Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion

byJane Austen

Hardcover | June 30, 1992

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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

Though the domain of Jane Austen’s novels was as circumscribed as her life, her caustic wit and keen observation made her the equal of the greatest novelists in any language. Born the seventh child of the rector of Steventon, Hampshire, on December 16, 1775, she was educated mainly at home. At an early age she began writing sketches an...
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Details & Specs

Title:PersuasionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.26 × 5.14 × 0.94 inPublished:June 30, 1992Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0679409866

ISBN - 13:9780679409861

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Bookclub Guide

1. Lady Russell persuades Anne to break off her engagement to avoid "youth-killing dependence." Does she ultimately succeed in sheltering Anne from this?2. Persuasion is the aim of rhetoric, yet in this book it often hinders lives and harms feelings. What is Austen commenting on? Consider what happens when Lady Russell or Mrs. Clay persuade others as opposed to what happens when Anne persuades others.3. Look at how Anne’s feelings and perceptions are shown-never through her direct words or thoughts but through an approximate report of these through a distant narrator. What does Austen accomplish by doing this?4. Consider how sailors such as Wentworth and Admiral Croft have made their fortunes-by capturing enemy ships and enjoying the spoils. With their newfound wealth, they re-join English society in higher social standings. What is Austen’s opinion of this? In what ways and situations does she relay this opinion?5. Many of Austen’s earlier works take place in the spring, but this story plays out in autumn. Very often, the characters and narrator notice the colorful leaves and cool air around them. How does the season promote this story?6. The narrator describes the Christmas scene at the Musgroves’ as a "fine-family piece." What is Austen implying with her sarcasm? Do you think she is antifamily?7. Admiral and Mrs. Croft have the most successful and loving relationship in the novel, even though they are unromantic, eccentric, and deeply rooted in realism. Yet many of the idyllic lovers look to their marriage as a model. What is Austen commenting upon with this ironic reversal?8. Mr. Elliot is the catalyst for the reunion of Anne and Captain Wentworth, provoking jealousy in Wentworth, which in turn prompts him to reconsider his love for Anne. However, Austen chooses not merely to make Mr. Elliot Anne’s unwanted lover but instead to reveal him as a rich and immoral scoundrel, to be cast out of the story. What does Austen accomplish by doing this? What is she saying about the world of property and rank?9. Compare the original ending chapters and the "real" ending chapters. Why did Austen make these changes? What did she accomplish with them?

From Our Editors

Austen's last novel is the crowning achievement of her matchless career. Her heroine, Anne Elliot, a woman of integrity, breeding and great depth of emotion, stands in stark contrast to the brutality and hypocrisy of Regency England. Includes a new Introduction by Margaret Drabble, famed novelist and editor of The Oxford Companion to the English Language.

Editorial Reviews

“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