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Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion (original 1817; edition 2008)

by Jane Austen

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24,118460101 (4.21)1 / 1507
The last novel completed by Jane Austen before she died in her early forties, Persuasion is often thought to be the story of the author's own lost love. The book's heroine, Anne Elliot, encounters Frederick Wentworth, the man to whom she was once engaged when he was a young naval officer. Now a captain, Wentworth is courting the rash young Louisa Musgrove. The happy ending is not one in which Austen would ever play a part.… (more)
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:CreateSpace (2008), Paperback, 150 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Persuasion by Jane Austen (1817)

  1. 363
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (carlym)
  2. 182
    The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery (allisongryski)
    allisongryski: This is by no means an obvious recommendation. However, the quality of writing and something of the heroines' characters is similar. The heroines of these two books are both under-appreciated members of their families, who are thought beyond any chance of marriage. They are both forced by circumstance to find courage that they didn't know they possessed and they are rewarded with eventual happiness.… (more)
  3. 205
    Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: In addition to North and South by Gaskell, Wives and Daughters is another great read for people who love Austen's Persusion and Sense and Sensibility!
  4. 155
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (Anonymous user)
  5. 105
    Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange (mzackin)
    mzackin: This is the story of persuasion told from the other side. It is very well written and stays true to the story, even quoting lines from Austen.
  6. 84
    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Slow, languid stories about regret and life choices not understood until they've passed by.
  7. 20
    The Course of Honour by Lindsey Davis (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Mature lovers who find that time brings them together and push them apart over the course of many years.
  8. 11
    The Old House at Railes by Mary Emily Pearce (sferguson)
    sferguson: A great book that will be enjoyed by those who are interested in a bit of non-standard romance.
  9. 514
    Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding (spygirl)
    spygirl: Helen Fielding's first novel Bridget Jones's Diary was a remake of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is a remake of Austen's Persuasion.
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Showing 1-5 of 436 (next | show all)
A nice quote showing Anne's astute observation of the relationship between Admiral Croft and his wife by describing what happens when the Admiral takes her for a drive:
"But by coolly giving the reins a better direction herself they happily passed the danger; and by once afterwards judiciously putting out her hand they neither fell into a rut, or ran foul of a dung-cart; and Anne with some amusement at their style of driving, which she imagined no bad representation of he general guidance of their affairs, found herself safely deposited by them at the Cottage." [p. 66] ( )
  raizel | Jul 20, 2021 |
I saw the Masterpiece version years before reading this, so was interested to see how they differed. Not much, but then Masterpiece knows how to translate book to screen with the best of them. ( )
  stbyra | Jul 12, 2021 |
Janeites, sit down and grab your smelling salts: I did not like this novel. I've avoided reading Persuasion for years and now I know why - the characters are either unlikeable caricatures or sickly saints and the story is slow, even by Austen standards (and my favourite novel is Emma!) Why are we supposed to care about Anne, exactly? Because she's stuck with her ridiculous family after dumping the love of her life on the advice of a 'friend'? That makes her weak, not admirable, in my view - although Anne certainly needs a fault or two, to make her even slightly appealing. Give me a headstrong Emma Woodhouse or even a puffed up Lizzie Bennet any day. Anne is so pathetic she can't even make a two year old child listen to her!

Anne Elliot, a 27 year old spinster who has lost her 'bloom' but is otherwise pretty and kind and intelligent, etc, lives with her vain and pompous father and equally shelf-based elder sister in the family home which they no longer afford to keep. Eight years previous, Anne fell madly in love with the first man to move into the neighbourhood who wasn't a relation, but rejected him after being engaged for only a few months because her father pulled a face and Lady Russell, her late mother's friend, said he wasn't good enough. So the fiance, Frederick Woodworth, went off to sea to make something of himself. When the Elliots are forced to leave home and move to Bath to save money, Anne discovers that her father's new tenants are the sister and brother-in-law of her former beloved, and spends most of the book fretting that she will have to face him again, which of course she does. There are fake suitors, scoundrels, sisters who come between the lead couple (one of whom is so flaming stupid that she jumps off a wall and lands on her head) - all standard Austen fare. I just didn't care. About any of them. Anne and Frederick are built up in an unconvincing 'tell don't show', very un-Austen-like manner - 'He was, at that time, a remarkably fine young man, with a great deal of intelligence, spirit and brilliancy, and Anne an extremely pretty girl with gentleness, modesty, taste and feeling' - and then the reader is expected to pity Anne for being 'persuaded' to choose wealth and prospects over love.

Captain Wentworth himself, although famous for the letter he finally writes Anne in the final chapter, is a bit of a nonentity. He returns rich, after eight years at sea, saves Anne from a marauding two year old, receives a glowing reference from a friend a la Darcy's housekeeper, and lets Anne's sister-in-law fall on her head (what grown woman goes around expecting to be 'jumped' down stairs and off walls like a child? No wonder a bang to the head was considered so serious, in her already weakened mental state!) That's the sum total of what Wentworth achieves to win over Anne and the reader. While she just hovers in corners, eavesdropping on people talking about her. I honestly despaired of the pair of them.

I did appreciate Austen's increased snark, from Mrs Musgrove and her 'large fat sighings' over her son Richard who only ever earned the name 'Dick', but honestly, the rest bored me to tears, and even at 200 pages compared to Emma at 500, I started skimming through. I'm sure Austenites will be quick to tell me how Persuasion is Austen's most mature and thoughtful novel and I obviously just don't understand, but I hope I never become the type of woman who does understand Anne Elliot, ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | May 22, 2021 |
I have taught this novel a dozen times in sophomore literature to my community college students, most of whom are women. From the first paragraph--always a tour-de-force in Austen--the author savages male vanity: here, Sir Walter Elliot's favorite, indeed his only reading, the page in the Baronetage that mentions him. When I began teaching Persuasion in the late seventies, an American version of Sir Walter existed on the Mary Tyler Moore Show in the person of the TV anchor, Ted Knight. Now Ted Knight has "won" our presidency, and appointed a Cabinet of self-conceived Barons.
"Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; vanity of person and of situation. He had been remarkably handsone in his youth; and, at fifty-four, was still a very fine man. Few women would think more of their personal appearance than he did...He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy; and the Sir Walter Elliott, who united these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest repect and devotion."(10, Worlds Classics 1988)

Forced to rent a townhouse in Camden-Place, Bath, he laments, "The worst of Bath was, the number of its plain women..Once he had stood in a shop in Bond-street, he had observed eighty-seven women go by, without a tolerable face among them. It had been a frosty morning, to besure, a sharp frost, which hardly one woman in a thousand could stand the test of. But still, there were a dreadful multitude of ugly women in Bath"(134).

Sir Walter was forced to Bath by indebting himself. At first he delayed renting out his great house, but finally meets his renter, Admiral Croft. Hilarious, their mutual assessment: Sir Walter concedes the admiral not as weather-beaten as he feared, he went so far as to say that, had his "own man [servant] had the arranging of his hair, he should not be ashamed of being seen with him anywhere." The Admiral, for his part, said, "The baronet will never set the Thames on fire, but there seems no harm in him"(35).
Austen's usual irony here has for its source: "Large allowances, she knew, must be made for the ideas of those who spoke," in this case Sir Walter's stupid preoccupation with his appearance and birth, and the Admiral's self-reliance and skill, by which he has raised his social position and wealth almost as an American would.

Vanity over reason recurs in Austen, but elsewhere with women protagonists: in "Emma" where the central character encourages misalliances because she understands people so poorly, but thinks she knows them well. And even in Pride and Prejudice, in Ch 36 Elizabeth realizes "Vanity, not love, has been my folly."
Sir Walter of course undervalues his thinking daughter Anne Elliot, who in fact undervalues herself, taking the advice of her older, independent mentor. (Her independence is achieved in the usual 19C way, inheritance, here by the husband's death.) The advice is not to marry Wentworth, a mere naval officer. Jane Austen's successful brothers were, incidentally, naval officers.

Austen's most acerbic paragraph in all her novels describes a troublesome son who "had been sent to sea, because he was stupid and unmanageable on shore; that he had been little cared for by his family, though quite as much as he deserved"(52). However, one Musgrove parent recalls him tenderly when they meet the Captain Wentworth who shepherded him until lost. Only a specific glance of the Captain's eye revealed to his former girlfriend Anne how little he wished to recall the troublesome one.

In sum, this is a delicious novel for female readers, and not only for them. It is arguably her best novel, published posthumously. Her acute irony unforgettably phrases common evils, like slander, which she calls "the accustomary intervention of kind friends"(14). Images of male vanity surround modern Americans--on TV, in sports, in film--that arguably, Persuasion resonates more in our society than when it was written. In fact, the US recently "elected" (with almost 3 million fewer votes) a vainglorious male, a non-reader like Sir Walter, except for covers of magazines, like the Baronetage, that features this 70 year old adolescent

My edition, ed John Davie, Worlds Clasics, 1988. 251 pp. ( )
  AlanWPowers | Apr 25, 2021 |
You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own...I have loved none but you."

Jane simply understood the essence of women's hearts. ( )
  Rachel_Cucinella | Apr 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 436 (next | show all)
L'occasion de s'attacher aux amours empêchées d'une héroïne tout sauf résignée.
added by miniwark | editTélérama, Nathalie Crom (Jul 9, 2011)

» Add other authors (92 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, Janeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beer, GillianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bloom, AmyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Zordo, OrnellaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fantaccini, FiorenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harding, Denys Clement WyattEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinsley, JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Faye, DeirdreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynch, Deidre ShaunaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puttapipat, NirootIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichel, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reilly, JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, CarolinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sarah, MaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scacchi, GretaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spacks, Patricia Ann MeyerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, HughIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tysdahl, BjørnAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weisser, Susan OstrovIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltshire, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch-hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt.
On 8 August 1815, English newspapers took note of the departure for Saint Helena of HMS Northumberland and, with it, a prisoner. (Introduction)
She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.
Anne hoped she had outlived the age of blushing; but the age of emotion she certainly had not
I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days
A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not.
You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.
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the isbn 0486295559 is associated withe Dover edition of persuasion, not the Norton Critical Edition
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The last novel completed by Jane Austen before she died in her early forties, Persuasion is often thought to be the story of the author's own lost love. The book's heroine, Anne Elliot, encounters Frederick Wentworth, the man to whom she was once engaged when he was a young naval officer. Now a captain, Wentworth is courting the rash young Louisa Musgrove. The happy ending is not one in which Austen would ever play a part.

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Anne Elliott, bullied or ignored by her father and sisters, relinquished her hopes of love when she was forced to reject Captain Wentworth. Now, years later, they meet again: he, prosperous and eligible, scarcely recognises the faded pretty woman. And she stays quietly in the background as he courts the lively and affectionate Louisa Musgrove. So why, when she joins her family in Bath, does Anne hesitate over the eminently suitable addresses paid to her by a distant cousin? And why does Captian Wentworth appear there too? While Jane Austen is here as quick as ever to ridicule self-importance, self-interest and cold-heartedness, while she tellingly contrasts the icy snobbery of the Elliots with the openness and warmth of Wentworth's naval friends, this novel has a tenderness and gravity which makes it unique among her works.
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Penguin Australia

7 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439688, 0141028114, 0451530837, 0141045140, 0143106287, 0141197692, 0141198834

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 190917534X, 1909175358

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