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Persuasion: (Classics hardcover) Hardcover – Apr 24 2012
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Stevenson has read all of Austen's novels for audiobook, in abridged or unabridged versions, and her experience shows in this delightful production. Though dominated by the intelligent, sweet voice of Anne Elliot—the least favored but most worthy of three daughters in a family with an old name but declining fortunes—Stevenson provides other characters with memorable voices as well. She reads Anne's haughty father's lines with a mixture of stuffiness and bluster, and Anne's sisters are portrayed with a hilariously flighty, breathy register that makes Austen's contempt for them palpable. Anne's voice is mostly measured and reasonable—an expression of her strong mind and spirit—but Stevenson imbues her speech with wonderful shades of passion as Anne is reacquainted with Capt. Wentworth, whom she has continued to love despite being forced, years before, to reject him over status issues. Listening to Stevenson, as Anne, describe a sudden encounter with Wentworth, one hardly needs Austen's description of how Anne grows faint—Stevenson's perfectly judged and deeply felt reading has already shown that she must have. Even those who have read Austen's novels will find themselves loving this book all over again with Stevenson's evocative rendition ringing richly in their ears. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch-hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage;1 there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents;2 there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt. Read the first page
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Persuasion is Anne Elliot's story. The title's initial allusion is to Anne's brush with matrimony when a promising, but not rich, naval officer, Captain Wentworth, proposed and she fell in love with him at 19. But Anne's deceased mother's friend, Lady Russell, persuaded Anne not to make the match. Up until the time of the story, Anne hasn't had another suitor and she's now well past the usual age of marriage at 29 and "her bloom had vanish early." Her father's spendthrift ways mean that Anne could bring little money to a marriage so she's expecting not to marry.
While in her social class that lack of a husband is a drawback, in reality her family is a greater problem. Her father, Sir Walter Elliot, is a baronet who spends too much money, is obsessed by social rank, loves to be around the "beautiful people" and admire himself in a mirror, and keeps company with an unsuitable, scheming widow, Mrs. Clay, who is looking for a husband and has latched onto Elizabeth as friend. Anne's older sister, Elizabeth, is also unmarried and is as equally obsessed with social status as their father. Both Sir Walter and Elizabeth fail to value Anne and looked to her to suit their conveniences. The other daughter, Mary, is married but the connection doesn't thrill either Sir Walter or Elizabeth. Mary sees Anne as a virtual servant who should wait on her every beck and call when Anne is her guest.Read more ›
This book has meant different things to me at different times in my life. I have often reflected why I find the story so fascinating and believe it is because it so accurately portrays the human spirit and exposes our flaws and strengths with such transparency.
Jane Austen reveals those who are so superficial that they see no goodness or worth other than beauty and wealth (Anne's father and sister); those who are so dependent that they do not listen to their own heart - but instead leave their most important decisions for others to make (Anne herself); and those whose pride has been wounded.
And perhaps what is so captivating, Austen lets the reader vicariously "undo" an error in judgment. This is an excellent and timeless novel.
First of all, although I sympathized with Anne when he was slighted by her own family and she was taken no notice of in the company of foolish women just because she is not as pretty and "fragile" as them, maybe because she is not as strong and passionate a character as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, I could not particularly attach myself to her. Still, I read the novel from beginning to the end in a very short time because it has more than enough to keep our interest. Especially the character of Mrs. Croft, the sister of Captain Wentworth is worth notice; because among the "ailing" and "fatigued" women of the higher classes of that time, this woman who walks long distances with her husband, who accompanies him on long sea journeys and takes the reins of their carriage to manoeuvre out of the way of a post is very interesting. In this novel, Jane Austen says quiet a lot of things which can be thought quiet feministic. Well she says similar things in P&P, for example she makes Darcy say that Elizabeth's complexion is greatly improved after a long walk, when Bingley's sisters criticize her for such an unlady-like behaviour.
Another thing about the novel is that we don't really know the feelings of Captain Wentworth. It is true that the letter he writes to Anne at the end is full of love but I didn't feel his passion as I did Darcy's when he proposed to Elizabeth the first time.
All in all, I recommend the book to readers who have read Austen's other novels. But as a first read it may not be so enjoyable as Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility.
Since this was Jane Austen's last novel, and as it was written when she was near her deathbed, it is not nearly as well edited. There are some mistakes here and there that can be distinguished. Despite minor errors in the book, it truely an excellent read.
Persuasion centre's around a 28 year old Anne. When she was 19 she was engaged to a sailor named Wentworth, and the novel revolves around their relationship evolving and changing after an 8 year period of not seeing eachother. There are many unexepected twists and turns in this book, and although reading the back of the book reveals how the book is generally going to end (as one would likely have guessed while reading the book in its entirety anyway) you are never quite sure how exactly the ending is going to come about.
Jane Austen is a great author, and her works continue to endlessly impress me. Unfortunately, the book starts off quite slowly, and it did not really interest me until you learned more of Anne and her feelings. Despite a slow start, the book ended up really drawing my interest, and when I was nearing the end of the novel, I never wanted to put it down.
Most recent customer reviews
Persuasion. How long have I waited to read that book, because of it's title. I felt that there was in it the worst schemes and treacheries Austen could have thought of... but no. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Elune
I have three film versions of Persuasion, and like all three.Published 17 months ago by firstname.lastname@example.org
Last of the novels to be completed during her lifetime, Jane Austen’s Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot who almost ten years after breaking her engagement to then penniless... Read morePublished on June 30 2013 by Ladybug
Persuasion is Austen's last completed and finest novel. A poignant story of quiet regret and a lament for missed opportunities, Persuasion tells of dutiful, neglected Anne Elliot... Read morePublished on March 12 2012 by Millerfan
In Jane Austen's time, young women were taught that it was practically their duty to "marry well" -- someone of at least equal social/financial standing. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2011 by EA Solinas