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: 68,227
  • Product dimensions: 7.96 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

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 4.5
( 418 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(256)

4 Star

(85)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 418 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Timeless classic

    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.

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Jane Austen's Best

    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!

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This Book Makes My Heart Happy

    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.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    My Favorite Austen

    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.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Forgotten Novel of Jane Austen's

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2009

    Persuasion: A Must!

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    Vorkuta

    I changed my mind Tiger. Go back to the other camp. Have an idea anyway.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2013

    Beautiful cover for a classic. Jane Austen lovers - take note!

    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..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Truly refreshing

    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!

    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 July 31, 2014

    Justice 2

    Found 'em. Res 13 is rules, 17 is where i was trained :p

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    Vorkuta3

    Dammit, I'm crying

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Mid2

    *yes not yet

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Vorkuta

    Vorkuta watched Ferns sadly. She glanced around, noticing Quest. She smiled weakly, unsure what to do. She felt utter lost and out of control. She had just realized something and to top everything off, one of her few friends had lost her memory. Vorkuta glanced down at her paws, suddenly feeling like a pawn to her own game.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Midnight

    He sighs, watching.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    Justice (2)

    You didn't know? I thought you did XD))

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    &noble

    &face

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    Nebula

    Haha)) im crying over something anothe f my rps is going to do...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    Nebula

    im laughing.)) Thank you. She meowed ((youre not alone there.))

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Kali2

    Okie dokie! What's 'deux' mean. I know it's a number.. don't know which though..

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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