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PERSUASION and A MEMOIR OF JANE AUSTEN (Cambridge World Classics) Complete Novel Persuasion by Jane Austen and Biography by James Edward Austen (Leigh) (Annotated) (Complete Works of Jane Austen) NOOKbook [NOOK Book]

Overview

ANNOTATED:

* Contains literary critiques, detailed biographies, and detailed historical context


OVERVIEW:

Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel. She began it soon after she had finished ...
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PERSUASION and A MEMOIR OF JANE AUSTEN (Cambridge World Classics) Complete Novel Persuasion by Jane Austen and Biography by James Edward Austen (Leigh) (Annotated) (Complete Works of Jane Austen) NOOKbook

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Overview

ANNOTATED:

* Contains literary critiques, detailed biographies, and detailed historical context


OVERVIEW:

Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel. She began it soon after she had finished Emma, completing it in August, 1816. She died, aged 41, in 1817; Persuasion was published in December of that year (but dated 1818).

Persuasion is widely appreciated as a moving love story despite what has been labelled as a simple plot, and exemplifies Austen's acclaimed wit and ironic narrative style. The novel has been described as a great "Cinderella" story (introduction to the Penguin Classics edition). All the similarities between the fairy story and Austen's novel are there; a heroine who is generally unappreciated by those around her; a handsome prince who arrives but seems more interested in the "more obvious" charms of the Musgrove girls than the more steady charms offered by Anne; a moment of realisation and the final happy ending when those who did not appreciate have time to realise what they have lost. It has been said that it is not that Anne is unloved, more that those around her no longer see her, she is such a fixed part of life that her likes and dislikes, wishes and dreams are no longer considered, even by those who claim to appreciate her, like Lady Russell.

At the same time, the novel is a paean to the self-made man. Captain Wentworth is just one of several naval officers in the story who have risen from humble beginnings to affluence and status on the strength of merit and luck, not by inheritance. It marks a time where the very roots of society were changing, as 'old money' (exemplified by Sir Walter) had to accommodate the rising strength of the nouveau riche (such as Wentworth). The success of Austen's own two brothers in the Royal Navy is probably significant. There are also clear parallels with the earlier novel Mansfield Park as there are inherent and sustained messages of the importance of constancy in the face of adversity and of the need to endure.

Austen makes some biting comments about 'family' and those we choose to associate with. Mary wants to nurse Louisa but doesn't want to nurse her son. Elizabeth prefers Mrs Clay to her sister who is 'amongst the nobility of England and Ireland', yet courts the attentions of Lady Dalrymple.

Through her heroine's words, Austen makes pointed remarks about the condition of women as 'rational creatures' at the mercy of males (only) recording history, writing books, etc., while castigating women's "inconstancy" and "fickleness". "Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. ...the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything" (Persuasion Volume 2 Chapter 11). She ends the novel with the similar theme to Pride and Prejudice, where the heroine leaves the others behind with marriage.

This Special Critical Edition of PERSUASION (Cambridge World Classics) is the only volume which contains the complete unabridged novel along with A MEMOIR OF JANE AUSTEN a comprehensive biography of Jane Austen by Jane Austen's nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh. A Memoir of Jane Austen was the first major biography of the novelist Jane Austen (1775–1817) published in 1869 by her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh. A family project, the biography was written by James Edward Austen-Leigh but owed much to the recollections of Jane Austen's many relatives.


SPECIAL NOOK ENABLED FEATURES:

This edition contains special NOOKbook enabled features, including interactive table of contents.

The volume also employs PerfectLink (TM) technology which allows Nook readers to enjoy not only a fully interactive table of contents, but also the ability to click through to each section in the novel.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years until she was about 35 years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth.

From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2011

    My personal favorite of all Jane Austen novels

    This one is my personal favorite of all JA's novels, even more than P&P and S&S. I somehow identify with the main characters much more, and they make me wish like I was lving back in Regency England.

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