Jane Austen's last completed novel, Persuasion is a delightful social satire of England's landed gentry and a moving tale of lovers separated by class distinctions. After years apart, unmarried Anne Elliot, the heroine Jane Austen called "almost too good for me," encounters the dashing naval officer others persuaded her to reject, as he now courts the rash and younger Louisa Musgrove. Superbly drawn, these characters and those of Anne's prideful father, Sir Walter, the scheming Mrs. Clay, and the duplicitous William Elliot, heir to Kellynch Hall, become luminously alive--so much so that the poet Tennyson, visiting historic Lyme Regis, where a pivotal scene occurs, exclaimed: "Don't talk to me of the Duke of Monmouth. Show me the exact spot where Louisa Musgrove fell "
Tender, almost grave, Persuasion offers a glimpse into Jane Austen's own heart while it magnificently displays the full maturity of her literary power.
"Critics, especially [recently], value Persuasion highly, as the author's 'most deeply felt fiction, ' 'the novel which in the end the experienced reader of Jane Austen puts at the head of the list.' . . . Anne wins back Wentworth and wins over the reader; we may, like him, end up thinking Anne's character 'perfection itself.'" -from the Introduction by Judith Terry