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ARTICLES IN THE BOOK

  1. A Christmas Carol
  2. Adam Bede
  3. Alice in Wonderland
  4. All's Well That Ends Well
  5. A Midsummer Night's Dream
  6. A Modest Proposal
  7. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  8. An Ideal Husband
  9. Antony and Cleopatra
  10. A Passage to India
  11. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  12. Arms and the Man
  13. A Room With A View
  14. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
  15. A Study in Scarlet
  16. As You Like It
  17. A Tale of a Tub
  18. A Tale of Two Cities
  19. A Woman of No Importance
  20. Barnaby Rudge
  21. Beowulf
  22. Bleak House
  23. Book of Common Prayer
  24. Candida
  25. Captains Courageous
  26. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
  27. Clarissa
  28. Coriolanus
  29. Daniel Deronda
  30. David Copperfield
  31. Dombey and Son
  32. Don Juan
  33. Emma
  34. Finnegans Wake
  35. Four Quartets
  36. Frankenstein
  37. Great Expectations
  38. Gulliver's Travels
  39. Hamlet
  40. Hard Times
  41. Howards End
  42. Ivanhoe
  43. Jane Eyre
  44. Julius Caesar
  45. Kim
  46. King James Version of the Bible
  47. King Lear
  48. King Solomon's Mines
  49. Lady Chatterley's Lover
  50. Lady Windermere's Fan
  51. Leviathan
  52. Little Dorrit
  53. Love's Labour's Lost
  54. Macbeth
  55. Major Barbara
  56. Mansfield Park
  57. Martin Chuzzlewit
  58. Measure for Measure
  59. Middlemarch
  60. Moll Flanders
  61. Mrs. Dalloway
  62. Mrs. Warren's Profession
  63. Much Ado About Nothing
  64. Murder in the Cathedral
  65. Nicholas Nickleby
  66. Northanger Abbey
  67. Nostromo
  68. Ode on a Grecian Urn
  69. Oliver Twist
  70. Othello
  71. Our Mutual Friend
  72. Pamela or Virtue Rewarded
  73. Paradise Lost
  74. Paradise Regained
  75. Peregrine Pickle
  76. Persuasion
  77. Peter Pan
  78. Pride and Prejudice
  79. Pygmalion
  80. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  81. Robinson Crusoe
  82. Rob Roy
  83. Roderick Random
  84. Romeo and Juliet
  85. Saint Joan
  86. Salomé
  87. Sense and Sensibility
  88. She Stoops to Conquer
  89. Silas Marner
  90. Sons and Lovers
  91. The Alchemist
  92. The Beggar's Opera
  93. The Canterbury Tales
  94. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
  95. The Castle of Otranto
  96. The Comedy of Errors
  97. The Dunciad
  98. The Elder Statesman
  99. The Faerie Queene
  100. The Happy Prince and Other Tales
  101. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
  102. The Hound of the Baskervilles
  103. The Importance of Being Earnest
  104. The Jungle Book
  105. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
  106. The Man Who Would Be King
  107. The Master of Ballantrae
  108. The Merchant of Venice
  109. The Merry Wives of Windsor
  110. The Mill on the Floss
  111. The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  112. The Nigger of the Narcissus
  113. The Old Curiosity Shop
  114. The Pickwick Papers
  115. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  116. The Pilgrim's Progress
  117. The Rape of the Lock
  118. The Second Jungle Book
  119. The Secret Agent
  120. The Sign of Four
  121. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  122. The Tempest
  123. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
  124. The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  125. The Vicar of Wakefield
  126. The Waste Land
  127. The Winter's Tale
  128. Timon of Athens
  129. Titus Andronicus
  130. To the Lighthouse
  131. Treasure Island
  132. Troilus and Cressida
  133. Twelfth Night, or What You Will
  134. Typhoon
  135. Ulysses
  136. Vanity Fair
  137. Volpone
  138. Wuthering Heights
 



LITERARY MASTERPIECES
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persuasion_%28novel%29

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Persuasion (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel. It was first published posthumously, in 1818. Jane Austen began Persuasion soon after she had finished Emma, and completed it in August, 1816. Persuasion is connected with Northanger Abbey not only by the fact that the two books were originally bound up in one volume and published together two years later, but also because both stories are set partly in Bath, a health resort with which Jane Austen was well acquainted, as she lived there from 1801 till 1805.

Plot introduction

Eight years ago, Anne Elliot fell in love with a poor but ambitious young naval officer, Captain Frederick Wentworth. The Elliot family was dissatisfied with Anne's choice, feeling he was not distinguished enough for an Elliot, and her older friend and mentor, Lady Russell, persuaded her to break off the match. Now 27 and on the verge of spinsterhood, Anne re-encounters Frederick Wentworth as he courts her spirited young neighbour, Louisa Musgrove. The self-interested machinations of Anne's older sister Elizabeth, Elizabeth's friend Mrs. Clay, and Anne's father's heir, William Elliot, constitute an important subplot.

Explanation of the novel's title

The title refers to the persuasion to which the heroine, Anne Elliot, has given in, to her later regret. Several other characters find themselves being persuaded or refusing to be persuaded, as well. The title of the novel was not chosen by Austen and some critics believe she had intended to name it "The Elliots", but she died before titling it.

Plot summary

Anne Elliot is the overlooked middle daughter of the vain and spendthift Sir Walter Elliot, a baronet who is all too conscious of his good looks and rank. The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, resembles her father in temperament and delights in the fact that as his eldest daughter she may take a leading social position in their rural neighborhood. The youngest daughter, Mary, made an unspectacular marriage to Charles Musgrove of Uppercross Hall, the heir to a bucolic but respected local squire. Anne, still unmarried at 27, seems destined for spinsterhood.

Eight years earlier, Anne had been persuaded by her mother's great friend and her own trusted confidante, the widow Lady Russell, to break her engagement to Captain Frederick Wentworth RN, though she loved him deeply in spite of their short acquaintance. Lady Russell had questioned the wisdom of Anne marrying a poor young naval officer without family or connections whose prospects were so uncertain.

Wentworth re-enters Anne's life when Sir Walter is forced by his own profligacy to let the family estate to none other than Wentworth's brother-in-law, Admiral Croft. Wentworth's successes in the Napoleonic Wars resulted in his promotion and enabled him to amass the then considerable fortune of £25,000 (from prize money awarded for capturing enemy vessels). The Musgroves, including Mary, Charles and Charles's younger sisters, Henrietta and Louisa, are delighted to welcome the Crofts and Wentworth to the neighborhood. Both Musgrove girls are attracted to Wentworth, though Henrietta is informally engaged to clergyman cousin Charles Hayter. Hayter is viewed as a merely respectable match, being a bit lower, socially and financially, than the Musgroves. Charles, Mary, and the Crofts continually speculate as to which one Wentworth might marry.

Captain Wentworth's visit to a close friend, Captain Harville, in nearby Lyme Regis results in a day-long outing being organized by those eager to see the resort. While there, Louisa Musgrove sustains a concussion in a fall brought about by her own impetuous behaviour. This highlights the difference between the headstrong Louisa and the more sensible Anne. While onlookers exclaim that Louisa is dead and her companions stand around dumbfounded, Anne administers first aid and summons assistance. Wentworth's admiration for Anne grows as a result. Louisa's recovery is slow and her self-confidence is severely shaken. Her newfound timidity elicits the kind attention and reassurance of Wentworth's friend Captain Benwick, who had been mourning the recent death of his fiancee. The couple find their personalities to be now more in sympathy and they become engaged.

Meanwhile, Sir Walter, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's scheming friend Mrs. Clay, the widowed daughter of Sir Walter's agent, have relocated to Bath. There they hope to live in a manner befitting a baronet and his family with the least possible expense until their finances are restored to a firmer footing. Sir Walter's cousin and heir, William Elliot, who long ago slighted the baronet, now seeks a reconciliation. Elizabeth assumes that he wishes to court her, while Lady Russell more correctly suspects that he admires Anne.

Anne herself distrusts her cousin, though she likes him in many aspects; she finds his character to be distressingly opaque. She is enlightened by an unexpected source when she discovers an old school friend, Mrs. Smith, living in Bath in straitened circumstances. Mrs. Smith and her now-deceased husband had once been Mr. Elliot's closest friends. Having encouraged them into financial extravagance, he had quickly dropped them when they became impoverished. Anne learns, to her great distress, of his layers of deceit and calculated self-interest. In addition, her friend speculates the Mr. Elliot wants to reestablish his relationship with her family primarily to safeguard his inheritance of the title, fearing a marriage between Sir Walter and Mrs. Clay. This helps her to understand more fully the dangers of persuasion (Lady Russell wished her to accept Mr. Elliot's likely offer of marriage) and helps her to develop more confidence in her own judgment.

Ultimately, the Musgroves visit Bath to purchase wedding clothes for their daughters Louisa and Henrietta (who has become engaged to Hayter). Captain Wentworth and his friend Captain Harville accompany them. In a tender scene, Anne and Wentworth reconcile and renew their engagement. The match is now more palatable to Anne's family -- their waning fortunes and Wentworth's waxing ones have made a considerable difference. Also, ever overvaluing good looks, Sir Walter is favorably impressed with his future son-in-law's appearance.

Main characters

Sir Walter Elliot, Bt. -- A vain and self-satisfied baronet, Sir Walter's profligacy since the death of his prudent wife 13 years before has put his family in financial straits. These are severe enough to force him to lease his estate, Kellynch Hall, to Admiral Croft and take a more economical but no less magnificent residence in Bath.

Elizabeth Elliot -- The eldest daughter of Sir Walter, who encourages her father's imprudent spending and extravagance. She and her father routinely put their interests ahead of Anne's, regarding her as inconsequential.

Anne Elliot -- The second daughter of Sir Walter is unmarried. Some years ago, she fell in love with Captain Wentworth, but was persuaded (the persuasion of the title) by Lady Russell to reject his proposal, because of his poverty and uncertain future.

Mary Musgrove -- The youngest daughter of Sir Walter, married to Charles Musgrove. She is attention-seeking, always looking for ways she might have been slighted or not given her full due, and often claims illness when she is upset. She greatly opposes sister-in-law Henrietta's interest in marrying Charles Hayter, who Mary feels is beneath them.

Charles Musgrove -- Husband of Mary and heir to the Musgrove estate. He had wanted to marry Anne and settled for Mary (much to the disappointment of the Musgrove family, and to his misfortune) when Anne refused him due to her continued love for Wentworth.

Lady Russell -- A friend of the Elliots, particularly Anne. She is instrumental in Sir Walter's descision to let Kellynch hall to avoid financial crisis. Years ago, she persuaded Anne to turn down Captain Wentworth's proposal of marriage. While far more sensible than Sir Walter Elliot, she shares his great concern with rank and does not think Wentworth is good enough for Anne because of his inferior birth.

Mrs. Clay -- A poor widow, daughter of Sir Walter's lawyer, and intimate 'friend' of Elizabeth Elliot. She aims to flatter Sir Walter into marriage, while her oblivious friend looks on.

Captain Frederick Wentworth - A naval officer who some years ago proposed to Anne. At the time, he had no fortune and uncertain prospects, but owing to much success in the Napoleonic Wars, his situation has greatly improved. One of two brothers of Sophia Croft.

Admiral Croft -- Good-natured, plainspoken tenant at Kellynch Hall and brother-in-law of Captain Wentworth.

Sophia Croft -- Sister of Captain Wentworth and wife of Admiral Croft. She offers Anne an example of a strong-minded woman who wed for love instead of money.

Louisa Musgrove -- Second sister of Charles Musgrove, aged about 19. Louisa is a high-spirited young lady who has recently returned with her sister from school. Captain Wentworth admires her for her resolve and determination, especially in contrast to Anne's prudence and what he sees as Anne's lack of conviction. She is ultimately engaged to Captain Benwick.

Henrietta Musgrove -- Eldest sister of Charles Musgrove, aged about 20. Henrietta is informally engaged to her cousin Charles Hayter, but is nevertheless tempted by the more dashing Captain Wentworth.

Capt. Harville -- A friend of Captain Wentworth. Severely wounded two years ago and discharged at half-pay, he and his family have settled in nearby Lyme.

Capt. James Benwick -- A friend of Captain Harville. Benwick had been engaged to marry Captain Harville's sister Fanny, but she died while Benwick was at sea. Benwick's loss has left him melancholic and a lover of poetry. His enjoyment of reading makes him one of the few characters in the story to find an intellectual connection with Anne, and it is implied that he might have an interest in Anne. Benwick ultimately becomes engaged to Louisa Musgrove.

Mr. William Elliot -- A relation and the heir-presumptive of Sir Walter, who became estranged from the family when he wed a woman of much lower social rank for her fortune. He had been expected to marry Elizabeth Elliot. He is now a widower. Now wanting very much to inherit the title, he mends the rupture in order to keep an eye on the ambitious Mrs. Clay. If Sir Walter married her, his inheritance would be endangered. When he meets Anne by accident, his interest is piqued.

Mrs. Smith - a friend of Anne Elliot who lives in Bath. She is a widow and has suffered ill health and financial difficulties. She keeps abreast of the doings of Bath society through news she gets from her nurse, Nurse Rooke, who also works for a friend of William Elliot's. Her financial problems could have been straightened out with some assistance from William Elliot, her husband's former friend, but Elliot would not exert himself, leaving her much impoverished.

Lady Dalrymple -- a Viscountess, cousin to Sir Walter. She occupies an exalted position in society by virtue of wealth and rank and Sir Walter and Elizabeth are eager to be seen at Bath in the company of this great relation.


 


 

Literary significance & criticism

Persuasion is widely appreciated as a moving love story despite what has been labelled as a simple plot, and exemplifies Austen's acclaimed wit and ironic narrative style.[citation needed] Austen wrote Persuasion in a hurry, during the onset of the illness from which she eventually died, and the novel is both shorter and less polished than Mansfield Park and Emma, which preceded it. Yet it is strikingly original in several ways. Persuasion is the first of Austen's novels to feature a woman who is no longer in her first youth; biographer Claire Tomalin characterizes the book as Austen's "present to herself, to Miss Sharp, to Cassandra, to Martha Lloyd . . . to all women who had lost their chance in life and would never enjoy a second spring."[1] At the same time, the novel is also a paean to the self-made man; Captain Wentworth is just one of several naval officers in the story who has risen from humble beginnings to affluence and status on the strength of merit alone.

Allusions/references from other works

  • The novel Persuasion is featured in the 2006 movie The Lake House, and provides a thematic background for the lovers.


 

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

Persuasion has been the subject of several adaptations [1]:

  • 2007: Persuasion, film, filmed in Bath in September 2006, with Sally Hawkins as Anne, Rupert Penry-Jones as Wentworth, and Anthony Stewart Head as Sir Walter Elliot, and Julia Davis [2] and [3] - IMDB entry.
  • 1995: Persuasion, made-for-television film (which was released in US theatres by Sony Pictures Classics) starring Amanda Root as Anne and Ciarán Hinds as Captain Wentworth.
  • 1971: Persuasion, BBC miniseries starring Anne Firbank as Anne and Bryan Marshall as Captain Wentworth.
  • 1960: Persuasion, BBC miniseries starring Daphne Slater as Anne and Paul Daneman as Captain Wentworth.

Sources, references, external links, quotations

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Persuasion
  • Chronology/Calendar for Persuasion http://www.jimandellen.org/austen/persuasion.calendar.html

The text is now in the public domain.

  • Persuasion, available freely at Project Gutenberg


 

Tomalin, Claire. Jane Austen: A Life. New York: Vintage, 1997.


 

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persuasion_%28novel%29"

 

 

 


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