Persuasion, by Jane Austen

Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
Pages: 271
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Copyright: 2008 (1818)
Format: Paperback
Rating: [rating:4]

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So I am in the rather embarrassing position of having previously read only one of Jane Austen’s works: Pride and Prejudice – one of my favorite books of all time. I’ve been meaning to get to more Austen for a long time. And I’m glad that I read Persuasion as my second one.

There is just something so inviting about the world of Jane Austen.  In this particular world we meet the Elliots.  Sir Walter Elliot is a pompeous and vain widower.  Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, is as vain and pompous as her father.  Mary, the youngest daughter, is married to lawyer in a neighboring town and is whiny, needy, and a bit pathetic.  The middle daughter, Anne, our heroine, is kind and patient and practical.  We come to understand that Anne once fell in love with a poor sailor in the navy, but was discouraged from the match by friend of the family, Lady Russell.  It’s now eight years later, and Captain Wentworth is back.  He’s rich and kind-hearted.  There’s traveling about from grand manor to vacation in Bath.  Long-lost cousin heirs, walks about the room, and romance abound.

So, not much to shock or surprise in the plot.  But the subtle satire, the commentary on class distinctions, and the sheer wit make this a book to be treasured.  Perhaps even beloved.  More reserved than Pride and Prejudice, it’s fitting that this is Austen’s last book.

Persuasion, by Jane Austen [rating:4]

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