Persuasion by Jane Austen

About the book

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 breakup 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?

Reviewed by Blackwater Valley U3A reading group:

Slow moving and wordy but well written. Not very original and some of the characters were uninteresting although some, e g Sir Walter were amusing. Not as good as some of her other novels.

Star rating: **

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10 thoughts on “Persuasion by Jane Austen”

  1. Review by New Forest/Waterside U3A Theatre and Literature Reading Group:
    One lady did not read the book but researched thoroughly reviews and watched film and television renderings. Many did not read the introduction and found the complex family and social relationships set out in the early chapters difficult to get a handle on and thus missed something of the subtlety and humour of the writing. Although the social setting with its defined divisions between classes seemed remote from life today, many of the personal attitudes of the characters were all too familiar. Jane Austen’s style of writing with spelling and punctuation somewhat different from that of most modern writers still has a compelling freshness.
    Star rating: ****

  2. Review byEastleigh Wads Afternoon Group:
    Slightly boring. Good overview of social life of the period.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by Marchwood WI Reading Group:
    Felt the introduction was too long and the number of notes distracting. If the book was printed for exam purposes we felt it was not necessarily suitable for book club readers. Good insight into social structure and attitudes of the times. Heroine just a bit too good to be true and a pretty boring personality.
    Star rating: ***

  4. Review by Shipton Bellinger WI Reading Group:
    Forget school exams and just enjoy the beautiful and finely observed writing as the majority of our members did.
    Star rating: ****

  5. Review by unknown:
    Jane Austen is always a very enjoyable author, and invariably provides much to think about, even in todays world. Human nature does not change so much. Persuasion has a very neat plot, very well crafted and all the story lines are brought together in a satisfactory ending. The descriptions of the visit to Lyme are particularly delightful and show how venturesome travelling could be in the early 19th century.
    Star rating: ****

  6. Review by The Villages Reading Group:
    Takes a time to get into, but amazing use of English. Slow to start. Characterisations interesting. Would have wanted to live in that time. No information of the servants life or situation. Written to be read out loud a chapter at a time.
    Star rating: ***

  7. Review by Anton Bookies Reading Group:
    The book was slow moving and wordy but well written in good classical English. It was almost like an old fashioned Mills & Boon but definitely upper class and there was humour in the story especially in the characterisation of Sir Walter, the heroine’s father. There is no doubt that Jane Austen always provides a good read but that is not always the same as saying that the book is enjoyable. The majority of the group did not enjoy it but it generated much discussion.
    Star rating: ***

  8. Review by Book Ends Reading Group:
    A charming witty read with interesting punctuation and narrative.
    Star rating: ***

  9. Review by Goodworth Clatford WI:
    Took us back to Victorian Era. Well written, splendid photograph and depiction of social status at the time. Takes a while to get back that time.
    Rating: ****

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