Jane Austen
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Persuasion by Jane Austen is the last novel completed by Jane Austen. It was published on December 20, 1817, along with Northanger Abbey, six months after her death, although the title page is dated 1818. The story concerns Anne Elliot, an Englishwoman of 27 years, whose family moves to lower their expenses and reduce their debt by renting their home to an admiral and his wife. The wife's brother, Captain Frederick Wentworth, was engaged to Anne in 1806, but the engagement was broken when Anne was persuaded by her friends and family to end their relationship. Plot: The story begins seven years after the broken engagement of Anne Elliot to Frederick Wentworth: Having just turned nineteen years old, Anne fell in love and had accepted a proposal of marriage from Wentworth, then a young and undistinguished naval officer. Wentworth was considered clever, confident and ambitious, but his low social status and lack of wealth made Anne's friends and family view him as an unsuitable partner. Anne's father, Sir Walter Elliot, and her older sister, Elizabeth, maintained that Wentworth was no match for a woman of Kellynch Hall, the family estate. Furthermore, Lady Russell, a distant relative whom Anne considers to be a second mother to her after her own died, also saw the relationship as imprudent for one so young and persuaded Anne to break off the engagement. Sir Walter, Elizabeth, and Lady Russell are the only family members who knew about the short engagement, as Anne's younger sister Mary was away at school. Several years later, the Elliot family are in financial trouble on account of their lavish spending, so they decide to rent out Kellynch Hall and settle in a cheaper home in Bath until their finances improve. Sir Walter, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's new companion, Mrs Clay, look forward to the move. Anne doubts she will enjoy Bath, but cannot go against her family. Mary is now married to Charles Musgrove of Uppercross Hall, the heir to a respected local squire. Anne visits Mary and her family, where she is well-loved. As the war against France is over, the new tenants of Kellynch Hall, Admiral Croft and his wife Sophia.