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Persuasion : Jane Austen Vintage Classics Series   - Jane Austen

Persuasion

Jane Austen Vintage Classics Series

By: Jane Austen, Lynne Truss (Introduction by), Francesca Segal (Introduction by)

Paperback | 1 September 2014 | Edition Number 1

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Part of the Vintage Classics Austen Series: all six of Jane Austen's major novels, beautifully designed by writer and illustrator Leanne Shapton and introduced by our finest contemporary writers.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LYNNE TRUSS

The Vintage Classics Austen series is designed by the writer and illustrator Leanne Shapton and introduced by some of our finest contemporary writers and Austen fans: Alexander McCall Smith, Lynne Truss, Amanda Vickery, Francesca Segal, P.D. James and Andrew Motion.

'It is a sort of private novel. In the heroine Anne Elliot, we have glimpses of Austen and what happened to her; the lost romance and the lost youth' Julian Fellowes.

Eight years ago Anne Elliot bowed to pressure from her family and made the decision not to marry the man she loved, Captain Wentworth. Now circumstances have conspired to bring him back into her social circle and Anne finds her old feelings for him reignited. However, when they meet again Wentworth behaves as if they are strangers and seems more interested in her friend Louisa. In this, her final novel, Jane Austen tells the story of a love that endures the tests of time and society with humour, insight and tenderness.

Review by John Purcell

Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel. It is the first Austen I ever read, and the last novel Jane Austen finished writing before she died. If it is true that great artists get better with time, then Persuasion could be safely considered her best. But then, who ever held strictly to such a view? Especially when there are so many examples of its opposite.

And I know that were I to defer to the judgement of the masses, Pride & Prejudice would be crowned the best Austen novel, by a clear margin. But best loved and best are two very different things.

Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are both exemplary novels. Each should sit near the top of any list of the best books. Each succeed in telling a compelling story with rich characters, humour, drama, romance, wit, and wisdom. Each are nearly impossible to put down once you're in.

Persuasion, however, has all of these qualities and more. Persuasion takes Austen's fiction deep into the realities of the human condition. The character of Anne Eliot matures before our eyes. She is one of the most fully realised characters in fiction, because she is one of the most profound. Her capacity for romantic love is great, but her respect and care for others is greater. However, as a woman, she is bound and gagged by the world she has been born into. She has few personal freedoms, but she achieves so much in her small world. She does good works in a manner which suits individual needs and circumstances. Her generosity is powered and tempered by great intelligence.

In short, this is the work of a mature artist. Between writing Pride and Prejudice (first begun in 1796) and Persuasion (1816) much had changed in Austen's life and it shows in her work.

About the Author

Jane Austen was born in Steventon rectory on 16 December 1775. Her family later moved to Bath, then to Southampton and finally to Chawton in Hampshire. She began writing Pride and Prejudice when she was twenty-two years old. It was originally called First Impress(1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816).

Jane Austen died on 18th July 1817. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were both published posthumously in 1818. Lynne Truss is the bestselling author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Talk to the Hand, as well as a journalist, arts and book reviewer, sports columnist and a regular broadcaster for BBC's Radio 4. Leanne Shapton is an illustrator, author and publisher based in New York City.
Industry Reviews
In Persuasion, Jane Austen picks up the pen to tell us who we are and what we want * Independent *
Everyone has their Austen, and this is mine. Sparer, more savage - and also more poignant than Pride and Prejudice, this is a novel that tells us wisely and wittily about the nature of romantic entanglements and the follies of being human. It isn't riven with the deep, muscular ironies of, say, Emma, but there is something about the dry lightness of Persuasion that is deceptive. It stays with you long after you've read it -- Nigella Lawson
I worship all of Austen's novels, but if I have to choose one over the others, I plump for the autumnal pleasures of Persuasion. This is the last work Austen completed before her death in 1817, and it is rather more tender and melancholy in tone than the novels that preceded it. I read it once or twice a year, whenever I feel in need of a good cry -- Zoe Heller
A subtle and elegiac novel - more heartfelt than some of her earlier romances and with a truly appealing heroine -- Joanna Trollope
Female self-worth could have been invented by Jane Austen. No wonder we still value her -- Germaine Greer * Guardian *

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