->''All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone.''
-->--'''Anne Elliot''', ''Persuasion''

Creator/JaneAusten's last completed novel, published posthumously. A much more contained, simple story than some of her more popular novels, it has as its heroine Anne Elliot, a 27-year-old spinster. Keenly intelligent, sweet, and selfless, Anne was considered very pretty in her youth and fell deeply in love with a young naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, seven years before the novel began. However, she was influenced by family friend Lady Russell to reconsider her engagement with Wentworth on the grounds of imprudence -- Wentworth being merely an ambitious young stripling with no real social status, no money and no sure prospects. Anne was thus persuaded to break it off.

When the novel opens, Anne is much reduced: unable to find love after Wentworth, and having rejected a match without love, she has grown faded and isolated, and frustrated by the machinations of her grasping, petty-minded family. Her father Sir Walter Elliot having squandered their fortune trying to live up to his inflated conception of a baronet's prestige, the family are forced to lease out their estate Kellynch to the Croft family. In so doing, Wentworth is reintroduced to Anne's social circle -- he is Mrs Croft's brother. It turns out that Wentworth is now a captain in the navy and has amassed a considerable fortune through prize money (the novel is set in a lull between engagements with Napoleon).

Anne is forced to realise that she is still very much in love with Wentworth -- and that he still harbours deep resentment towards her.

Ironically enough, having established himself comfortably both professionally and socially, Wentworth now has nothing more to wish for than to settle down and marry. Anne is forced to stand by and watch as he focuses his attentions on her brother-in-law's sisters, who are seemingly as lively and strong-willed as Anne once seemed weak and inconstant... but appearances can be deceiving, and as the autumn wears on ''everyone'' has something to learn about tempering romance with reason.

Meanwhile, Anne's cousin William Elliot, who will inherit her family's estate upon her father's death, has insinuated his way into her family circle and seems set on courting Anne, much to Lady Russell's approval; after all, he is charming, correct, the perfect paragon of respectability... everything Wentworth wasn't, all those years ago. So why does Anne never feel like she really knows him?

This being a novel by Jane Austen, you can [[HappyEnding guess how it all ends]].

Though short, ''Persuasion'' is a thoughtful treatment of lost love, family fidelity, ambition, gender differences, and constancy in spite of adversity. Written toward the end of Austen's life during the advent of her fatal illness, it is tempting to read some authorial self-reflection into the story, and especially into Anne's character. Regardless, it is a subtle, emotionally sophisticated, and deeply affecting novel.

Made into a Granada miniseries in 1971, a [[Film/{{Persuasion}} movie]] starring Amanda Root and [[Creator/CiaranHinds Ciarán Hinds]] in 1995, and a made-for-tv movie (this time starring Sally Hawkings and Rupert Perny-Jones) in 2007.
!!This novel provides examples of:
* AloneAmongTheCouples: Anne is the only one without a sweetheart during a walk from Winthrop. Her former fiancé Captain Wentworth is with Louisa, Charles Hayter gets back together with Henrietta, and Charles Musgrove is with his wife Mary.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Wentworth gives Anne one of the most gorgeous in literature: "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope..."
* ArtisticLicenseShips: {{Discussed}}. Anne finds Admiral Croft bemusedly looking at a painting in the window of a print shop. When she approaches him he asks "What queer fellows your fine painters must be, to think that anybody would venture their lives in such a shapeless old cockleshell as that?" and declares "I would not venture over a horsepond in it." He goes on quite a bit about it, with a striking resemblance to a modern day geek ranting about inaccuracies in their particular area of interest.
* BlueBlood: Sir Walter is a baronet and he takes a great pride in it. His daughters Elizabeth and Mary are similarly proud. Their great cousins, the Dalrymples, are even more noble aristocracy.
* TheCaptain: An abundance of them. Wentworth, Harville, Benwick, and (formerly) Croft.
* CharacterDevelopment: This has happened to Anne before the book starts. When she was younger, she was more impressionable and she let herself be persuaded not to marry Wentworth. Having spent the intervening period as an increasingly lonely and isolated spinster, she has become TheStoic, and the experience of managing the affairs of her entire family in the teeth of her idiotic dad's spendthrift tendencies has given her NervesOfSteel. The book is about how it takes Wentworth rather a long time to realise that she's not the inconstant girl she used to be.
* CoolBigSis: Mrs. Smith (then Miss Hamilton) took Anne under her wing in their schooldays after Anne lost her mother.
* DoubleStandard: Anne pointing out to Captain Harville that the reason all the poems and books he knows speak of women's inconstancy is... [[MostWritersAreMale because all those books were written by men]].
* EatingTheEyecandy: Mr Elliot totally checks Anne out when he spots her in Lyme Regis without knowing who she is. Anne quite enjoys the appreciation.
* ExactEavesdropping: While on the overlong walk with the Musgroves, Anne takes a rest in a spot concealed by some hedgerows. Then Louisa and Wentworth walk by, expressing some rather passionate opinions on how deplorable it is to be easily persuaded and the story of Anne turning down Charles Musgrove's proposal, which Louisa attributes to Lady Russell's influence. This informs Anne quite painfully of just how angry Wentworth still is at her, and that she'll probably have to watch him marry Louisa.
* ExcessiveMourning: The narrative actually pokes some fun at the elder Mrs. Musgrove when she mourns her son Richard, who died while under Wentworth's command, noting that although it's only natural for a mother to mourn her lost child he ''really'' wasn't worth it.
* {{Expy}}: Many critics, e.g. Creator/CSLewis, see Anne as a better-written version of Fanny Price of ''Literature/MansfieldPark''.
* FirstLove: Anne's early romance with Captain Wentworth had been scuttled by her family, but she never forgot him. Their paths cross again years later and she has to watch him court others before eventually winning him back.
* {{Foil}}: Louisa Musgrove to Anne, as a love interest for Captain Wentworth. Louisa is more spirited and cheerful than Anne, but she can't compare to Anne's intelligence. Captain Wentworth also compares them and thinks that while Anne was weak and irresolute Louisa's character is firm.
* ForegoneConclusion: This is an Austen novel... Readers can guess Anne ends up being happily settled.
* GreenEyedEpiphany: Mr. Elliot's recognition of Anne's beauty at Lyme strongly contributes to the renewal of Wentworth's attraction to her, by his own admission.
* HappilyMarried: The Crofts. They spend most of their time together and Anne delights in seeing them, providing her the nicest picture of matrimonial happiness she could imagine.
* HaveAGayOldTime: Apparently, [[PosthumousCharacter Richard Musgrove]] has not deserved another name than "Dick"...
* HeirClubForMen: Sir Walter's estate Kellynch Hall is entailed, and his only son was stillborn. His heir presumptive is Mr. Elliot, a distant cousin to his daughters. The family wished he would marry the eldest daughter Elizabeth, but he married a low-born woman for money.
* HopeIsScary: Wentworth confesses this when he realizes he might win her after all.
* IDoNotSpeakNonverbal: When Anne asks Admiral Croft if Captain Wentworth sounded upset in a letter he wrote, the admiral doesn't understand (even after she tries to explain) that she's asking about his ''tone'' and not just his words.
%% * IRegretNothing:
%% -->'''Anne:''' I have now, as far as such a sentiment is allowable in human nature, nothing to reproach myself with.
%%% ZCE with no context except a quote is not allowed. The quote seems misleading, too.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Lady Russell's primary motivation in the final chapter for finally approving of the marriage is that it will make Anne happy.
* [[IllGirl Ill Woman]]: Anne's best friend Mrs. Smith.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Sir Walter Elliot. He lead an expensive life and cared very little for his estate or money situation. At the beginning of the novel, he can no longer be blind to the fact that he's deep in debt. His estate is let and he has to relocate to a smaller house at Bath.
* KissingCousins: Henrietta Musgrove is courted by her cousin Charles Hayter. Their mothers are sisters.
* ALadyOnEachArm: Captain Wentworth courts both of the Musgrove sisters for a while.
* LoveDodecahedron: Mary's husband Charles was originally in love with her sister Anne, who is in love with Captain Wentworth, who flirts with Henrietta (whom Charles Hayter is in love with) and Louisa Musgrove, who eventually marries [[spoiler:Captain Benwick]], who also showed interest in Anne before Mr. Elliot did, and Anne's sister Elizabeth has always planned to marry Mr. Elliot, but he ultimately runs off with [[spoiler:Mrs. Clay]], whom Lady Russell and Anne feared had intentions of marrying Sir Walter Elliot. ''Whew'' -- Miss Austen, you really outdid yourself this time.
* LoveHurts: Basically the whole novel consists of this. Anne suffers terribly, and later we find out that Captain Wentworth has been heart-broken, jealous and desperate as well.
* TheMatchmaker: Lady Russell -- she has a similar success record to [[{{Literature/Emma}} Emma Woodhouse]]. She claims she is no matchmaker because she knows how tricky is to know anybody, but she tries persuade Anne that she and Mr. Elliot would make a wonderful couple. She sees Anne in her mother footsteps, taking her place. The image is pleasing to Anne - if only there was no Mr. Elliot, future Sir William, involved.
* MissingMom: Anne's mother is long dead before the novel opens. They were alike in temperament, and Anne misses her affection and good sense keenly.
* NewOldFlame: Anne and Wentworth used to be engaged, and after some very painful experiences, they are re-united.
* NobilityMarriesMoney:
** Mr. William Elliot of the Kellynch family is a future baronet (Sir Walter's heir presumptive) who married a low born woman from a butcher's family who was vastly rich. He wanted to be wealthy quickly and independent, and when he was young, he did not value the baronetcy and Blue Blood connections very much. His wife is said to have loved him a lot, but he did not love her and it's implied that he treated her rather harshly, if not outright cruelly. From what is known he must have been at least emotionally abusive to her. It's probable that Mr Elliot did not mix with her family after her death, so her family gained very little from this marriage while Mr Eliot was all take and no give.
** Anne Elliot fell for Captain Wentworth before the start of the plot. Her friends and aristocratic family tell her to reject him because he's poor. A few years on, he's risen up through the ranks of the navy and made quite a lot of money, while Sir Walter Elliot is deep in debts. However, the marriage of Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot relies on their love, and he doesn't care much for her coming from Blue Blood and she doesn't really care about his great wealth beyond being happy that they can afford to get married and have a comfortable income.
* OldMaid: The concept is hinted to apply to both Anne and Elizabeth.
** Elizabeth is pushing thirty which was at least borderline spinster age for a woman in this society. However, she is widely considered to be even more attractive than a decade ago, while both of her ''younger'' sisters are said to have their best years aside of them, in terms of looks. It's her personality and pickiness what keeps her from getting married and it's mentioned that Elizabeth is starting to feel self-conscious about her age.
** Anne is 27 when the novel begins, and she thinks she will not get married at all because she still thinks of her first suitor and is sure she could never love anybody else.
* OldRetainer: The Musgrove's old nursemaid goes to nurse Louisa.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted with Charles Musgrove and Charles Hayter. Charles and Mary Musgrove's eldest son is also named Charles. Mrs. Smith's late husband was also called Charles, but he doesn't actually appear in the book.
* OnlySaneMan: Her family (both immediate and extended) being what it is, Anne gets to play this role a ''lot''.
* PairTheSpares: Louisa Musgrove marries [[spoiler:Captain Benwick]].
* ParentalAbandonment: Captain Wentworth was orphaned, which led to his staying with his brother, and so to his original meeting with Anne.
* ParentalMarriageVeto: A ParentalSubstitute marriage veto, anyway. Lady Russell was an emotional stand-in for Anne's dead mother - and she did think she was acting in Anne's best interests.
* PlayingSick: Mary Musgrove, ''constantly''. She mostly seeks attention. Usually she feels healthy if there a party or if there are some interesting visitors.
* PlotInducedStupidity: When Louisa falls, everyone but Anne goes into a total panic. Not surprising for the Musgroves, but the two naval captains in the party have certainly seen injuries before. Wentworth's later remarks on the vent imply that he was horror-struck because he thought he had encouraged her impetuousness--it's one thing for a naval officer to see a sailor being injured in combat, because war is war; it's another to see a girl you've encouraged to be spirited be ''so'' spirited that she behaves foolishly and injures herself.
* PoorCommunicationKills: How fast does the rumor of Anne's engagement to Mr. Elliot spread, and to the people it can make the most miserable...
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: Anne claims Lady Russell's advice was wrong, but she (Anne) was right to yield to the advice of a friend regardless. Wentworth doesn't contradict her. Semi-Justified as it was a time when Anne was more passive and felt the need for reason.
* PutOnABus: After the fall at Lyme, all the information about Louisa comes secondhand--she doesn't appear onscreen again.
* RegencyEngland: UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars provide the historical backdrop.
* RomanticFalseLead:
** Mr. Elliot for Anne. He is a suitable husband material, rich and noble, and appears to be sensible and worthy of superior Anne. She enjoys his attentions at first and really likes the idea of being the next Lady Elliot, like her mother was, but she realizes she does nto love him, and he is later revealed to be a villain.
** Captain Wentworth threatens Charles Hayter's relationship with Henrietta for awhile.
** Half the book is spent trying to convince the reader that Wentworth has fallen in love with Louisa, of which Anne is completely sure until she is informed that [[spoiler:Louisa is marrying Captain Benwick.]]
* SelfMadeMan: Wentworth perfectly exemplifies this trope, going from a young officer without status or fortune to a celebrated captain with the equivalent of several million bucks in today's money solely by working his way up through the ranks of the navy. He earns his position through his own merit -- a marked difference from some of Austen's other romantic heroes like Darcy or Knightley. FairForItsDay, as it's not quite correct to class Wentworth as a 'self-made man' in the modern sense of having started from nothing. While promotions in the Navy were earned, to get in as a midshipman - the starting rank for an officer - you had to be put forward by the right people. Wentworth isn't a commoner, he was born into the family of a gentleman; the usual background for a midshipman was that of an ImpoverishedPatrician or a younger son of nobility.
* SettleForSibling: Charles Musgrove wanted to marry Anne but she declined his offer, so he married her younger sister Mary who is considerably less pretty, less intelligent, less kind.
* ShipperOnDeck:
** Lady Russell shipped Anne/Charles Musgrove and lamented that Anne had refused him. We hear later that the Musgroves also supported the relationship and they actually think that Lady Russell persuaded Anne not to marry him.
** Sir Walter ships his daughter Elizabeth with his heir presumptive, Mr William Elliot. When Anne meets him, she thinks it is not such a bad idea. One of their motives is that their property is entailed, and thus it could stay in the family through marriage.
** Mary Musgrove ships Henrietta and Captain Wentworth.
** Charles Musgrove ships Louisa/Captain Wentworth and Henrietta/Charles Hayter.
** Lady Russell ships Anne and Mr William Elliot.
* ShipperWithAnAgenda:
** Sir Walter supports his daughter's Elizabeth's pursuit of William Elliot because he's his heir presumptive. Thus their entailed property can stay in the family. In addition, Elizabeth is his favourite daughter and he thinks she should marry someone noble, and a future baronet from their own family is the best option in his eyes.
** Lady Russell ships Anne/William Elliot. She thinks they would be a good match and cute together, but she also thinks of the Kellynch Hall and the entailed property that could stay in the Elliot family, and actually at the hands of the more deserving daughter who would become the next Lady Elliot, beloved by people just as her late mother (the former Lady Elliot) was.
** For a brief moment, Mrs Smith pretends she ships Anne and William Elliot. It's because she thinks the deal is done and that they are already engaged, and she wants to use Anne's influence over her husband. She is his former close friend who fell in harder times (financially, socially, health-wise) and wants his help. When Anne insists she doesn't love him and that their marriage is out of the question, Mrs Smith reveals Mr Elliot's true character and says her heart bled for her when she spoke of their future happy union.
** Mrs Smith jokingly implies that Nurse Rooke ships Sir Walter and widowed Mrs Clay as she hopes to get a job of delivering a baby and providing her with a post-natal care.
--->'''Mrs Smith:''' And, indeed, to own the truth, I do not think nurse, in her heart, is a very strenuous opposer of Sir Walter's making a second match. She must be allowed to be a favourer of matrimony, you know; and (since self will intrude) who can say that she may not have some flying visions of attending the next Lady Elliot, through Mrs Wallis's recommendation?
** Louisa ships her sister Henrietta with Charles Hayter -- though perhaps only because Captain Wentworth seems to be courting both sisters and she wants him just for herself.
** Mary Musgrove ships Henrietta/Captain Wentworth because she dislikes the idea of Charles Hayter marrying her sister-in-law. She considers the Hayters a lowly connection.
* ShippingTorpedo:
** Before the novel begins, Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth got engaged, but Anne broke it off. Her family was against their marriage, especially her dear godmother Lady Russell whom Anne loves and respects very much.
** The Musgroves think that Lady Russell persuaded Anne not to marry Charles. It's not actually true as she would have been over the moon had Anne wanted to marry him and settle near her.
** Mary Musgrove disapproves of her sister-in-law Henrietta's suitor, Charles Hayter. She thinks he's too poor and from an unsuitable family.
** Widowed Mrs Clay tries to charm Sir William. Almost everybody sees this possible relationship as evil Anne, Mary (his adult daughters), Lady Russell (a family friend) and Mr Elliot (his heir presumptive). Only his eldest daughter doesn't see it she thinks her father would never fall in love with a woman who is not strikingly beautiful. The relationship is supported only by Mrs Clay's family (they let her stay with him in Bath and take care of her children) and by Nurse Rooke who hopes to take care of her during a possible pregnancy and delivery.
* ShipToShipCombat: In-universe. Mary Musgrove thinks that Henrietta should leave Charles Hayter and marry Wentworth, while Charles Musgrove thinks Louisa should marry the good captain. It causes some ill-feeling between them, since Mary's opinion is predicated on her snobbery--she thinks Hayter, a country curate, would be a shamefully "bad connection" for her to have to put up with, and her husband is insulted because Hayter is a cousin.
* SiblingTriangle:
** Henrietta and Louisa Musgrove are crazy about Captain Wentworth, and he happily flirts with both. Louisa then manoeuvres Henrietta away to her original suitor and seems to have Wentworth for herself, but he ends up with neither Musgrove girl.
** There are sisters Elizabeth and Anne Elliot and their potential marriages to their distant cousin William Elliot who is their father's heir. Elizabeth would love to marry him very badly, but he does not see her as a wife material, but she continues to see his politeness and friendly air as courtship. He would like to marry her sister Anne who is interested in him at first and for a brief moment likes the idea of becoming the next Lady Elliot, but does not trust him and does not love him. He ends up with neither of them [[spoiler:as Mrs Clay becomes his mistress and they settle together]], Elizabeth remains single and Anne gets married to her one true love.
* SiblingYinYang: The Musgrove sisters -- Henrietta has a reputation as the prettiest and gentlest of the two, while Louisa has a reputation for being stubborn, spirited, and lively.
* SignatureLine: "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope."
* SuddenlySuitableSuitor: The fact that "suddenly" takes seven years doesn't prevent this trope from occurring. Anne and Frederic were always suitable (they are both members of upper-middle class, although Anne is of more noble origin) and loved each other, but Frederic was not rich enough to be able to support a wife and family. He gets vastly rich during his naval career.
* TrueCompanions: Captains Wentworth, Harville, and Benwick. Harville was Wentworth's first lieutenant in the ''Laconia'' and Benwick was engaged to Harville's late sister before his own promotion. Wentworth says that he would drop everything to do any favor asked by Harville, and Harville's family has had Benwick as a guest in their house since their mutual bereavement.
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: You can actually hear Captain Wentworth's heart break when he offers to walk Anne home in the rain with his umbrella, and the for-once-oblivious heroine innocently says she already has an escort -- Mr. Elliot. What's worse, the ladies in Captain Wentworth's company immediately start gossiping about Anne and Mr. Elliot as soon-to-be-engaged.
* TheUnfavourite: Anne plays this role in her family, as she happens to be a lot less shallow and a lot more intelligent than her father or her sisters.
* UnableToSupportAWife:
** Wentworth had not saved anything from his naval career, and so had only hopes that he would be able to do so in the future, leading to Lady Russell's objections.
** Charles Hayter is trying to secure a curate position to enable him to marry Henrietta.
** The reason Captain Benwick and Fanny Harville were still only engaged at her death was that his promotion did not come before then.
* WeddingsForEveryone: Three weddings by the end.
* WhiteSheep: Anne, the one level-headed member of a family full of fools.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Don't worry. [[HappilyEverAfter They will]].
* WoodenShipsAndIronMen: These elements are peripheral, but they're definitely mentioned. Austen had two brothers in the Navy, and so the discussions of the service do have accuracy to them. (One imagines that the Admiral's fault-finding with a painting of a boat was something Miss Austen heard herself at some point.)

!! Tropes appearing in the adaptations:

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Averted: both adaptations thus far make sure Anne has her having-lost-her-bloom look, exactly as she's described in the novel, despite Amanda Root and Sally Hawkins being very attractive actresses in reality.
* SceneryPorn: The Georgian architecture at Bath in the adaptations is to die for.