'All the privilege I claim for my own sex ... is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone.'. Anne Elliot's heartfelt words strike the keynote of Jane Austen's last completed novel. It features a heroine older and wiser than her predecessors in earlier books, and its tone is more intimate and sober as Jane Austen unfolds a simple love-story. She described her heroine in a letter as 'almost too good for me': Anne Elliot's goodness is not of the cloying kind, but an unsentimental quality that, combined with stoicism and integrity, enables her to find happiness in love after seven years when it seemed she had for ever put an end to such a prospect.
Anne Elliot, heroine of Austen's last novel, did something we can all relate to: Long ago, she let the love of her life get away. In this case, she had allowed herself to be persuaded by a trusted family friend that the young man she loved wasn't an adequate match, social stationwise, and that Anne could do better. The novel opens some seven years after Anne sent her beau packing, and she's still alone. But then the guy she never stopped loving comes back from the sea. As always, Austen's storytelling is so confident, you can't help but allow yourself to be taken on the enjoyable journey.