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The illness which curtailed Jane Austens relatively short life may have imparted a mellow quality to her writing for certainly this is a gentler more reflective observation of loves vagaries and follies than her earlier work. It has been suggested that she modelled her heroine on her own character which may also be why she is more forgiving. Phlegmatic Anne is the unappreciated strength within her family-a vain pompous father, a self regarding and self deluding older sister and a dissatisfied and selfish younger one. At the age of nineteen Anne was ‘persuaded’ out of an engagement to Frederick Wentworth, an ambitious, highly principled and determined naval gentleman who departs in angry indignation. Eight years later by coincidental circumstances he is brought into her social circle once more having obtained wealth and reputation. Despite competition from two younger ladies and the interference of a would-be suitor of her own can she persuade Wentworth of her constancy, allow her heart to rule her head and become the mistress of her own destiny.

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