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Persuasion is Jane Austen’s last completed novel, was published posthumously in 1817. By some it is considered her best work. Despite its subject: Anne Elliot who broke off the engagement with Frederick Wentworth 8 years before the book starts, taking the advice of her very good friend Lady Russel, the novel is not depressing, but rather uplifting. Her family, vain as they are, need to rent out their mansion to someone, and who should that someone be but Frederick (who in the meantime becomes Captain) Wentworth’s sister and brother-in-law Admiral and Mrs Croft? A lovely couple of loving people. With a fortune of £25, OOO, Captain Wentworth is in search of a wife and is thrown in the way of Anne again. But, he has grown indifferent to her and seems rather to prefer the company of Anne’s cousins-in-law: Louisa and Henrietta Musgrove. After a severe accident and a total surprise, the two meet again in Bath, where Anne’s family has moved. Captain Wentworth does not seem indifferent anymore, but what is to happen when Anne’s cousin Mr William Elliot seems to have his eyes fixed on her and everyone in Bath seems to be convinced that the two will marry soon? Fortunately, there is an old school friend Mrs Smith who will help Anne out. The novel ends in a comparison of attachment between man and woman which will cause a sublime éclat. The sparkling satire from before results in the soft pop of a cork that opens a sparkling bottle of vintage champagne. --Submitted by kiki1982
Persuasion begins seven years after the heroine, Anne Elliot, has jilted her lover, Fredrick Wentworth, upon the request of a most beloved mother figure. Although at the time of the refusal the man seems an inadequate match, the tables are now turned: as in most Austen novels--the girl is poor, the boy is rich. To add insult to injury, Anne’s father is going bankrupt and must rent his house to none other than Fredrick’s sister and brother-in-law, bringing Anne and Fredrick in contact again. Through twists and turns of jealousy, romance, poetry, rumors and a serious head injury, Anne and Fredrick always find themselves in uncomfortable situations that brew up old feelings (that were probably never lost). As Jane Austen’s last completed novel, some critics dismiss it as her darkest; however, others see it as her most honest and universal. Whatever your opinion, the whole novel is worth reading just for the letter (correspondence) in chapter twenty-three: it will make you melt. --Submitted by Amber Bradshaw
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