By Jane Austen
In her ultimate novel, as in her prior ones, Jane Austen makes use of a love tale to discover and lightly satirize social pretensions and emotional confusion. Persuasion follows the romance of Anne Elliot and naval officer Frederick Wentworth. They have been fortunately engaged until eventually Anne’s pal, woman Russell, persuaded her that Frederick was once “unworthy.”
Now, 8 years later, Frederick returns, a filthy rich captain within the army, whereas Anne’s kinfolk teeters at the fringe of financial disaster. They nonetheless love one another, yet their earlier errors threaten to maintain them aside.
Austen could seem to color on a small canvas, yet her characters comprise the complete diversity of human ardour and ethical complexity, and the author’s beneficiant spirit renders all of them with knowing, compassion, and humor.
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Additional resources for Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Anne Elliot is a creature of thought and feeling, not what she seems to others. The same may be said of Jane Austen herself, whose life and writing often appear as one thing in the popular mind, yet turn out to be far more complex than convention allows when closely examined. There is the real Jane Austen, who left little in the way of biographical material (no diary has ever been found, and most of her letters were destroyed by their recipients or their heirs); and then there is the Jane Austen of the contemporary imagination.
Persuasion is forever being called 舠mature,舡 implying that Jane Austen had at last arrived at some culminating wisdom in her lifelong struggle for it. It is also frequently described as 舠autumnal,舡 emphasizing its status as her last completed work before dying. As far back as 1862, a reviewer labeled it her 舠tender and sad舡 novel. In fact, Persuasion begins with loss, both personal and economic, and slowly reverses the trajectory. Though Persuasion, like other Jane Austen novels, is about the maturing through trial of a young woman, the novel does not begin with its central character, Anne Elliot.
1782The American Revolution ends. 1788King George III of England suffers his first bout of men tal illness, leaving the country in a state of uncertainty and anxiety. 1789George III recuperates. The French Revolution begins. 1791American political philosopher Thomas Paine publishes the first part of The Rights of Man. 1792Percy Bysshe Shelley is born. Mary Wollstonecraft pub lishes A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. 1793A shock wave passes though Europe with the execution of King Louis XVI of France and, some months later, his wife, Marie-Antoinette; the Reign of Terror begins.
Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Jane Austen