Persuasion (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Persuasion, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

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Overview

Persuasion, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

In her final novel, as in her earlier ones, Jane Austen uses a love story to explore and gently satirize social pretensions and emotional confusion. Persuasion follows the romance of Anne Elliot and naval officer Frederick Wentworth. They were happily engaged until Anne’s friend, Lady Russell, persuaded her that Frederick was “unworthy.” Now, eight years later, Frederick returns, a wealthy captain in the navy, while Anne’s family teeters on the edge of bankruptcy. They still love each other, but their past mistakes threaten to keep them apart.

Austen may seem to paint on a small canvas, but her characters contain the full range of human passion and moral complexity, and the author’s generous spirit renders them all with understanding, compassion, and humor.

Susan Ostrov Weisser is a professor of English at Adelphi University, where she specializes in nineteenth-century literature and women’s studies. Weisser also wrote the introduction to the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Jane Eyre.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593081300
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 67,165
  • Product dimensions: 7.96 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Austen
Susan Ostrov Weisser is a professor of English at Adelphi University, where she specializes in nineteenth-century literature and women’s studies. Weisser also wrote the introduction to the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Jane Eyre.

Biography

In 1801, George Austen retired from the clergy, and Jane, Cassandra, and their parents took up residence in Bath, a fashionable town Jane liked far less than her native village. Jane seems to have written little during this period. When Mr. Austen died in 1805, the three women, Mrs. Austen and her daughters, moved first to Southampton and then, partly subsidized by Jane's brothers, occupied a house in Chawton, a village not unlike Jane's first home. There she began to work on writing and pursued publishing once more, leading to the anonymous publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and Pride and Prejudice in 1813, to modestly good reviews.

Known for her cheerful, modest, and witty character, Jane Austen had a busy family and social life, but as far as we know very little direct romantic experience. There were early flirtations, a quickly retracted agreement to marry the wealthy brother of a friend, and a rumored short-lived attachment -- while she was traveling -- that has not been verified. Her last years were quiet and devoted to family, friends, and writing her final novels. In 1817 she had to interrupt work on her last and unfinished novel, Sanditon, because she fell ill. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, where she had been taken for medical treatment. After her death, her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published, together with a biographical notice, due to the efforts of her brother Henry. Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      December 16, 1775
    2. Place of Birth:
      Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      July 18, 1817
    2. Place of Death:
      Winchester, Hampshire, England
    1. Education:
      Taught at home by her father

Read an Excerpt

From Susan Ostrov Weisser's Introduction to Persuasion

Just as Jane Austen is the favorite author of many discerning readers, Persuasion is the most highly esteemed novel of many Austenites. It has the deep irony, the scathing wit, the droll and finely drawn characters of Austen's other novels, all attributes long beloved of her readers. But it is conventionally said that as her last novel, the novel of her middle age, it additionally has a greater maturity and wisdom than the "light, bright and sparkling" earlier novels, to use Austen's own famous description of Pride and Prejudice, her most popular work. In other words, Persuasion has often been seen as the thinking reader's Pride and Prejudice.

But Persuasion is less "light" in more than one sense; Anne Elliot, its heroine, is introduced as more unhappy and constrained by her situation than any heroine of Austen's since Fanny Price of Mansfield Park. In contrast to Elizabeth Bennet's or Emma Woodhouse's sparkle and volubility, Anne's "spirits were not high," and remain low for much of the novel. But whereas Fanny Price, like Anne ignored and held in low esteem by family members, is perfectly poised to be rescued by love, in fact Anne is barely a Cinderella figure, and not only because she is wellborn, of a better social rank than even the heroine of Emma. In fact, Anne Elliot has more in common with Charlotte Brontë's Victorian heroine Jane Eyre in that she seems at first distinctly ineligible for the role of a beloved, appearing to the world as apparently unlovable and without much physical charm. Anne, however, has none of Jane Eyre's ready temper, tongue, and fire; she tends to think and feel alone and in silence—except, of course, that we, her readers, share the literary mind she inhabits and see the world with her through her finely discerning eyes. Heroines are always subjected to surveillance in nineteenth-century fiction; here the heroine is invisible but voluble in her mind, as Lucy Snowe is in Charlotte Brontë's Villette.

Anne Elliot is a creature of thought and feeling, not what she seems to others. The same may be said of Jane Austen herself, whose life and writing often appear as one thing in the popular mind, yet turn out to be far more complex than convention allows when closely examined. There is the real Jane Austen, who left little in the way of biographical material (no diary has ever been found, and most of her letters were destroyed by their recipients or their heirs); and then there is the Jane Austen of the contemporary imagination. This latter version has colored the many films and television productions of her work, not to mention the societies and cultish fan enthusiasm, which constitute what the critic Margaret Doody calls "Aunt Jane-ism," a phenomenon she defines as "imposed quaintness."

It is easy to see why Austen's novels have become a kind of cinematic fetish: Film adaptations selectively focus on the clear trajectory of the courtship plot, the fine detail, the enclosed, knowable, seemingly nonpolitical world in which everyone seems to know his place. In fact, for many the novels have come to stand for a nostalgia of pre-Industrial Revolution England, an idyll of country houses, gentrified manners, and clear moral standards, an Old World apart from the chaos of urban, technologized life and the struggle for modern capital. So solidified has this mythical vision become that there is now a popular series of mystery novels by Stephanie Barron that feature Jane Austen as the amateur detective, similar to Agatha Christie's spinster figure Miss Marple, solving fictional mysteries with pert and ingenious wit in her quaint village.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 574 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

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3 Star

(57)

2 Star

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1 Star

(39)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 577 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Truly Tremendous

    Persuasion is a powerful book that strongly impacts the mind of any reader. I read this book for a research paper I had to write this year in high school, and I fell in love with it. Apart from the fact that I experienced the emotions described in this book, Jane Austen presents the material in such a way that the reader can comprehend, and fully grasp, the struggle of Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot. This is truly a tremendous masterpiece. I strongly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2011

    Great Book, Ok, Formatting

    This is one of my all time favorite books. I have read it several times in paperback and after having to sell almost all of my books for a move I was excited to see this free version. The formatting is fairly decent. There are random numbers and letters throughout and some of the line breaks are odd but it's not hard to read and really isn't annoying. Some of the paragraphs run on but that was how my other copy of the book was. I could be coming from a different perspective on the reason the formatting really doesn't bother me. I was a history major and some of the things that I had to read from this time period (and others) were not edited for ease of reading. Good copy if you are interested in reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    A great book once you get into it!!

    I will not lie; Persuasion is a book that took me a really long time to get into. This book is what we would classify as a "chick flick" but in book form (so for all the real men in the world read this book). The only thing that kept me reading it for the longest time was that I had read the inside cover and was intrigued with what could happen in this book. This book is about two hundred years old so the text used can be somewhat confusing at times. The spelling is definitely different along with the grammar use. During this book the reader will experience drama, sadness, jealousy, happiness, shock, and many more emotions. The story first takes place in what I assumed to be England. The war had just finished and many army personnel were coming home. One part that I had a really hard time understanding was the very beginning, it seemed like the narrator was the father of Anne Elliot. He seems to be trying to write his will or making an autobiography of himself. I could not figure out who the narrator was or what they were trying to tell the reader. After I got past that part I just had to keep telling myself to keep on reading because it would get better. When Anne (the main character) first comes across her long lost love Captain Wentworth the reader wants them to just get back together and for everything to be good. Fortunately, that does not happen and the reader has more to read. Later in the book Anne meets her cousin Mr. Elliot and they soon become acquainted with one another. I did not know if I wanted them to get married or if I still wanted Captain Wentworth to come back and marry Anne. The setting of this book wanted to make me have a English accent and begin telling parts of this story to some of my friends. It is a story that has its ups and downs but it definitely a phenomenal book with a wonderful ending that I will not give away. This book is a book that you could read in book clubs, on rainy days, give as a gift, and should have in a library. Once I got to the end of this book I wanted it to keep going on. The way that Anne now feels about love and about Captain Wentworth may be a tear jerker for some so make sure to keep some tissues handy. The ending will make the reader go back in time and switch places with Anne if the reader is female. Another thing about this book is that it is one of the all time classics and if modified could easily apply to this day in age. This is a book that I am definitely giving a thumbs up and recommending to my friends because of how well if rapped up and did not leave you hanging. I loved this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    Now my most beloved read of all the Austen Novels!

    I finally read Persuasion and I have to say it might be tied with Sense and Sensibility as my favorite of the Austen novels. I originally shared my thoughts of Persuasion on the Republic of Pemberley website and felt compelled to share it with my Barnes and Noble friends. I always thought Pride and Prejudice was my beloved first choice but over the years I have flipped flopped and well now I am enchanted by the characters and the story of Persuasion. I have to even admit that I always thought Mr. Darcy's letter to Elizabeth was so heart filled and mesmerizing but now after reading Captain Wentworth's prose to Anne and in a way wearing his heart on his sleeve I am completely sold that his was the most romantic letter ever written! As a woman, you always dream that a love lost will somehow find its way back again so I found myself rooting for Anne and Captain Wentworth to find each other. As for the other characters, I wish someone would have smacked Elizabeth and Sir Walter. They were one and the same and so rude to Anne. Not once did they appear to take her feelings into consideration. I really liked Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove and the Musgrove sisters. They had a complete affection for Anne and were more family to her then her own. Even Admiral and Mrs. Croft treated Anne with more family regard then her own. Mary wasn't too bad to Anne but she was too helpless for my taste. Mrs. Smith (an old friend from Anne's school days) proved to be the perfect allie and dearest long lost friend. Yes, I am truly happy to have read this novel and I think before the end of the summer I will have to read it again!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    I love this book however, I was sincerely disappointed with the

    I love this book however, I was sincerely disappointed with the number of typos in the Barnes & Noble Classics series nook book verison. After reading a couple more Jane Austen book from the Barnes and Noble Classic nook books, I kept finding more typos to the point that I went and purchased a different publisher's version and archieved the B&N version.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Don't get it

    When i got the book I was very sad. I couldn't tell what half the words were and I didn't know when the chapter ended or started. Very confusing. Dont get it. I love Jane Austen but just not THIS style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    Looks good

    I thunk im going to get it . YUP IM GETTING IT MMMM HMMMM LOOKS GOOD

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    Check it out.

    I could read it over and over. I love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Love to read

    Another great Jane Austen story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Listen

    I found the book rather sweet. It teaches you to follow your heart and not the decisions of others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Great book, buuuut....

    The formatting for this book was half hearted at best. Made a great book difficult to get through with odd page breaks and typos.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Slow

    The story is slow and boring. It took to much time to develop and the end lack of emotion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Boring.

    Nothing much happened.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    I really wish the covers were as lush as the stories

    The B&N classic publication has all sorts of useful information wrapped around the story.

    Good introduction by Dr Weisser.

    Compelling story by Jane Austen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Need no persusion to recommand

    Five stars all around

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    I love anything Austen, but this is possibly my favorite. It is

    I love anything Austen, but this is possibly my favorite. It is lovely to watch the characters develop and begin to understand the reasons behind their actions. The mixture of humor, romance, and a hint of the tragic makes this a wonderful read on a rainy afternoon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    My Favorite Austen Book

    Once I retired and got a chance to really star reading, I only thought Jane Austen had done Sense and Sensibility plus Pride and Prejudice. I didn't know about the others, but made sure I read them all. I had never heard of Persuasion, nor had I heard of a major motion picture of it like the other two I mentioned, so I was surprised when this became my favorite. I have read it many times now, in the past 20 years, and watched the English version of the story, and when I have trouble getting to sleep at night, I just start telling myself the story over again and it gets my mind off of other things and puts me pleasantly to sleep. It's become like a favorite fairy tale to a child. Love lost, 2nd chance at love, love conquered ... all with the delicious background of a Jane Austen afternoon and evening of reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Her best work

    Though it is often eclipsed by the more popular Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion is Austen's most sensitive and intellectual work.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Love Captain Wentworth

    I Love this story. Jane Austen is a legend. This is my favorite story. Captain Wentworth is just lovely. His letter to Anne is my favorite.
    "I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, then when you almost broke it more than eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. ---Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? --- I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings. As I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others. ---Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in
    F.W. (Captain Frederick Wentworth)
    I must go. Uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening, or never."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2011

    Brilliant!

    My Thoughts:

    Persuasion is one of my favorite movie adaptations in the world. I could watch the Masterpiece Theater version over and over without getting sick of it. That¿s how much I love it. Since I had never read a Jane Austen book before, I decided to go with that one for my Summer Romance Challenge. I have to admit it was not easy at first. The very beginning with the details on the family and friends of the family was a struggle to get through. I think the reason why is because I know the story so well from the movie. Once more dialogue came about, it became very enjoyable.

    Anne Elliot was once engaged to Frederick Wentworth when she was very young. Since her friend Lady Russell didn¿t approve of the match, she persuaded Anne to break off the engagement. Fast forward eight years later. Anne¿s father Sir Walter and sister Elizabeth have nearly brought the family to bankruptcy. They have to let the house to someone while they get things back to where it should be financially. The person who takes up residency is Admiral and Mrs. Croft. And guess who happens to be the brother of Mrs. Croft? You guessed it--Frederick, now Captain Wentworth.

    So now Anne is forced into being around him often, watching him from afar, imagining him as not wanting anything to do with her. Especially when it seems he is preferring the company of another. As time goes on, he gets to see a different side of her, how selfless she is. And when it seems he is attentive to her, Mr. Elliot, her cousin, seems to be very interested in Anne. But where does Anne stand? Does she have a chance with Frederick again?

    Like I said, this is one of my favorite movie adaptations. Reading the book was like icing on the cake, completely put it all into perspective, getting into the mind of the characters. Jane Austen really is an amazing author. I wish I hadn¿t taken so long to read one of her novels. Definitely one of the best classics I¿ve read so far.

    My Rating:

    Very Good... Stay up late

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