Jane Austen’s last completed novel, Persuasion is a delightful social satire of England’s landed gentry and a moving tale of lovers separated by class distinctions. After years apart, unmarried Anne Elliot, the heroine Jane Austen called “almost too good for me,” encounters the dashing naval officer others persuaded her to reject, as he now courts the rash and younger Louisa Musgrove. Superbly drawn, these characters and those of Anne’s prideful father, Sir Walter, the scheming Mrs. Clay, and the duplicitous William Elliot, heir to Kellynch Hall, become luminously alive—so much so that the poet Tennyson, visiting historic Lyme Regis, where a pivotal scene occurs, exclaimed: “Don’t talk to me of the Duke of Monmouth. Show me the exact spot where Louisa Musgrove fell!”
Tender, almost grave, Persuasion offers a glimpse into Jane Austen’s own heart while it magnificently displays the full maturity of her literary power.
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.