Hi, friends. Today’s classic reflects Victorian moral realism literature in its early stages, as it was published in the beginning of the 1800’s (Victorian era is mid-1800’s to 1900).
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Persuasion is a love story with an ending that becomes harder to predict as the tale unfolds. Readers are initially introduced to the vain Sir Walter Elliot, a rich baronet with three daughters named Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary. Unlike her father, Anne (the protagonist) is thoughtful, meek, and responsible. Due to Sir Walter’s frivolity, the family faces financial struggles, so they must move away and rent out their homestead. Though Elizabeth and Sir Walter leave, Anne’s other sister Mary (who is married to Charles Musgrove and lives nearby) asks Anne to stay with her for a couple months (because she’s a high-maintenance hypochondriac). Meanwhile, Admiral Croft and Mrs. Croft become the new tenants at the Elliots’ homestead; Anne soon learns that Mrs. Croft is coincidentally the sister of Captain Wentworth, a man whom Anne “dated” and nearly married several years beforehand at age 21. The Crofts befriend the Musgroves, and Anne eventually encounters Captain Wentworth, but he barely recognizes her. He begins flirting with the Musgrove sisters, and Anne accepts that she missed her chance to be with him the first time. As events unfold, a serious accident changes everyone’s fates. Anne meets a few potential mates–Captain Wentworth, Captain Benwick, her cousin Mr. Elliot. Though it seemed certain that Anne would find love, I was unsure who would sweep her off her feet by the end.
Jane Austen’s brother, Henry Austen, published this novel after Austen’s death. Persuasion is the last novel she finished.
Austen’s inspiration for the naval characters, like the Captains and Admiral Croft, likely derived from her brother, Charles Austen, who was a Royal Navy officer.
The novel has been used a couple times for made-for-TV film adaptations.
Austen was a meticulous editor, a fact verified by similar but slightly different hand-written drafts.
Allegedly, Austen always referred to the work as The Elliots while alive.
Thanks for reading! Are you a huge Austen fan? This is my first one…(don’t tell anyone)