Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The break up produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. As the avid reader of Jane Austen’s novels that I am, this time I wanted to recommend “Persuasion”. I have to say that not only is this my favorite among Austen’s books, but it’s also one of my best-loved classics ever.
The whole premise behind the novel is the engagement between Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, announced eight years before and broken off by Anne after she yielded to Lady Russell’s opinion about it being an imprudent and mismatched one. Wentworth is considered an unsuitable man for a woman who holds a position in society like that of Anne’s. This event puts the story into gear and gives rise to a lot of questions about the power of persuasion and the sort of actions and feelings that are the direct results of it.