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It swept me up. On one occasion I said that I had found Persuasion rather dull. He quite fired up in defence of it, insisting that it was the most beautiful of her works. In fact, I feel like I have already seen it all. You sit about in morning rooms with the characters. I imagine myself clumping into that morning room, dressed as I am while writing this: cargo shorts and a tattered old band T-shirt. Faced with such distance, the temptation is to try to reel Jane back in to our own time.

Yes, my first instinct was to dismiss Morton. What could be more absurd than high-kicking ass-whupping Bennets?


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The violence being expulsion from the gentry. At any moment, you can find that your ass is out. Any moment. It applies to everyone, but in particular women. Few books have made me feel more tense than Persuasion. Anne coolly organises the others to summon assistance. Captain Wentworth is impressed with Anne, while feeling guilty about his actions with Louisa.

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He re-examines his feelings about Anne. Following this accident, Anne joins her father and sister in Bath with Lady Russell, while Louisa and her parents stay at the Harvilles in Lyme for her recovery.

Captain Wentworth visits his older brother, Edward, in Shropshire. Anne finds that her father and sister are flattered by the attentions of Mr Elliot, recently widowed, who has reconciled with Sir Walter. Elizabeth assumes that Mr Elliot wishes to court her. Although Anne likes Mr Elliot and enjoys his manners, she finds his character opaque.


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Wentworth comes to Bath, where his jealousy is piqued by seeing Mr Elliot courting Anne. He and Anne renew their acquaintance. Anne visits an old school friend, Mrs Smith, who is now a widow living in Bath in straitened circumstances. From her, Anne discovers that beneath Mr Elliot's charming veneer, he is a cold, calculating opportunist who had led Mrs Smith's late husband into debt.

As executor to her husband's will, Mr Elliot takes no actions to improve her situation. A new marriage might mean a new son, displacing him as heir to Kellynch. The Musgroves visit Bath to purchase wedding clothes for Louisa and Henrietta, both soon to marry. Captains Wentworth and Harville encounter them and Anne at the Musgroves' hotel in Bath, where Wentworth overhears Anne and Harville conversing about the relative faithfulness of men and women in love. Deeply moved by what Anne has to say about women not giving up their feelings of love even when all hope is lost, Wentworth writes her a note declaring his feelings for her.

Outside the hotel, Anne and Wentworth are reconciled, affirm their love for each other and renew their engagement.

6 Principles of Persuasion

William Elliot leaves Bath, and soon afterwards Mrs Clay joins him in London as his mistress, so the danger of her marrying Sir Walter is avoided. Lady Russell admits she was wrong about Wentworth, and befriends the new couple. Once Anne and Frederick marry, he helps Mrs Smith recover her lost assets. Anne settles into life as the wife of a Navy captain, who is to be called away when his country needs him.

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Sir Walter Elliot, Bt. These are severe enough to force him to lease his estate, Kellynch Hall, to Admiral Croft and take a more economical residence in Bath. Despite being strongly impressed by wealth and status, he allows the insinuating Mrs Clay, who is beneath him in social standing, in his household as a companion to his eldest daughter. Elizabeth Elliot — The eldest and most beautiful of Sir Walter's three daughters, encourages her father's imprudent spending and extravagance.

She and her father regard Anne as inconsequential. Elizabeth wants to marry and has run the Elliot household since her mother died 13 years earlier. Anne Elliot — The second daughter of Sir Walter is intelligent, accomplished and attractive, and she is unmarried at 27, having broken off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, then a naval commander, over seven years earlier.

She fell in love with him but was persuaded by her mentor, Lady Russell, to reject his proposal because of his poverty and uncertain future and her youth. Anne rejects Charles Musgrove's proposal a few years later, knowing she still loves Wentworth. Mary Musgrove — The youngest daughter of Sir Walter, married to Charles Musgrove, is attention-seeking, always looking for ways she might have been slighted or not given her full due, and often claims illness when she is upset.

She opposes sister-in-law Henrietta's interest in marrying Charles Hayter, who Mary feels is beneath the Musgrove family. Charles Musgrove — Husband of Mary and heir to the Musgrove estate.

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He first proposed to Anne, who said no. He married Mary about five years before the story opens, and they have two sons. He is a cheerful man, who loves hunting, and easily endures his wife's faults. Lady Russell — An old friend of the late Lady Elliot, and the godmother of Anne, of whom she is particularly fond. She is instrumental in Sir Walter's decision to leave Kellynch Hall and avoid financial crisis. Years earlier, she persuaded Anne to turn down Captain Wentworth's proposal of marriage. She was the intimate friend of the mother, and has watched over the three sisters since their mother died.

She values social rank and finds in Anne the daughter most like her late friend. She aims to flatter Sir Walter into marriage, while her oblivious friend looks on. Captain Frederick Wentworth — A naval officer who proposed to Anne some eight years ago. At the time, he had no fortune and uncertain prospects, but owing to his achievements in the Napoleonic Wars , he advanced in rank and in fortunes.

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He is one of two brothers of Sophia Croft. He is an eminently eligible bachelor. In his naval career, he was a captain when he married, present at the major battle of Trafalgar in , then assigned in the east Indies, and holds the rank of rear admiral of the white. She is 38 years old.

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She offers Anne an example of a strong-minded woman who has married for love instead of money and who has a good life married to a Navy man. Louisa Musgrove — Second sister of Charles Musgrove, Louisa, aged about 19, is a high-spirited young lady who has returned with her sister from school. She likes Captain Wentworth and seeks his attention. She is ultimately engaged to Captain Benwick, after recovering from her serious fall.

Her brother Charles notices that she is less lively after suffering the concussion. Henrietta Musgrove — Eldest sister of Charles Musgrove. Henrietta, aged about 20, is informally engaged to her cousin, Charles Hayter, but is nevertheless tempted by the more dashing Captain Wentworth. Once he returns home, she again connects with Hayter. Captain Harville — A friend of Captain Wentworth. Wounded two years previously, he is slightly lame. Wentworth had not seen his friend since the time of that injury.

Harville and his family are settled in nearby Lyme for the winter.