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Persuasion : an annotated edition
Austen, Jane, 1775-1817.

Personal Author:
Physical Description:
xi, 341 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
Pub Date:
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, [2011]



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Material Type
Shelf Number
Adult Non-fiction Book 820.9007 AU7A
Adult Non-fiction Book 820.9007 AU7A

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Published posthumously with Northanger Abbey in 1817, this title crowns Jane Austen's remarkable career. It is her most passionate and introspective love story. It offers running commentary on the novel (conveniently placed alongside Austen's text) to explain difficult words, allusions, and contexts.

Author Notes

Jane Austen's life is striking for the contrast between the great works she wrote in secret and the outward appearance of being quite dull and ordinary. Austen was born in the small English town of Steventon in Hampshire, and educated at home by her clergyman father. She was deeply devoted to her family. For a short time, the Austens lived in the resort city of Bath, but when her father died, they returned to Steventon, where Austen lived until her death at the age of 41.

Austen was drawn to literature early, she began writing novels that satirized both the writers and the manners of the 1790's. Her sharp sense of humor and keen eye for the ridiculous in human behavior gave her works lasting appeal. She is at her best in such books as Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816), in which she examines and often ridicules the behavior of small groups of middle-class characters. Austen relies heavily on conversations among her characters to reveal their personalities, and at times her novels read almost like plays. Several of them have, in fact, been made into films. She is considered to be one of the most beloved British authors.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Jane Austen's final novel continues to fascinate readers. This love story contains Austen's most pointed social commentary, recognizing the rising status of the professional class and respecting the aristocrats with their inherited lands and titles. Morrison (Queen's National Scholar, Queen's Univ., Ontario) provides annotations alongside the novel's text. He enables readers to understand the impact of these social changes on family interactions and obligations, especially marriage. The annotations and extensive color illustrations provide literary, geographic, and historical context, the latter especially in relation to naval life. Morrison argues that Anne Elliot, Austen's oldest heroine, at 27, is also her most complex and compelling.VERDICT This is a handsome large-format volume, like the previous entry in the series, Patricia Meyer Spacks's annotated Pride and Prejudice. While David Shapard has edited an annotated edition of Persuasion, it is a paperback original, lacking the handsome format and scores of color illustrations here, and Shapard's background is in history, rather than literature. Highly recommended to first-time Austen readers and to fans seeking further insight into Austen's life and literary sources, as well as British life in her time.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY, Geneseo (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This gorgeous annotated edition of Persuasion, the second annotated Austen title Belknap Harvard has released, is a must for all Janeites. For those unfamiliar with Austen's milieu, Morrison's notes provide basic information, such as explanations of words or phrases and geographical information. However, Morrison (Queen's Univ., Ontario, Canada) goes beyond the basics in his notes, explaining the intricacies of the Navy and providing details about Austen's allusions to figures such as Samuel Johnson. He also provides a fine scholarly analysis of the novel, including an extended discussion--in which he quotes the premier Austen scholars--of Captain Wentworth's letter. And his preface firmly places the novel in the events of its setting, especially the Napoleonic Wars (which Austen never overtly refers to). The beauty of this book is the lovely pictures, such as fashion plates, naval scenes, sketches of Bath, and illustrations from various editions of the novel. This volume should please all readers, from those reading Persuasion for the first time to seasoned Austen scholars. The volume has been generating a lot of excitement in both scholarly and popular Austen circles, and rightly so! Summing Up: Essential. All readers. L. J. Larson Our Lady of the Lake University