Jane Austen was born in 1775 and died unmarried in her early forties. The daughter of a rector, she lived a comfortable upper middle-class life which was made eventful only through her active imagination.
In PERSUASION, the book's heroine, Anne Elliot, was earlier engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a young naval officer, now become a captain. Anne is 27, and the early bloom of youth is past when she and Captain Wentworth are thrown together again.
This book is often thought to be the story of Jane Austen's own lost love. In it, she seems mellowed and more philosophical, touched perhaps by the sentiment of a story in which she saw herself as heroine but in whose happy outcome she had a premonition that she would never play a part.
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.