Persuasion, Paperback
4 out of 5 (31 ratings)


Her last completed novel, marrying witty social realism to a 'Cinderella' love story, Jane Austen's "Persuasion" is edited with an introduction by Gillian Beer in "Penguin Classics".

Anne Elliot, twenty-seven and still single, seems destined for spinsterhood.

In her youth, she broke off an engagement to penniless Captain Wentworth at the insistence of her friend Lady Russell, acquiescing to the demands of her class at the expense of her happiness.

But when Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic wars rich and famous, Anne finds her affection rekindled - even though Wentworth seems more interested in Anne's friend Louisa Musgrove.

Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, "Persuasion" is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.

In her introduction, Gillian Beer discusses Austen's portrayal of the double-edged nature of persuasion and the clash between old and new worlds.

This edition also includes a new chronology and full textual notes.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was extremely modest about her own genius but has become one of English literature's most famous women writers. Austen began writing at a young age, embarking on what is possibly her best-known work, "Pride and Prejudice", at the age of 22.

She was the author of "Sense and Sensibility", "Pride and Prejudice", "Emma", "Persuasion", "Mansfield Park" and "Northanger Abbey".

If you liked "Persuasion", you may enjoy George Eliot's "Middlemarch", also available in "Penguin Classics". "The most perfect artist among women, the writer whose books are immortal". (Virginia Woolf).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages, chronology, notes
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780141439686



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 5 of 31 reviews.

  Previous  |  Next

Review by

My favorite, favorite Austen. It's more of a pure romance than her other books. The social satire is still there, in spades, but it takes a backseat to the glowing romance. And SUCH glowing romance it is, too.

Review by
Summary: When Anne Elliot was nineteen, she was in love with a young naval officer named Frederick Wentworth, but was talked out of it as being an imprudent match by friends and family. Now, eight years later, she is still unmarried, and still in love with Frederick - who is now Captain Wentworth, recently returned to shore with the large fortune he made in the war, and looking to settle down. When they are forced back into each other's company, things are strained between them, and she fears that by her earlier weakness, she has lost him forever. For how can they overcome eight years of heartbreak and regret to be together once more?Review: I always feel like a bit of a fraud reviewing Austen, or any classic, since so much has been written about it already - who cares about my opinion when many generations of masters theses have been written on the book by people better educated than me?Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed Persuasion, perhaps not quite so much as Pride and Prejudice, but certainly more than Emma. (I read Sense and Sensibility so long ago that I really can't compare it.) Persuasion's a more mature, sober book, less sparkly and quick-witted, but still an effective send-up of class, vanity, social climbing, and the strictures of society... plus it's one heck of a compelling romance.Anne Elliot, while not a particularly lively heroine, was immensely sympathetic. First, being a unmarried lady of eight-and-twenty myself, I was rather predisposed to identify with her (although I got somewhat tired of hearing about how her - and by extension, my - bloom of youthful attractiveness was in danger of disappearing at any second and therefore she'd never get married and her life would have no meaning.) I also think that most people have, if not a long-lost love that they look upon with regret, at least someone in their past that they look on with nostalgia, and a hint of "what if...", and that makes Anne's plight recognizable and relatable. Finally, I've long acknowledged my inordinate fondness for boys on boats ("Sometimes you're just in the mood for the British Navy."), so Captain Wentworth is an eminently swoon-worthy leading man.There are two things that I did wish were a little different. First, there's no secondary romance involving sympathetic characters. Anne's story is enough to fill the pages, but in the other Austen I've read, there is a secondary couple who deserves (and of course gets) their happy ending. In Persuasion, Anne's not surrounded by any other particularly sympathetic young people, and so there's no other couple to root for. (Certainly no one to equal, say, Jane and Bingham from Pride and Prejudice.) My only other quibble with the book is that the pivotal scene at the end of the book is mostly lacking in dialogue, choosing instead to have the narrator explain to us how Anne and Frederick made up without actually letting us hear it. That's a shame, because Austen can certainly write wonderful dialogue, and by not including it at the end, it felt like we were being kept at a distance from the most important part of the story. Still, overall I thought this was a wonderful book, and most definitely one I will return to. 4.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Oh, c'mon. It's Austen, it's a classic, it's not as intimidating as you might think, and it's a wonderful story of love and faithfulness and hope in the face of all seeming lost. Read it, if you haven't already.
Review by

Recently reread this book and I'm downgrading it. It's not her best, but then again, she died shortly after it was written.

Review by

I'm not a romantic type of person. I don't read romance novels, swooning and clutching my bosom and wishing for Prince Charming. Which is why I never really read Jane Austen. Life isn't a happily-ever-after and I don't enjoy reading that it is.I gave Pride and Prejudice a try a year or so ago and it was ok. Austen IS a good writer and her characters do have some serious flaws, even the characters you are supposed to be rooting for/swooning over. While listening to a CraftLit podcast, the podcaster announced we'd be listening to Persuasion. Ugh, I almost passed them all by.While there is swooning and happily-ever-after, Persuasion turned out to be incredibly good and interesting and, might I say, exciting. Persuasion was Austen's last novel, published after her death. The main character, Anne Elliot, is a girl from a desired family, wealth and all. But she isn't a horrid person. In fact, she is much maligned and ignored by her own father and sisters, unless they needed something from her. She spent a good deal of time in the shadows, being helpful and ignored.She was persuaded by her stand-in mother, Lady Russell, to not marry a certain Mr. Wentworth because his status would bring hers down. Years later, when she is 27 years old, she meets up with the now Captain Wentworth and finds she is still in love.Drama drama drama and happy ending. But still in all, an excellent story with a heroine who is kinda normal for the times.

Review by

I have no idea if this or P&P is my favorite of Austen's novels. The character development in Persuasion is much more interesting, and the love story more complex.

  Previous  |  Next

Also by Jane Austen   |  View all