Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth exemplify the country gentry in Regency England in Jane Austen's endearing tale.
Anne Elliot is a young woman of perfect breeding and unwavering integrity. Seven years after she is persuaded to reject Captain Wentworth's offer of marriage, her feelings for him are still strong. By the time she realizes this, Wentworth seems to only have eyes for the attractive, though flighty, Louisa Musgrove.
Set against the world of the country gentry in Regency England, Persuasion critically portrays the many aspects of proper society—its failings and humor—as well as presenting a tender story of determination and enduring love.
This novel is part of Brilliance Audio's extensive Classic Collection, bringing you timeless masterpieces that you and your family are sure to love.
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About the Author
Jane Austen’s (1775-1817) works have enjoyed a renewed popularity in the last year with the film release of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility - both critically acclaimed. Sir Walter Scott said, Jane Austen had “that exquisite touch which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting.”
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
Education:Taught at home by her father
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Excerpted from "Persuasion"
Copyright © 2003 Jane Austen.
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Table of Contents
Introduction Acknowledgements 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
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?