PERSUASION concerns the story of Anne Elliot, intelligent daughter of a spendthrift baronet, and her love for Frederick Wentworth, a young naval officer. She is persuaded however, to refuse his proposition of marriage and spends seven unhappy years before he reenters her life. Austen's satire takes a milder form in this, her last novel and there is a tradition that a love-story of her own
is reflected in Anne Elliot's. In her Introduction, Gillian Beer writes 'with its overwhelming sympathy with one person, Anne Elliot, is - despite its many scenes of social comedy and prudential realism - drenched in romance'.
Jane Austen, the daughter of a clergyman, was born in Hampshire in 1775, and later lived in Bath and the village of Chawton. As a child and teenager, she wrote brilliantly witty stories for her family's amusement, as well as a novella, Lady Susan. Her first published novel was Sense and Sensibility, which appeared in 1811 and was soon followed by Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma. Austen died in 1817, and Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published posthumously in 1818.