Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Persuasion, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  •     New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  •     Biographies of the authors
  •     Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  •     Footnotes and endnotes
  •     Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  •     Comments by other famous authors
  •     Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  •     Bibliographies for further reading
  •     Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

In her final novel, as in her earlier ones, Jane Austen uses a love story to explore and gently satirize social pretensions and emotional confusion. Persuasion follows the romance of Anne Elliot and naval officer Frederick Wentworth. They were happily engaged until Anne’s friend, Lady Russell, persuaded her that Frederick was “unworthy.” Now, eight years later, Frederick returns, a wealthy captain in the navy, while Anne’s family teeters on the edge of bankruptcy. They still love each other, but their past mistakes threaten to keep them apart.

Austen may seem to paint on a small canvas, but her characters contain the full range of human passion and moral complexity, and the author’s generous spirit renders them all with understanding, compassion, and humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593081300
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 06/01/2004
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 11,399
Product dimensions: 7.96(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English author known primarily for her six major novels set among the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Considered defining works of the Regency Era and counted among the best-loved classics of English literature, Austen’s books include Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. The latter two were published after her death.

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

Read an Excerpt

From Susan Ostrov Weisser's Introduction to Persuasion

Just as Jane Austen is the favorite author of many discerning readers, Persuasion is the most highly esteemed novel of many Austenites. It has the deep irony, the scathing wit, the droll and finely drawn characters of Austen's other novels, all attributes long beloved of her readers. But it is conventionally said that as her last novel, the novel of her middle age, it additionally has a greater maturity and wisdom than the "light, bright and sparkling" earlier novels, to use Austen's own famous description of Pride and Prejudice, her most popular work. In other words, Persuasion has often been seen as the thinking reader's Pride and Prejudice.

But Persuasion is less "light" in more than one sense; Anne Elliot, its heroine, is introduced as more unhappy and constrained by her situation than any heroine of Austen's since Fanny Price of Mansfield Park. In contrast to Elizabeth Bennet's or Emma Woodhouse's sparkle and volubility, Anne's "spirits were not high," and remain low for much of the novel. But whereas Fanny Price, like Anne ignored and held in low esteem by family members, is perfectly poised to be rescued by love, in fact Anne is barely a Cinderella figure, and not only because she is wellborn, of a better social rank than even the heroine of Emma. In fact, Anne Elliot has more in common with Charlotte Brontë's Victorian heroine Jane Eyre in that she seems at first distinctly ineligible for the role of a beloved, appearing to the world as apparently unlovable and without much physical charm. Anne, however, has none of Jane Eyre's ready temper, tongue, and fire; she tends to think and feel alone and in silence—except, of course, that we, her readers, share the literary mind she inhabits and see the world with her through her finely discerning eyes. Heroines are always subjected to surveillance in nineteenth-century fiction; here the heroine is invisible but voluble in her mind, as Lucy Snowe is in Charlotte Brontë's Villette.

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. This latter version has colored the many films and television productions of her work, not to mention the societies and cultish fan enthusiasm, which constitute what the critic Margaret Doody calls "Aunt Jane-ism," a phenomenon she defines as "imposed quaintness."

It is easy to see why Austen's novels have become a kind of cinematic fetish: Film adaptations selectively focus on the clear trajectory of the courtship plot, the fine detail, the enclosed, knowable, seemingly nonpolitical world in which everyone seems to know his place. In fact, for many the novels have come to stand for a nostalgia of pre-Industrial Revolution England, an idyll of country houses, gentrified manners, and clear moral standards, an Old World apart from the chaos of urban, technologized life and the struggle for modern capital. So solidified has this mythical vision become that there is now a popular series of mystery novels by Stephanie Barron that feature Jane Austen as the amateur detective, similar to Agatha Christie's spinster figure Miss Marple, solving fictional mysteries with pert and ingenious wit in her quaint village.

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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.