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by Jane Austen

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Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations…  See more details below


Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed. This was the page at which the favourite volume always opened:

"Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married, July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of Gloucester, by which lady (who died 1800) he has issue Elizabeth, born June 1, 1785; Anne, born August 9, 1787; a still-born son, November 5, 1789; Mary, born November 20, 1791."
Precisely such had the paragraph originally stood from the printer's hands; but Sir Walter had improved it by adding, for the information of himself and his family, these words, after the date of Mary's birth--"Married, December 16, 1810, Charles, son and heir of Charles Musgrove, Esq. of Uppercross, in the county of Somerset," and by inserting most accurately the day of the month on which he had lost his wife.
Then followed the history and rise of the ancient and respectable family, in the usual terms; how it had been first settled in Cheshire; how mentioned in Dugdale, serving the office of high sheriff, representing a borough in three successive parliaments, exertions of loyalty, and dignity of baronet, in the first year of Charles II, with all the Marys and Elizabeths they had married; forming altogether two handsome duodecimo pages, and concluding with the arms and motto:--"Principal seat, Kellynch Hall, in the county of Somerset," and Sir Walter's handwriting again in this finale:--
"Heir presumptive, William Walter Elliot, Esq., great grandson of the second Sir Walter."

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Persuasion 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 360 reviews.
BANCHEE_READS More than 1 year ago
It is a beautifully-written book, like all her others. In Persuasion, Anne Elliot is persuaded by a family friend to not pursue a relationship with Captain Wentworth because of his inferior place in society. Many years later, she is reacquainted with him and her love for him has not diminished. She is unsure of how he feels about her. He is now a prestigious and admired captain; his station in life completely changed from before. They find each other in the same social circles, but his pride and her uncertainty of his feelings prevents them from reuniting. At some point, it is believed that each of them is attached to another. The novel has its funny assortment of characters just like all of Austen's works. And, Austen saves the wonderful union of Anne and Captain Wentworth for the last pages, as in her other books. But, that makes it sweet as you finally read the happy ending. I actually cried as I read the touching letter he writes to Anne at the end.
Colette8 More than 1 year ago
I know that a lot of people nowadays believe Pride and Prejudice to be Jane Austen's best novel, and yes it is a great story, but incredibly difficult for the average person to read. Persuasion is just as good in its interesting plot, but... a lot easier to follow. I've reccommended it to a lot of friends who wanted to read Jane Austen but couldn't get through her books. This one is definitely the easiest to get through, and truly a very sweet and romantic story. The main character Anne is very easy to relate to as the ignored and undervalued sister, the people pleaser of the family, who lost her chance of happiness at 19. Or at least, so she thought...Read it! You'll love it!
SimplySaid More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of Anne Elliot who at 19 chose to deny the hand of a navy officer she loved because she was persuaded by her family that it was not a good choice for her. Anne being the good natured and obedient daughter listens even though her father and sisters could really care less about her well being. Now years later her heart is put to the test as the man in question Capitain Wentworth comes back wealthy and is still as handsome as ever. I once believed Pride and Predjudice was THE Jane Austen book to read. I was wrong. This story is incredible, when I read a Jane Austen book I don't fell like it's hard to read at all considering it was written in a very different time then ours. I feel like Jane and I could easily have a couple laughs chatting it up over drinks. FYI there is a great Perusasion movie made in 2007 that I feel really captures the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this book. Why? It doesn't have the sparkle of Pride and Prejudice or the humor of Emma. But what it has is so much more! Anne is now past the age of marriage and beheld as a spinster. She could not have been an old maid. Her brother-in-law had proposed to her before he asked her sister, but she refused. Captain Wentworth is rich from the war, and is ready to settle down. There are many girls he could choose from, no one would suspect he would care for Anne, who had broken his heart years before. I love this story because to me their love is the most sincere of all Jane Austen's couples. They could not have anyone but each other, despite dooming maidenhood, heartbreak, betrayl, misunderstanding. Over all of this comes forgiveness and hope. Their love to me stands the test of time and is the most true of anything I have ever read.
AK95 More than 1 year ago
Ms. Austen makes her last novel the most moving one of her short career. I realize that many scholars would disagree with this claim, but it's because "Persausion" seperates itself from the other novels that in part make it so remarkable. The ending is not that of a fairy tale, but more along the lines of a changing world with many unscruplous people in it and Anne and her love have finally decided to take life on their own terms. Witty humor, is another ingredient that Ms. Austen finds time to include although this is far more of a sober tale. She makes comentary on the choices a woman had available to her and the life of a military wife. This is a far more realistic story than the romantic comedy "Emma," although that is great as well, but this is more of a story about lost love and the tribulations, pain, and other endurments that must be faced to reach happiness in ones life. This is a fitting end to a remarkable career.
1Katherine1 More than 1 year ago
In Jane Austen's last novel, Persuasion, we meet the Elliot family: Sir Walter and his daughters, Elizabeth, Mary and the youngest daughter Anne. Over 8 years ago Anne became engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a man with no one to recommend him. After much persuasion from a family friend, Lady Russell, Anne breaks off the engagement. When the reader meets Anne it is more than 8 years later and circumstances have brought her and the now Captain Frederick Wentworth back into each other's lives. Will they be able to rekindle their relationship or did Anne's initial refusal ruin all hope for them to be together...? Reading Jane Austen is truly refreshing! The subtleness with which Austen delves into the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth among other characters is beautifully done. A great read!
timtamtummy More than 1 year ago
I love Jane Austen's books and have various titles in several editions. This one is my favorite - it has a beautiful cover, the font is pleasing to the eye, and it is indexed at various points - these correspond to notes which explain the context a little more. This is something I love about the Penguin Classics. I'm sorely tempted to get other titles in the same series now..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Praised as Jane Austen's greatest, most mature novel, Persuasion definitely lives up to its reputation. Written in Austen's captivating, witty style, it enhances all the beauty, romance, as well as flaws and negatives of the early nineteenth century England. Anne Elliot, a daughter of a wealthy baronet and Frederick Wentworth, the fortuneless love of her life, find themselves separated by the cruelty of the social rank system of England at that time. Anne, persuaded to end their relationship, lives for eight and a half years regretting the greatest mistake of her life until Captain Wentworth comes back from war, where he has made quite a fortune. Now, revolving in the same social circle and constantly being in each others' presence, both Anne and Frederick face the difficulties of forgetting the mistakes of the past to finally realize that it may be a future together that they truly want. Anne Elliot, a heroine quite unlike Austen's usual witty, beautiful and charming Elizabeth or Emma, portrays the complexity and maturity that Jane Austen's writing has reached. Anne has an aura of kindness and gentleness about her that makes her unique among Austen's heroines. Her character is guaranteed to have every reader sympathize with her as she tries to recover from the past and renew her intimate connection with Captain Wentworth. The Captain, definitely comparable to Mr. Darcy, is the usual dashing, brilliant man that all women adore and want for themselves. All the rest of the characters such as the silly, self-centered Mary and the light-hearted Miss Musgroves make the storyline even more delightful and rich in twists and turns. Once again, Austen gives her readers what she knows they want. There is romance and love, misfortune and jealousies, parties and vanity, and, of course, a happy ending, which the authoress presents is such an amazing style as can only be worthy of a true masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
OliviaAL More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book because the print in this particular edition is extremely small. Other editions of this book contain 288 pages, but this one contains only 100 pages - that should give you an idea of how small the print is in this edition. I have ordered an edition that has larger print and look forward to reading it.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
I enjoyed it very much
Anonymous 9 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He sharpened his sword, humming softly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not sure about this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of Austin's best!!!!!!! Easy to understand and a marvelous story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite Jane Austin book. There is something about Anne that I get more than any other heroine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
honeycardinal More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was appropriate for anyone who like love type stories. It kept your interest all the way through.