Persuasion by Jane Austen
Published posthumously in 1818, in a single volume alongside Jane Austen’s first completed novel Northanger Abbey, Persuasion was Jane Austen’s last complete novel, and combines a greater sense of maturity with the enduring hopeful outlook of the earlier novels, whilst retaining the wit and social satire that charms Jane Austen readers worldwide.
The protagonist, Anne Elliot, has a high social standing in her local community as one of the three daughters of a baronet, but still unmarried at 27, she is past her prime and her family are accustomed to making her interests second to their own as they call upon her to nurse, support and advise them.
In her early youth, Anne fell in love with a promising young naval officer, but broke off her engagement at the recommendation of an old family friend, Lady Russell. Now the family has fallen on hard times financially and are forced to let their country seat while they remove to Bath for the winter.
The new tenants of Kellynch Hall are the sister and brother-in-law of Captain Wentworth, the man Anne refused to marry all those years ago. He has made his fortune at sea and returned an eligible bachelor, whilst Anne is dismissed as an old maid down on her luck. Carefully crafted by Jane Austen at the height of her writing talent and experience, this story is among the most touching and ultimately satisfying of her novels.
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