty yet extraordinarily subtle comments on her societies approach to women and the social hierarchy. The action of this novel centers on the character of Anne Elliot who under the influence of a close family friend, Lady Russell is persuaded to reject the advances of Wentworth. The main body of the plot takes place eight years after this rejection; Wentworth is now known as Captain Wentworth and has made his fortune through the collection of enemy booty in the Napoleonic Wars. Now with England in peace he has returned ashore seemingly having forgotten Anne and his rejection and ready to take a wife.
    As the romance unfolds the novel covers a number of themes, for instance the idea of being `persuadable' per se. Initially the notion that Anne allowed herself to be won over by Lady Russell's influence is seen as a fault, however as the story progresses the sub plot involving the character of Louisa Musgrove shows that rather than being a fault, Anne listening to Lady Russell's advice shows that she is susceptible to reason and practicality. Seemingly the error occurred rather in Lady Russell's judgment of Wentworth than in Anne's decision to follow her advice.
    Lady Russell's preference for Mr Elliot Jnr as a more suitable marriage partner for Anne over Wentworth seems to be based solely on the class distinction that divides these two men. This class based prejudice by Lady Russell may be regarded as a critical reflection upon Austen's society which closely associated (and often without valid cause) moral virtue and class status, the assumption being that the higher your class, the better your moral decency. The reader discovers the error of Lady Russell in relying on such a system of character judgement as it produces such corrupt results.
    Possibly the greatest achievement of this work is the very quiet proto-feminist message that Austen manages to slip into one of the closing chapters. Every the ironist, Austen has the meek Anne Elliot, who seemingly conforms to all of societies rules about what a women `ought to be' speak out against the confining nature of a woman's expected place in society. When discussing the fate of love affairs between men and women, Anne argues that it is easier for men to forget as women "live at home, quiet, confined...You are forced on exertion. You have always a profession, pursuits, business of some sort or other, to take you back into the world immediately, and continual occupation and change." Anne then goes on to turn on its head Captain Harville's ideas that the supposedly stronger and more robust figure and mind of man is better capable for love than that of the mind of women.
    Austen's novels are never innocent of the issues which affected their period and this is yet another example as Austen deftly and subtly critiques gender roles, social class and the notion of `appearances.' In its whole, this is a great book, perhaps the fact that it was written by an older and dying Austen may explain the nostalgic tone of decline or sadness that seems to pervade it. It is well worth the money you would spend to buy it and the time you would take to read it.
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  • A Beautiful Classic
    Persuasion is one of my favorite books -- and probably my favorite Austen, though I go back and forth between this and Pride and Prejudice. P&P is more sparkling and witty; Persuasion feels more mature. Definitely a book to read over and over. And the letter from Captain Wentworth to Anne(you'll know what I'm talking about when you get there!) is the best-written letter in fiction. Read it! You won't be disappointed....more info
  • A very lovely novel
    Jane Austen's last completed novel, which was published posthumously was Persuasion and the story starts with Anne Elliot, an upper-class girl at the age of 19, falling in love with Captain Frederick Wentworth. They get engaged but her mother's great friend and her own trusted friend, the widow Lady Russell, persuased Anne to break the engagement with him. The reason for this is, that the young officer possesses no connections to the upper-class and is therefor not worth to be with Anne according to Lady Russel.

    But after eight years, Anne, who truly loved Frederick Wentworth, is still unmarried and destined for spinsterhood. Until her mother has lived there was no problem with the income at the Elliot family, but according to the fact that her father wasn't careful with the money, they are now facing the situation that the family estate is gone to Admiral Croft, Wentworth's brother-in-law and the Elliots (Anne's father Sir Walter Elliot, her elder sister Elizabeth) need to move from Kellynch hall to Bath.

    Before Anne moves to Bath she spends some time with her younger sister Mary and her husband Charles Musgrove, as well as his sisters Louisa and Henrietta at Uppercross. Captain Wenthworth so far had success in the wars, which brought him a considerable fortune and now he is looking for a wife to get settled ashore. He and Anne meet again at Mary's and Charles house, but though Anne still has feelings for him she tries not to show them clearly. And furthermore Louisa`s and Henrietta`s trials to flirt with Frederick Wentworth and get him attracted, makes it more difficult for Anne to be in the focus.

    But on a day-walk at Lyme Regis it came to an accident when Louisa falls from a cliff thinking that Captain Wentworth catches her, which he didn't. The only person being calm and starting to organize the necessary steps to be taken after this accident was Anne. This inititates that Captain Wentworth's feelings for Anne came back. But when they slowly start their relationship again, there is another admirer of Anne, her cousin William Elliot, who seperates them again by spreading rumours that he and Anne are going to marry soon...

    This is a wonderful heart-moving novel and the letter at the end written by Frederick Wentworth to Anne is absolutely romantic. But this novel is also full of irony, for example when Mary wants to follow her husband for a dinner while here son is ill and she makes recommends about men and women, or when it is spoken about Bath (a place Jane Austen hated herself much): But still, there certainly were a dreadful multitude of ugly women in Bath; and as for the men! They were infinitely worse. Such scarecrows as the streets were full of!"

    ...more info
  • " I am half agony, half hope . . ."
    PERSUASION, the last novel that Jane Austen completed before her death in 1818, tells the story of one Anne Elliot, the second daughter of a baronet who has spent his waythrough his fortune and has nothing but his title to lean on.

    When she was 21 years old, Anne fell in love with and was engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a young captain in the Navy. Her belated mother's best friend, Lady Russell, dissapproves of the match as being below Anne, due to Anne's claim to nobility, and Anne cancels the engagement, much to her and and Captain Wentworth's grief.

    Nearly eight year's have passed since she broke off her engagement to Captain Wentworth when she, Lady Russell, and a Mr. Shepherd, a friend of her father's, are forced to pose and intervention and tell her father that he must quit his estate and find someone to lease it to, or he will be sent tot he poorhouse. Her father, his only pride being in his social position and personal appearance, relents, but only if they can find suitable tenants - which they do in Admiral Croft and his wife, the sister of Captain Wentworth.

    Anne thinks that her broken heart has mended, until she sees him again. unfortunately, he is now attached to another . . . and yet Anne sees clues in his behavior that he may be hers once again. Anne and Wentworth must negotiate their past, their different social classes, and proper behavior to find their way back to one another.

    What sets PERSUASION appart from Austens' other novels is how modern it seems in comparison. Austen takes more liberty with point of view in this novel, the characters have much richer inner lives than the Bennet's or Dashwood's ever did.

    This novel is highly recommended to anyone who would enjoy Jane Austen. Though the ending is predictable, it does not always seem so, and therefore the novel was a very suspenseful read. ...more info
  • arguably the best Austen novel
    OK, this is arguably one of the two best Austen novels, the other one being Emma. If you can only read one, read one of these....more info
  • Jane Austen never fails...
    Jane Austen never fails to surprise, delight, amuse and intrigue me. Persuasion is no different. It's fabulous, I love it...I can't say it often enough--buy every book by Miss Austen and devour them....more info
  • Jane Austen's Masterpiece & Final Novel!
    "Persuasion" is a great literary work, and, to my mind, Jane Austen's finest book. This was her final completed novel before her death, and was published posthumously. As is often the case with Ms. Austen's fiction, "Persuasion" deals with the social issues of the times and paints a fascinating portrait of Regency England, especially when dealing with the class system. Rigid social barriers existed - and everyone wanted to marry "up" to a higher station - and, of course, into wealth. This is also a very poignant and passionate story of love, disappointment, loss and redemption. The point Austen makes here, is that one should not ever be persuaded to abandon core values and beliefs, especially for ignoble goals. There are consequences, always.

    Gillian Beer writes a fascinating Introduction in this Penguin Classic Edition, in which she discusses Miss Austen's portrayal of the double-edged nature of persuasion. This complete and unabridged edition also contains a biography of the author, an Afterword, a new chronology and full textual notes.

    Sir Walter Elliot, Lord of Kellynch Hall, is an extravagant, self-aggrandizing snob, and a bit of a dandy to boot. He has been a widower for many years and spends money beyond his means to increase his social stature. His eldest daughter, who he dotes on, is as conceited and spoiled as he is. The youngest daughter, Anne, is an intelligent, sensitive, capable and unassuming woman in her late twenties when the story opens. She had been quite pretty at one time, but life's disappointments have taken their toll and her looks are fading. She and her sister are both spinsters. Anne had once been very much in love with a young, and as yet untried, navel officer. A woman who had been a close friend to Anne's mother, persuaded Anne to "break the connection," convincing her that she could make a much better match. After much consideration, Anne did not follow her heart or her better instincts, and she and her young officer, Frederick Wentworth, separated. She has never again found the mutual love or companionship that she had with him. Anne's older sister never married either, because she hadn't found anyone good enough! She still hopes, however, for an earl or a viscount.

    The Elliot family is forced to financially retrench because of their extravagance. They lease Kellynch Hall to...of all people...Wentworth's sister and her husband. Elliot, his oldest daughter and her companion, move to a smaller lodging in Bath for the season, leaving Anne to pack up their belongings before joining them. She gets the Cinderella treatment throughout the book. Anne decides to first visit with her middle sister, an abominably spoiled, whiny hypochondriac, Mrs. Musgrove. She has made a good, but not brilliant match to a local squire. Her husband, Charles Muskgrove, his parents, and their two younger, eligible daughters, Louisa and Henrietta, are delightful. They all tolerate Mrs. Muskgrove, barely, and adore Anne. It is at the Muskgrove estate that Anne meets Frederick Wentworth again, after his absence of seven years. He is in the neighborhood, because his sister is now in the area, residing at Kellynch, of course. Wentworth is now a Captain in the Royal Navy and quite wealthy. When their eyes meet for the first time, you can absolutely feel Anne's longing and remorse. He is aloof with Anne, although civil. The man was hurtfully rejected once before and it appears that he still feels her snub. Now Wentworth is on the marriage market and Louisa sets her cap for him. Accidents and various adventures ensue, from the resorts of Lyme and Bath to the Muskgrove estate, bringing Anne and Wentworth closer together. The passion between the two is sooo palpable, although Very understated, (this is Regency England after all). I think this is Ms. Austen at her most passionate. Some scholars say that she modeled Anne Elliot after herself.

    This remarkable novel, and the issues it tackles, is just as germane today as it was when written. And the romance...well, no one does romance better than Jane Austen.
    JANA...more info