The last novel completed by Jane Austen before she died at 41, Persuasion
is often thought to be the story of the author's own lost love. Sir Walter Elliot of Kellynch Hall has three daughters: Elizabeth, who shares his haughty vanity and, at 28 has found no one good enough to marry; Mary, who has, with some condescension, married the son of the local squire; and admirable Anne, who "was nobody with either father or sister".
This is the story of a second chance, the reawakening of love between Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth, whom eight years earlier she had been persuaded not to marry, due to his lowly station in life. Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic Wars with prize money and the social acceptability of naval rank. He is now an eligible suitor acceptable to Anne's snobbish father and his circle, and Anne discovers the continuing strength of her love for him. The happy ending is a contrast to the real outcome of Austen's own romantic aspirations.
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