Persuasion was written between August, 1815 and August, 1816. During this time, Jane Austen began to suffer from the illness which would, in July of 1817 and at the age of 42, take her life. She did not live to see its publication, which occurred in the year following her death. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published together by Miss Austen's brother, Henry Austen, who had long been a champion of his sister's work. It was he who chose the title for this novel, and unfortunately, we can never know what Jane herself might have named it.
While she had published anonymously during her lifetime, Henry was always eager to let everyone know of the talents of his beloved sister. In publishing these last two of her novels, Henry wished the world to know the identity of the author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Emma. He therefore wrote an introduction to the novels, telling of her authorship, her life, and her too-early death. The "Biographical Notice of the Author" is a touching memorial to the love of a brother for his sister and shows the respect and regard that he held for her.
Chapter descriptions are designed to be very vague and cryptic. They are for people who are familiar with the book to help them find the chapter they want, and they are not designed for the student who might be looking for a quick way to get out of reading the novel.
- Biographical Notice of the Author -- Henry Austen's tribute to his late sister.
- Chapter I -- The Elliots and their financial problem.
- Chapter II -- Retrenching will solve things.
- Chapter III -- Perhaps a tenant from the navy will help.
- Chapter IV -- Anne's history with Frederick Wentworth.
- Chapter V -- The house is let, the family is off to Bath, and Anne is off to Uppercross.
- Chapter VI -- The Musgroves welcome Anne, and the Crofts come to Kellynch.
- Chapter VII -- Frederick arrives. Charles Jr. is injured. Frederick and Anne meet again.
- Chapter VIII -- Anne finally dines at the Musgroves with Frederick. The latter brags about his good luck, and the former has quite given up dancing.
- Chapter IX -- Who will Frederick pick, Henrietta or Louisa? Frederick shows consideration in removing young Walter from around his aunt's neck.
- Chapter X -- The long walk. Anne refused Charles? The Crofts' gig.
- Chapter XI -- Off to Lyme. Meet the Harvilles. Poor Captain Benwick reads too much poetry.
- Chapter XII -- The morning finds Mr. Elliot in mourning. The afternoon sees the Cobb and the fall. Benwick will fetch the surgeon, and there is no one so capable as Anne. Return to Uppercross to tell the Musgroves.
- Chapter I (13) -- The lady's head improves. Anne is a comfort to all at Uppercross. The Musgroves leave for Lyme, and Anne goes to Lady Russell. Anne and Lady Russell call at Kellynch.
- Chapter II (14) -- Benwick cancels the trip to Uppercross because Anne is not there. But surely he will call soon--No? Anne heads to Camden Place.
- Chapter III (15) -- Anne sees her family's new home, and Mr. Elliot is in favor there. He calls very late indeed.
- Chapter IV (16) -- Mrs. Clay is still with Elizabeth. Mr. Elliot takes a particular interest in a female Elliot; Lady Russell knows which one. The Dalrymples receive the Elliots. A definition of good company.
- Chapter V (17) -- Mrs. Smith, widow. Call on Mrs. Smith and not the Vicountess? Lady Russell would like there to be a new Lady Elliot, but there is never any burst of feeling.
- Chapter VI (18) -- The Crofts have come to Bath. Mary writes that Benwick is in love; Anne can scarcely believe it. The Admiral gives an account of Frederick's reaction.
- Chapter VII (19) -- Frederick is in Bath. Frederick is at Molland's--so is Anne. It is raining and there is only room for two in the carriage. A couple is the subject of gossip and jealousy.
- Chapter VIII (20) -- The concert. I have hardly seen you since our day at Lyme. He must love her, but the other gentleman will not soon withdraw. A proposal. There is nothing worth my staying for.
- Chapter IX (21) -- Mrs. Smith's revelations.
- Chapter X (22) -- The Musgroves come to Bath; Anne calls on them. Wentworth is there too. I am no card-player. Elizabeth invites everyone to Camden-Place for an evening party.
- Chapter XI (23) -- No long engagements. Frederick writes to the picture framers while Harville and Anne discuss constancy of love. You pierce my soul. Engaged.
- Chapter XII (24) -- Who can be in doubt of what followed?
Prepared by Ann Haker. © 1999, 2000 Copyright held by the author.