by Jane Austen

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Published in 1818, Persuasion was Jane Austen’s last completed novel. In this compelling love story, Anne Elliott is unhappy and unmarried at twenty-seven. At the urging of her family, she broke her engagement to the man she loved eight years before because he was poor and didn’t have good family connections. When they meet again, he is wealthy, a captain in the navy, and looking for a wife, but he has not forgiven Anne for her rejection and resolves not to fall in love with her again.

Lexile score: 1120L

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607108603
Publisher: Canterbury Classics
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Series: Word Cloud Classics
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
File size: 676 KB

About the Author

Jane Austen (1775–1817) was an English novelist known for her fiction set among England’s landed gentry. She was the seventh of eight children and was educated mostly at home in Hampshire. Her best-known works include Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Although her novels, all of which were published anonymously, did not bring her fame during her lifetime, she is now one of the most widely read writers in the English language.
Jane Austen (1775–1817) was an English novelist known for her fiction set among England’s landed gentry. She was the seventh of eight children and was educated mostly at home in Hampshire. Her best-known works include Pride and PrejudiceSense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Although her novels, all of which were published anonymously, did not bring her fame during her lifetime, she is now one of the most widely read writers in the English language. 

Date of Birth:

December 16, 1775

Date of Death:

July 18, 1817

Place of Birth:

Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England

Place of Death:

Winchester, Hampshire, England


Taught at home by her father

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Chapter I

Excerpted from "Persuasion"
by .
Copyright © 2003 Jane Austen.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Jane Austen: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text


    Volume I
    Volume II

Appendix A: The Canceled Chapters of Persuasion

Appendix B: Biographical Notice of the Author

Appendix C: Extracts from Jane Austen’s letters

Appendix D: From Thomas Gisborne, An Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex

Appendix E: From Priscilla Wakefield, Reflections on the Present Condition of the Female Sex

Appendix F: Extract from the Annual Register, London 1806

Appendix G: From James Thomson, The Seasons: A Poem

Appendix H: From Walter Scott, Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field

Appendix I: From Lord Byron, The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale

Select Bibliography

What People are Saying About This


Linda Bree has done a marvelous job in this superb new edition of Persuasion. The searching introduction, the informative notes, and most of all the illuminating selection of contextual material make Austen's well-known masterpiece come alive as a compelling and unsettling new text. . . An impressive and admirable achievement. (Linda Bree edition)

Reading Group 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?

Customer Reviews

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Persuasion 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 473 reviews.
BANCHEE_READS More than 1 year ago
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.
Colette8 More than 1 year ago
I know that a lot of people nowadays believe Pride and Prejudice to be Jane Austen's best novel, and yes it is a great story, but incredibly difficult for the average person to read. Persuasion is just as good in its interesting plot, but... a lot easier to follow. I've reccommended it to a lot of friends who wanted to read Jane Austen but couldn't get through her books. This one is definitely the easiest to get through, and truly a very sweet and romantic story. The main character Anne is very easy to relate to as the ignored and undervalued sister, the people pleaser of the family, who lost her chance of happiness at 19. Or at least, so she thought...Read it! You'll love it!
SimplySaid More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of Anne Elliot who at 19 chose to deny the hand of a navy officer she loved because she was persuaded by her family that it was not a good choice for her. Anne being the good natured and obedient daughter listens even though her father and sisters could really care less about her well being. Now years later her heart is put to the test as the man in question Capitain Wentworth comes back wealthy and is still as handsome as ever. I once believed Pride and Predjudice was THE Jane Austen book to read. I was wrong. This story is incredible, when I read a Jane Austen book I don't fell like it's hard to read at all considering it was written in a very different time then ours. I feel like Jane and I could easily have a couple laughs chatting it up over drinks. FYI there is a great Perusasion movie made in 2007 that I feel really captures the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this book. Why? It doesn't have the sparkle of Pride and Prejudice or the humor of Emma. But what it has is so much more! Anne is now past the age of marriage and beheld as a spinster. She could not have been an old maid. Her brother-in-law had proposed to her before he asked her sister, but she refused. Captain Wentworth is rich from the war, and is ready to settle down. There are many girls he could choose from, no one would suspect he would care for Anne, who had broken his heart years before. I love this story because to me their love is the most sincere of all Jane Austen's couples. They could not have anyone but each other, despite dooming maidenhood, heartbreak, betrayl, misunderstanding. Over all of this comes forgiveness and hope. Their love to me stands the test of time and is the most true of anything I have ever read.
AK95 More than 1 year ago
Ms. Austen makes her last novel the most moving one of her short career. I realize that many scholars would disagree with this claim, but it's because "Persausion" seperates itself from the other novels that in part make it so remarkable. The ending is not that of a fairy tale, but more along the lines of a changing world with many unscruplous people in it and Anne and her love have finally decided to take life on their own terms. Witty humor, is another ingredient that Ms. Austen finds time to include although this is far more of a sober tale. She makes comentary on the choices a woman had available to her and the life of a military wife. This is a far more realistic story than the romantic comedy "Emma," although that is great as well, but this is more of a story about lost love and the tribulations, pain, and other endurments that must be faced to reach happiness in ones life. This is a fitting end to a remarkable career.
1Katherine1 More than 1 year ago
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!
timtamtummy More than 1 year ago
I love Jane Austen's books and have various titles in several editions. This one is my favorite - it has a beautiful cover, the font is pleasing to the eye, and it is indexed at various points - these correspond to notes which explain the context a little more. This is something I love about the Penguin Classics. I'm sorely tempted to get other titles in the same series now..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Praised as Jane Austen's greatest, most mature novel, Persuasion definitely lives up to its reputation. Written in Austen's captivating, witty style, it enhances all the beauty, romance, as well as flaws and negatives of the early nineteenth century England. Anne Elliot, a daughter of a wealthy baronet and Frederick Wentworth, the fortuneless love of her life, find themselves separated by the cruelty of the social rank system of England at that time. Anne, persuaded to end their relationship, lives for eight and a half years regretting the greatest mistake of her life until Captain Wentworth comes back from war, where he has made quite a fortune. Now, revolving in the same social circle and constantly being in each others' presence, both Anne and Frederick face the difficulties of forgetting the mistakes of the past to finally realize that it may be a future together that they truly want. Anne Elliot, a heroine quite unlike Austen's usual witty, beautiful and charming Elizabeth or Emma, portrays the complexity and maturity that Jane Austen's writing has reached. Anne has an aura of kindness and gentleness about her that makes her unique among Austen's heroines. Her character is guaranteed to have every reader sympathize with her as she tries to recover from the past and renew her intimate connection with Captain Wentworth. The Captain, definitely comparable to Mr. Darcy, is the usual dashing, brilliant man that all women adore and want for themselves. All the rest of the characters such as the silly, self-centered Mary and the light-hearted Miss Musgroves make the storyline even more delightful and rich in twists and turns. Once again, Austen gives her readers what she knows they want. There is romance and love, misfortune and jealousies, parties and vanity, and, of course, a happy ending, which the authoress presents is such an amazing style as can only be worthy of a true masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finally read Persuasion and I have to say it might be tied with Sense and Sensibility as my favorite of the Austen novels. I originally shared my thoughts of Persuasion on the Republic of Pemberley website and felt compelled to share it with my Barnes and Noble friends. I always thought Pride and Prejudice was my beloved first choice but over the years I have flipped flopped and well now I am enchanted by the characters and the story of Persuasion. I have to even admit that I always thought Mr. Darcy's letter to Elizabeth was so heart filled and mesmerizing but now after reading Captain Wentworth's prose to Anne and in a way wearing his heart on his sleeve I am completely sold that his was the most romantic letter ever written! As a woman, you always dream that a love lost will somehow find its way back again so I found myself rooting for Anne and Captain Wentworth to find each other. As for the other characters, I wish someone would have smacked Elizabeth and Sir Walter. They were one and the same and so rude to Anne. Not once did they appear to take her feelings into consideration. I really liked Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove and the Musgrove sisters. They had a complete affection for Anne and were more family to her then her own. Even Admiral and Mrs. Croft treated Anne with more family regard then her own. Mary wasn't too bad to Anne but she was too helpless for my taste. Mrs. Smith (an old friend from Anne's school days) proved to be the perfect allie and dearest long lost friend. Yes, I am truly happy to have read this novel and I think before the end of the summer I will have to read it again!
OliviaAL More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book because the print in this particular edition is extremely small. Other editions of this book contain 288 pages, but this one contains only 100 pages - that should give you an idea of how small the print is in this edition. I have ordered an edition that has larger print and look forward to reading it.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the head of the Elliot family is the baronet Sir Walter, a widower and a vain man who lives beyond his means and makes up his mind about people solely based on their appearance and station in life. His eldest and his youngest daughters take after him, to great comical effect, but Anne Elliot, his middle daughter, is quite different. She's a great reader of poetry and has never forgotten her first romantic attachment to Captain Frederick Wentworth, a romance which took place eight years before the story begins. But like all well bred young ladies of her day, she let herself be persuaded by a close friend of the family, Lady Russell, to break off the engagement because of Wentworth's apparent lack of fortune and prospects. But Wentworth is back, now having acquired great wealth and looking for a wife, and anyone will do, as long as she is fond of the navy. Anyone that is, but Anne. This, the last novel Austen wrote as she was dying, is a story imbued with a sense of loss, missed opportunities and regret, but of course in the end, love must conquer all and hope wins the day. I can't say now how much or how little I would have enjoyed this novel if I hadn't read it with the help of Liz, my devoted tutor, who patiently explained to me all the subtleties of the story and various conventions of the time which helped me to appreciate it as only dedicated Jane Austen fan could. Thoroughly enjoyable. The audio version by the ever-perfect Juliet Stevenson was quite a treat too.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My second-favorite Austen so far after Pride and Prejudice.
bjappleg8 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing it read by Juliet Stevenson. Her characterizations are wonderful and her interpretation completely worthy of Austen.
ffortsa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Austen's lovely novel of second chances - a wonder.
casanders2015 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yet another classic story of romance by Jane Austen! This book wore me out with all of it's glances, looks, innuendo, nuances, and implications of the smallest of actions that build to a climatic romantic ending. If you like Pride and Prejudice, this last written novel is a must. The reading is not easy to follow the meaning if you are unfamiliar with the verbiage of the era.
amydross on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A funny, subtle, layered work, but the satire falls a little flat for not being applied consistently. Austen wants to have her cake and eat it -- she skewers the aristocracy, the rich, the vapid, and the proud, then celebrates them all in the next breath.
Kayla-Marie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't like Persuasion nearly as much as P&P and Northanger Abbey. Anne Elliot's character didn't interest me that much. She was too docile of a main character to carry the book forward, IMHO. *Spoilers *I was really hoping that Anne would redeem herself by standing up to her selfish family in order to finally get what she wanted. It turned out she didn't have to because her father and her sister Mary now approved of Captain Wentworth because of his rank and fortune. And that makes me uncertain about Anne's strengths in this relationship. Would she have fought to stay with Captain Wentworth if her family still disapproved? More importantly, would she have stayed with him if Lady Russell had still been against the match? At the end of the book, Anne tells Captain Wentworth, "I must believe that I was right, much as I have suffered from it, that I was perfectly right in being guided by [my] friend...". What? You mean to say that you were right to break the heart of the person you loved more than anyone because a friend (who doesn't really control you're life) told you that you should just because he didn't have the proper rank in society? Whatever. Maybe she would have had to break ties with her family, but that wouldn't have been much of a loss. They were awful people. They constantly ignored her and took her for granted, and yet she sacrificed over eight years of happiness and independence for them. Why?
mbmackay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Austen's final novel, and the last in my re-reading of Austen as an adult. As a teenager, I was overwhelmed by the archaic aspects - the speech, the settings, the manners and lost the books. But as an older reader, the old fashioned aspects blur into the background and I find that Austen is very current. This book portrays a middle daughter with ditzy sisters and a vain and empty-headed father - a scenario that has no trouble transcending a couple of centuries. While the plot is clearly from the early 19th century, I have no trouble greatly enjoying the book in the early 21st century. Read as ebook August 2011.
cenneidigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Jane Austen and this did not disappoint. I found the lack of sincerity disturbing. Love is love and you can't make yourself love someone or fall out of love with someone you love. Rather to have a loved one alone then with an improper match is sad.
Elphaba71 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful love story, may be not one of Austens more well known novels. It has a sadness and delicacy of tone that takes it to a different level. Anne Elliott is a great character, with an intelligence steeped in experience coupled with a good and true heart, and is at the centre of a novel that offers absolutely everything that you could wish for in a novel. Just perfect.
emanate28 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A gem. This and P&P are my two favorite novels of all time. Austen's quiet but sharp wit is simply delectable, and the older I get, the more I come to appreciate the intricacies of human relationships in the tale. And, as usual, the hero is to die for!
KendraRenee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Austen forever delights me with her frank critique of 19th-centural English society. That she can be so objective of the customs/attitudes she herself must've grown up with, really impresses me. Anyway, Persuasion is a very sweet story of the constancy of love, though the language makes it impossible to read at bedtime, when my brain is tired and only halfway engaged. All in all, a feel-good ending, a very well-written story = both big criteria for my permanent library, so this one's definitely staying on my shelf.
BeeQuiet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having enjoyed Mansfield Park about as much as eating grass, I will admit I had no great hope for enjoying Persuasion much more. Still, I was advised that many people who don't like the former still like her other books - how lucky I was that this was indeed the case. Persuasion being the last book that Austen wrote before her death, I found that her writing style seemed to have developed, her characters attaining a little more depth, moving away from the incredibly simplistic moral stances of those held by the characters of Mansfield Park to.Miss Anne Elliot is the ignored and undervalued middle daughter of the baronet Sir Walter Elliot. Sir Walter and his other daughters provide the most obvious caricature of nineteenth century upper class society, being vain, self-obsessed, status-obsessed and oblivious to those matters which should really affect the heart of one morally grounded. This morally grounded influence comes naturally enough in the form of Anne, who is torn between the influence of various characters throughout the book, whilst remaining a great deal more self-confident, mindful of her own opinions, and strongly minded than the dreadfully limp Fanny Price of Austen's former work. Of course the book would not be complete without its love interest (which of course I will not spoil) and I found this too a great deal more satisfying than that of Mansfield. Persuasion finds Austen a more mature writer, more capable of exploring the ideas of morality, status and love that she is so dearly attached to. Nowhere is this more starkly apparent than in a small section of conversation between the protagonist and another character, in which Anne makes plain the enormous influence of male authors of the time in dictating the accepted differences between the sexes. I was delighted by the natural feel of this section of conversation and mindful of Austen being before her time in making such clear observations.Unfortunately, in spite of me enjoying this book so much more than Mansfield Park, I did find eerie similarities between many of the characters. Austen seemed to have become fixated upon certain archetypal essences of character and simply lifted them from one story to one not entirely dissimilar. I will refrain from explaining further whom I thought could represent whom for fear of spoiling the plot for those yet to read. However I would suggest that Persuasion seemed to be a fresh attempt at a previous story as opposed to something entirely distinct, simply due to the incredible similarity of theme and character disposition. As mentioned before, the substantive differences were enough to allow me to thoroughly enjoy this book where I had not the former, yet unfortunately not enough to entirely repair my opinion of Austen.
Spirea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is my favourite Austen novel. There is something so romantic and appealing about the story of Anne and Wentworth. Getting back your lost love like that. But it's not too syrupy which such stories can often be.
sferguson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just read this last night. One of the best novels I have ever read. The 'Classics' are, overall, a number of works whose value I think are slightly overrated, but Austen's work seems (in my experience) to be much superior to the majority of what are considered classics in this day and age.Persuasion is a great tragic romance with a happy ending that I would honestly recommend to anyone interested in a good read.