Of all Jane Austen’s great and delightful novels, Persuasion is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance.
Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish, spendthrift Sir Walter Elliot, is a woman of quiet charm and deep feelings. When she was nineteen, she fell in love with–and was engaged to–a naval officer, the fearless and headstrong Captain Wentworth. But the young man had no fortune, and Anne allowed herself to be persuaded, against her profoundest instinct, to give him up.Now, at twenty-seven, and believing that she has lost her bloom, Anne is startled to learn that Captain Wentworth has returned to the neighborhood, a rich man and still unwed. Her never-diminished love is muffled by her pride. He seems cold and unforgiving. Even worse, he appears to be infatuated by the flighty and pretty Louisa Musgrove.
What happens as Anne and Wentworth are thrown together in the social world of Bath–and as an eager new suitor appears for Anne–is touchingly and wittily told in a masterpiece that is also one of the most entrancing novels in the English language.