'Persuasion' was Jane Austen's last novel, and certainly her most romantic in tone. She uses the story of Anne Elliot - forced by social convention to give up the man she dearly loved - to cast a critical and often satirical eye upon the manners and mores of middle-class English society during the early 1800s, with her most pointed barbs reserved for the canting, narrow-minded 'landed gentry'. Austen's witty, ironic portrayal of life in this restrictive and restricting society has enthralled generations of readers and earned her a place among the great names of English literature.
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.