Modern Library Classics
On Sale: June 12, 2001
Featuring: Anne Elliot; Frederick Wentworth
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Called a 'perfect novel' by Harold Bloom,
Persuasion was written while Jane Austen was in
failing health. She died soon after its completion, and it
was published in an edition with Northanger Abbey in 1818.
In the novel, Anne Elliot, the heroine Austen called
'almost too good for me,' has let herself be persuaded not
to marry Frederick Wentworth, a fine and attractive man
without means. Eight years later, Captain Wentworth returns
from the Napoleonic Wars with a triumphant naval career
behind him, a substantial fortune to his name, and an
eagerness to wed. Austen explores the complexities of human
relationships as they change over time. 'She is a prose
Shakespeare,' Thomas Macaulay wrote of Austen in 1842. 'She
has given us a multitude of characters, all, in a certain
sense, commonplace. Yet they are all as perfectly
discriminated from each other as if they were the most
eccentric of human beings.'
Persuasion is the
last work of one of the greatest of novelists, the end of a
quiet career pursued in anonymity in rural England that
produced novels which continue to give pleasure to millions
of readers throughout the world.
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