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A complete edition of all 6 of jane Austen's masterpiece novels.
Published: Start Classics an imprint of NBN Books on
ISBN: 9781627933698
List price: $1.99
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Jane Austen once wrote that Anne Elliott, the heroine of her final novel, Persuasion, was "too good for me," and I cannot help but echo her sentiments. A woman of great good sense, utterly lacking in snobbery or pretension (despite her father's "elevated" status as a baronet), Anne seems to possess an almost flawless self-control, that, when paired with her self-sacrificing attention to the needs of others, and patient endurance of the many slights she receives at the hands of her unworthy family, makes me want to shake her...Her one flaw, which arises from her virtues, and which forms the crux of this astute examination of love lost and then found again, is that she is too easily persuaded. Having been convinced some years before to sacrifice her attachment to the man she loved, Anne finds herself confronted - at the ripe old age of twenty-seven! - with her spurned love, and with the consequences of her choice.I enjoyed Persuasion immensely, and was not at all surprised to discover that it was Austen's final novel, written as she was slipping into the illness which would cause her death. Not as bright as some of her other work, it still has that pointed Austen wit, which, when combined with more mature themes, makes for a deeply satisfying read.more
Great girl meets boy read. I recommend to anyone over my age (12)! It's brilliant and I think it truly shows how amazing Jane Austen really is!more
Austen is funniest when she’s dealing with social snobs, and this novel starts out that way. But the heroine is the daughter of the snob in question, and she is a modest and sensible young lady. Her main fault is that she’s been too easily persuaded to turn her back on the man she really loves. This novel brings her back to him. It’s a perfect antidote after you've read anything depressing.more
Jane Austen wasn't taught at my high school and I didn't take any English lit classes in college. I was in my mid twenties and the Jane Austen phenomena was gaining momentum. Since then I've been trying and failing to read any Austen book start to finish. That is until this year when I discovered the perfect way to read her books: audio in the car.Pride and Prejudice is now the best known and most popular of Austen's books. When I was a teen, it was Sense and Sensibility (thanks to Clueless). P&P's current popularity is due in large part to the film adaptation Collin Firth was in.The Bennett family is in a bit of a pickle. Mr. Bennett's financial affairs (and the house) are in the red. If he dies, the house goes to his creditor and Mrs. Bennett and their five daughters are out on the street. The only thing to do — marry off the daughters.Jane is the oldest and most beautiful. Tradition states she should be married first to pave the way for her sisters. But there's a snag in the form of Mr. Darcy who makes an ass of himself at the first dance and thoroughly pisses of the second daughter, Elizabeth. She pegs him for being prideful but is blind to her own prejudice.Like a modern day soap opera, the novel contrives to put Darcy and Elizabeth together in as many frustrating and embarrassing ways as possible. Eventually though the reasons behind Darcy's behavior comes out and Elizabeth softens.Listening to the audio gave me a better appreciation for the novel. I can see why it's popular. I had a few problems with the production of the audio. The woman reading the book gave Mrs. Bennett a harpy voice. It literally set my teeth on edge.more
Reading Jane Austen is like drinking a perfectly made cup of tea, late in the afternoon. Her prose is so smooth and comforting and perfectly elegant. I really enjoyed Persuasion, more than I expected to. Austen seemed to really explore the motivations and interactions of her characters. The breathless and romantic ending was delightfully swoony as well. :)more
Loved the lampooning of Anne Elliot's family, and everyone fainting and being useless at Louisa's jumping the steps on the Cobb at Lyme. I especially enjoyed the Admiral's need to remove all Sir Walter's mirrors. But I didn't go for Captain Wentworth's letter - it felt like the kind of thing we girls want our men to write, but they don't write those things. Maybe JA never really worked out how to manage it either, bearing in mind there is more than one reconciliation device.more
I’m embarrassed to admit that this is my first Austen, at least I don’t remember reading any of her books, although I have seen many of the movies based on her books. I’ve wanted to read all her novels. It’s all the more astounding that I’ve managed to not do so given that in high school and through my first two years of college I majored in English/English literature. I’ve always known that there are gaps (an abyss) in my education, yet this particular one does surprise me.I suggested this particular Austen to my book group, partly because it’s the favorite of so many I know, and partly because I knew a bit about it, but except for Northanger Abbey I knew less than I knew about her other novels.This edition of the book has an introduction by Amy Bloom and she tells the entire plot, but atypically I didn’t care at all knowing the book’s story before I read it. I pretty much knew it, and I guess I feel I should have read it long ago. The edition also has the originally written final two chapters, inserted after the rest of the book's text.But, if not for needing to read it for my real world book club, I’d have put it down and picked it up another time. Actually, I think I’d like to read Austen’s books on the order she penned them. But the main problem is that I’m in a reading slump and this is a case of a good book at the wrong time. It didn’t help that while reading I was often listening to the (very modern) college guys upstairs and other modern and annoying sounds. I should have probably made a point of reading this in the park or some other more suitably atmospheric place. The most ideal years for me to have read this was probably 25-35; that doesn’t mean I won’t have other ideal timea in the future. I can see giving this book 5 stars but I don’t think it’s destined to be one of my favorites.Apt title. Beautifully written. Wicked wit! It’s also funny and bright and poignant. But mostly waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting…and I kind of got impatient with everybody. So, I really like and admire Anne, a lot, and I love how Austen skewers the society that was familiar to her. Nobody really escaped my periodic irritation though, nor did the situation. I don’t have patience for certain types of plots, and I’m not big on romance stories, although this one wasn’t as “romantic” as I’d expected. Despite the ending, I did find this story a sad one, most likely because of my own current frame of mind: wrong timing for me. Also, I am aware of Austen’s condition when she wrote this novel. I do hope to pick it up again someday, along with all of Austen’s books.As I was reading I felt sometimes as though I was reading a play. It read that way to me. I could “see” it all. I can see why Austen’s novels translate so well to film.more
Two stars is my rating from when I read this on my own in high school. I liked it more the second time through when we read it for class, and I started to understand the humor in it. I even wrote my AP English literary criticism/research paper on this book, which helped me appreciate it more than when I read it independently.more
One of my most favorite books in the whole world.more
A friend of mine gave me a copy of Pride and Prejudice a year ago. I had read other Austen novels for classes, but never this one. I started out a little slow with it because I was working my way through some of those detective novels I love so much.

Then she told me a local theater company was putting on Pride and Prejudice! I had to rededicate myself to the novel so I would have it done in time for the play. Once I really got into it I loved it.

Even though the characters are old fashioned and the book was written long ago when social conventions were different, I still found it easy to relate to the sisters. Seeing the play just cemented my renewed love of Jane Austen's storytelling.more
This book seems rather more subdued and serious than Austen's others -- that I've read, anyway. I was half-expecting some silly conclusion in which everyone marries and everyone is reconciled and whatever. By the time I was halfway through, I didn't really know where it was going to go, and I'm not sure I cared that much. Persuasion wasn't bad to read, I just didn't really care that much.

Anne, as a main character, is very nice. Kind of bland, really. Just nice. She bears her lot remarkably calmly, is all self-sacrificing all the time, doesn't seem to have any great passions. She's comfortable and unchallenging. I didn't really get to know or care about her paramour, either, so I was just vaguely glad when they got together. The lack of real feeling made the book lack any urgency, too.

The characters in general didn't seem as lively and interesting in general as, say, the Bennets, and were therefore not as endearing for me. Mary reminded me of Mrs Bennet, but at least with Mrs Bennet, I felt a little fond of her.

Mind you, I can say what I like but I probably read Persuasion in a couple of hours, all told, and I don't exactly think those hours wasted. It wasn't the most gripping, life-changing book in the world, but I enjoyed it well enough.more
Loved listening to the audio of this book! Made the drive to and from work really enjoyable! The story has many different love triangles and stories that all seem to center around who really want who. The main characters fall for one another but of course it takes the whole book before they live happily ever after. Would use in classes to show an almost time capsule of how things once were.more
hmm, now that i have finished this read, i am wondering if i like it more than pride and prejudice???late in the book there is this quote:"Minutiae which, even with every advantage of taste and delicacy which good Mrs. Musgrove could not give, could be properly interesting only to the principals."and when i read that line it made me think of the details in austen's writing and how, in fact, the minutiae present with her manner of storytelling sucks me right in every time. but...with persuasion i feel this is very much a novel of anne's restraint and resolve as much as it is a tale of different persuasions. so given anne's nature, though we aren't privy to her inner workings in great detail, i was seeing everything through her eyes and completely immersed in her world.i am so glad i had saved a few austens to read and so had this novel to be experienced for the first time. i now, of course, want to re-watch one of the bbc adaptations!!more
While I love Jane Austen and her characters I'm at a stage where I want to be so much more invigorated by a book and I just cannot (to use an awful phrase) "get into" this kind of novel at the moment. Time to spend a while reading other genres and then come back to these. Ahhh, feels good to say that and not feel guilty.more
I first read this book in a library summer reading program many years ago. I've reread it probably at least every 5 years or so since, and it never fails to entertain and inform me with its trenchant observations of the way people are -- even with the changing mores of today, we have all met an Elizabeth, a Darcy, and a Lady Catherine DeBourgh!more
Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest daughter of five of a country gentleman and his wife, over the course of a year. In that time, she meets the cold Mr. Darcy, the flirtatious Mr. Wickham, and her cousin, the odious Mr. Collins while dealing with the fact that she, along with her sisters, are unmarried with little dowry to offer.

Pride and Prejudice was written in 1813 and is an excellent example of what is known as a novel of manners. It deals with the behavior and manners of the gentry of Regency England, which had strict codes of conduct and dealt harshly with anyone who broke those codes. Although, Pride and Prejudice is set in the Regency time frame, the book is actually timeless. It deals with matters of the heart and how people can allow prejudices or their pride to color their world view, leading to mistakes that could later haunt them.

Jane Austen is a spectacular writer, knowing exactly how to draw the reader in and keep them captivated. Her characters are fully explored, often times in a humorous way. Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine are the best examples of this- they are depicted in such a ridiculous way that it is easy to picture them in their various scenes.

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel. I have read it again and again over the years, always finding it fresh and exciting. I always cringe when Elizabeth or Mr. Darcy make a serious error in judgment and wait on pins and needles to see if they ever will find their way to true love. I highly recommend this book to all readers. It will capture your attention and take you on an eventful and satisfying journey.
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The older I get, the better this story gets. Of course, the tale does not change. The fact that it seems to have magically gained new content hopefully means that I have grown in understanding since my last reading. I truly enjoyed my most recent visit with Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, and their friends and family. But I hope that I will be capable of knowing them even better when we meet again.more
Enjoyable, satirical, funny, and a great slice of 18th century bourgeois life, but I am surprised this is anyone's favourite book as there is no story at all. However character development is beautifully crafted, and the sense of how people negotiated the mores and morals of the time is superb.
I do have a few criticisms, though, although these may not be entirely valid, as the way in which people were able to behave, particularly women, when JA wrote this, may have something to do with it.
I would however have put in a couple of showdowns, one with Mr Collins, which was relegated to a line in a letter from Mr Bennett, and the other with Lady Catherine, which so should not have been ex camera.
Worth a read, surely, and I will read again I am sure, and what greater accolade for a book could there be?more
Reread because I ran out of things to read and was looking for free ebooks.
A few things:
1) nobody writes annoying people as well as Jane Austen.
2) so, many, commas,
3) OMG Captain Wentworth's letter. I. DIE.more
I tried to read this book, really I did. We read it for my book club and it came highly recommended by a woman whose taste in books I share. I wanted to like this book. But a month later, and I'm still only 38% done with what is a very thin book.

It's puzzling to me...I like the story line. I like the characters. But something about the writing... I just can't make myself finish it. It's a slow read. It's not something I can sit down with and relax at the end of the day. It takes a level of focus that I am apparently incapable of. Reading it just felt way too much like high school.

I appologize to all the Austen fans, but I just can't do it.more
What can I say? It's been more than a month since I finished a book. Would that there were a service called "GoodArticleReads": then I'd be a busy recorder.

Given that this is outside my field, I'm allowed to *prefer* without thinking....so, I get to say that I liked Austen's decision in Emma to make the most talented, beautiful, and wise character Jane Fairfax, not our heroine. It's easier in terms of, you know, "relatability," to mark the protagonist with genius.more
3.5 really. I don't know what to make of this one. I know it's usually regarded as Austen's most mature novel. Sure, the main character is 28 and there's lots of autumnal references, as well as political symbolism - but I didn't find it all that deep and full-fleshed.

It's the story of Anne Elliot, a gentleman's daughter who had become engaged to a captain Wentworth 8 years before the novel begins, but broke the engagement due to family pressures. She has never stopped loving him, and now she encounters him again and hopes that he will still have feelings for her.

Now, as I see it, there's two ways one can take this premise. One, you can explore how these two people have changed. Are they still the people they fell in love with in the first place? Will they still love each other, and if so, will it be for the same reasons? Two, you can use the tension created by this background to write an otherwise standard romance, which is what happens here. The result is a succesion of scenes along the lines of "OMG, he found me a place in the carriage so I won't have to walk home - he LUUUUUUVS me!".

Of course, this is all superbly written, and the book is by no means an average romance, but it's still a pretty conventional one. Which would be fine, if it wasn't full of hints dropped to remind the reader that this oh-so-mature and more adult and complex than, say, Pride and Prejudice. It probably is, but Pride and Prejudice works much better as a comedy of manners than Persuasion does as a character study.more
I was actually thinking about going for three Austen books, 'cause I dug Pride & Prejudice so much, but when I got into Persuasion I realized there are an awful lot of familiar elements. The well-mannered guy can't be trusted, the shy, dickish guy can, the heroine's the most perceptive character in the book, her family is near-fatally mortifying...if this is just what Austen does, that's fine, but it means one should maybe not read her books back-to-back.

Anne Elliott is a great character, though. More complicated than Elizabeth. She, like this book, is a little ambiguous. Even the novel's theme, laid out in the title, is a slippery one; Anne herself seems unable to come to terms with it, concluding - maybe half-heartedly and a little defensively - that one ought to be persuaded by one's elders instead of one's heart, because if they turn out to be wrong one might get a second chance eight years later. It's possible that I read that defensiveness in myself because I want to like Anne more than that; as it stands, that moral is an awfully conservative one, and one that doesn't sit well with me.

The version my wife had on hand, which she hates so much that this is still the only Austen book she's never read, is the Longman Cultural Edition, which comes, Norton-style, with about a hundred pages of supporting material. Some of that was terrific; I loved reading Austen's letters, chosen (wisely) from when she was Anne's age, not from the period in which she actually wrote the book. Unsurprisingly, they sound just like her books: funny and charming. It's particularly neat to read her account of a ball, and her own very recognizable trepidation and elation at being asked to dance (or not). Some of the contextual reading is also nice, including some well-chosen passages from Byron. The contemporary reviews weren't nearly as interesting as I'd hoped; they focus on her recent and posthumous identification as the author, rather than on the book, which sounds cool but turns out to sorta not be. I hated the introduction - too many big words, not enough thought - and the footnotes were superfluous. I'm not under the impression that Austen requires footnotes. Four stars for the edition.more
Jane Austen does romance like nobody else. The tension and the anticipation, drawn out for a novel's worth, perfectly balances the convention of her day with the impatience of the modern reader. Jane Austen is the only author of her day that does not try my patience. And she's one of the few who don't mess up a good romance with embarrassment. This, of all Jane Austen's books, is the one I find the most influenced from her life. And it is for that more that the story that I liked the novel. On the pages of the book I found myself more rooting for a scenario where Jane was thrust into society with the man she had wanted to marry but was not of influence enough to be accepted with the tables now turned and her in every position to say yes. I wanted Jane to relive her life as a small part of her did on the pages of her novel.

Of all the characters in the book Ann was the only likable one and while it would have been better for her if Captain Wentworth had saved her from her selfish family 8 years prior, late is better than never. The interactions full of blushes and meaning had me wanting to shake both of them to swallow their pride and take the first step. It's hard once you've been rejected, had your heart broken, to admit to being vulnerable again, but they were obviously both miserable with just the thought of each other and if they missed connecting with their love this time around, they wouldn't have the meddling of other to blame.

Which brings me to the statements about society Austen made. Two kind souls perfect for each other are torn about because circumstance is not favorable. To make the statement that money and position are not good judges of character, Austen surrounds Anne with characters one more deplorable than the next: a father spending his family into bankruptcy, a cold emotionally void sister, a selfish competitive sister who whines until things fall in her favor, silly cousins, a gold digger, a power/money hungry man who cares not who he ruins in his climb. And these are the people who are supposed to be good blood and therefore good people. But we all know riches more often than not buy spoiled self-centered shallow personalities, not better ones. I wanted to despise the characters more than Austen allowed because they are presented through the eyes of a loving relative.

And then we get to the topic of persuasion itself. Modern society cares not for the influence of the elderly nor the advice it imparts, but throughout history and other cultures, the elder reign with too much power. There must be a happy median where one listens to the counsel of those who have lived through it and respects older generations without letting such opinions stand supreme. Nobody makes decisions for one's life better than that person and all well-meaning meddling should be taken and considered, but not let it overpower ones own persuasion. When one makes decisions to please others and not with the best at heart, it is the wrong decision. It's not even just a young/old problem. It's a personality issue too where the shy or insecure let the out-spoken run their lives for them because it's easy to go along than fight sometimes. I say if you get what you want too easily from someone, be careful because it's not given whole-heartedly and your tactics may come back to hurt you in unexpected ways when that person finally breaks. I suppose I related more to Anne than I initially realized.

There are a few parts that dragged just slightly but overall I once again loved Jane Austen's work. Although I enjoyed this one more for the picture it gave me into Austen's mind and soul than for the story itself, the story is good too.more
Flowery, pretentious writing does not a good story make. Austen created stiff, one-dimensional characters, brought them to life (as much as she could) in a boring plot, and had two of them fall in love somewhere, I guess. No one writes romance colder than Austen did.

If you want to read a classic romance with true heat and a plot that's actually interesting, read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre instead. Bronte is far and away a better storyteller than Austen.more
A love story? No, not really. The soul and literary stell-cells of two of the finest characters ever to walk off the printed page and into your mind. Once they've taken up residence in your heart, you'll find yourself helpless not to occasionally catch a glimpse of the world as it would be seen through their eyes -- and a merry, vibrant, and more colourful globe that should be.

Elizabeth Bennet, with her ready wit and sparkling repartee, with add a jingle of unheard music and half-glimpsed rainbows to whatever already harkens in your tired subconscious. Holding hands with her will be Mr. Darcy, his droll cynicism and sarcastic edge providing the perfect backdrop and grounding to her more gracious allowances.

A love story? Yes, perhaps there was such sketched upon the pages. But what you take from this book will be the outlines of these two lovingly etched, ineffably charming, faultlessly proper, and brilliantly bellicose beloveds; a true "book-mark" to keep you from ever again losing your place in the world :-)more
I've been thinking about this one now and then since I read it, First, I thought back to it while reading Nafisi's novel Reading Lolita in Tehran as it is one of the Western books put on trial by the class. Most recently, I considered it while reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own in which she speaks of early female writers.

I had a Major British Writers teacher at university who was easy for me to like immensely. He lived in a world where television was an anathema and where he watched films like Naked and read everything from Coleridge to Irvine Welsh. His one true flaw? He also loved Jane Austen. Over the course of our class, he tried in earnest to get me to realize that Austen was a feminist writer. I disagree wholeheartedly and the only reason why this gets two stars from me is because it was written during a time when it was difficult for women to write especially publicly. I also think that Jane was a fairly keen observer of the high society that was taking place and if I enjoyed frivolous poetry that tends to go nowhere, I'd have a much higher appreciation for the writing of Marcel Proust. Really, it's such a shame Marcel Proust was born a century later and wasn't interested in women anyhow. He and Jane could have made the most boring couple in human history.

One thing I want to be considered here and this is where my main justification lies has to do with women in relation to men. Women have always been seen in terms of this alone. That's why the idea of feminism is still considered rather radical today. The idea of woman as a separate identity existing in a way which she has no consideration for men in terms of how it affects her actions and thoughts is rare. John Berger explores this in (I think) his novel G about the poet Goethe and Woolf explores the idea in A Room of One's Own. In Virginia Woolf, we have some examples of the female entity as separate from the male. None can be found in any Austen I am familiar with. Instead, every function of the female is intended to ensnare a male. While it's true that the female protagonist shows some evidence early in the book of being able to function independently, it all predictably falls apart at the end, doesn't it? And what is the true goal of it all? Well, class rank, fortune, and incredibly shallow views of others. I think Jane Austen is somewhat evil actually because she's perpetuated the subconsciousness of thousands of women that these things (and men) matter more than their own identities. I'd even go so far as to say that they perpetuate the idea that these exact things are what identity is instead of the thought processes, actions, and personal history that may be separate from all of this.


True, Austen was a feminist by being a writer in her time period but I would not describe any of her writing as feminist and would instead label them harmful to humanity in subtle ways of course. If you want to read a better example of early female literature that had more of a feminist tone, I'd suggest Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

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I am still surprised that I didn't encounter this novel during my English degree. When approaching it as a romance novel (without the messiness of actual physical contact), this is not a bad read. It smacks of "will they, won't they" and can be infuriatingly slow for those readers accustomed to a bit more action. Much of the actual story is told second hand, through letters or ladies gossiping. It is also difficult to trust Elizabeth's opinion. She is quick to judge based on what one character says and then changes her mind based on what another character says. She also seems to be unfairly ashamed of much of her own family and their behavior.



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I have a soft spot for Persuasion. I think that it has the more epic and tragic romance, and I’m constantly rooting for Anne and Wentworth to get back together. It’s an interesting study of the class system, since now the heroine is from the upper class and it’s her love interest who’s low-class and struggles with that prejudice. Love this book.more
It was okay. I had hoped to like it more than I did. I enjoyed the story, but will probably never read it again.more
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Reviews

Jane Austen once wrote that Anne Elliott, the heroine of her final novel, Persuasion, was "too good for me," and I cannot help but echo her sentiments. A woman of great good sense, utterly lacking in snobbery or pretension (despite her father's "elevated" status as a baronet), Anne seems to possess an almost flawless self-control, that, when paired with her self-sacrificing attention to the needs of others, and patient endurance of the many slights she receives at the hands of her unworthy family, makes me want to shake her...Her one flaw, which arises from her virtues, and which forms the crux of this astute examination of love lost and then found again, is that she is too easily persuaded. Having been convinced some years before to sacrifice her attachment to the man she loved, Anne finds herself confronted - at the ripe old age of twenty-seven! - with her spurned love, and with the consequences of her choice.I enjoyed Persuasion immensely, and was not at all surprised to discover that it was Austen's final novel, written as she was slipping into the illness which would cause her death. Not as bright as some of her other work, it still has that pointed Austen wit, which, when combined with more mature themes, makes for a deeply satisfying read.more
Great girl meets boy read. I recommend to anyone over my age (12)! It's brilliant and I think it truly shows how amazing Jane Austen really is!more
Austen is funniest when she’s dealing with social snobs, and this novel starts out that way. But the heroine is the daughter of the snob in question, and she is a modest and sensible young lady. Her main fault is that she’s been too easily persuaded to turn her back on the man she really loves. This novel brings her back to him. It’s a perfect antidote after you've read anything depressing.more
Jane Austen wasn't taught at my high school and I didn't take any English lit classes in college. I was in my mid twenties and the Jane Austen phenomena was gaining momentum. Since then I've been trying and failing to read any Austen book start to finish. That is until this year when I discovered the perfect way to read her books: audio in the car.Pride and Prejudice is now the best known and most popular of Austen's books. When I was a teen, it was Sense and Sensibility (thanks to Clueless). P&P's current popularity is due in large part to the film adaptation Collin Firth was in.The Bennett family is in a bit of a pickle. Mr. Bennett's financial affairs (and the house) are in the red. If he dies, the house goes to his creditor and Mrs. Bennett and their five daughters are out on the street. The only thing to do — marry off the daughters.Jane is the oldest and most beautiful. Tradition states she should be married first to pave the way for her sisters. But there's a snag in the form of Mr. Darcy who makes an ass of himself at the first dance and thoroughly pisses of the second daughter, Elizabeth. She pegs him for being prideful but is blind to her own prejudice.Like a modern day soap opera, the novel contrives to put Darcy and Elizabeth together in as many frustrating and embarrassing ways as possible. Eventually though the reasons behind Darcy's behavior comes out and Elizabeth softens.Listening to the audio gave me a better appreciation for the novel. I can see why it's popular. I had a few problems with the production of the audio. The woman reading the book gave Mrs. Bennett a harpy voice. It literally set my teeth on edge.more
Reading Jane Austen is like drinking a perfectly made cup of tea, late in the afternoon. Her prose is so smooth and comforting and perfectly elegant. I really enjoyed Persuasion, more than I expected to. Austen seemed to really explore the motivations and interactions of her characters. The breathless and romantic ending was delightfully swoony as well. :)more
Loved the lampooning of Anne Elliot's family, and everyone fainting and being useless at Louisa's jumping the steps on the Cobb at Lyme. I especially enjoyed the Admiral's need to remove all Sir Walter's mirrors. But I didn't go for Captain Wentworth's letter - it felt like the kind of thing we girls want our men to write, but they don't write those things. Maybe JA never really worked out how to manage it either, bearing in mind there is more than one reconciliation device.more
I’m embarrassed to admit that this is my first Austen, at least I don’t remember reading any of her books, although I have seen many of the movies based on her books. I’ve wanted to read all her novels. It’s all the more astounding that I’ve managed to not do so given that in high school and through my first two years of college I majored in English/English literature. I’ve always known that there are gaps (an abyss) in my education, yet this particular one does surprise me.I suggested this particular Austen to my book group, partly because it’s the favorite of so many I know, and partly because I knew a bit about it, but except for Northanger Abbey I knew less than I knew about her other novels.This edition of the book has an introduction by Amy Bloom and she tells the entire plot, but atypically I didn’t care at all knowing the book’s story before I read it. I pretty much knew it, and I guess I feel I should have read it long ago. The edition also has the originally written final two chapters, inserted after the rest of the book's text.But, if not for needing to read it for my real world book club, I’d have put it down and picked it up another time. Actually, I think I’d like to read Austen’s books on the order she penned them. But the main problem is that I’m in a reading slump and this is a case of a good book at the wrong time. It didn’t help that while reading I was often listening to the (very modern) college guys upstairs and other modern and annoying sounds. I should have probably made a point of reading this in the park or some other more suitably atmospheric place. The most ideal years for me to have read this was probably 25-35; that doesn’t mean I won’t have other ideal timea in the future. I can see giving this book 5 stars but I don’t think it’s destined to be one of my favorites.Apt title. Beautifully written. Wicked wit! It’s also funny and bright and poignant. But mostly waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting…and I kind of got impatient with everybody. So, I really like and admire Anne, a lot, and I love how Austen skewers the society that was familiar to her. Nobody really escaped my periodic irritation though, nor did the situation. I don’t have patience for certain types of plots, and I’m not big on romance stories, although this one wasn’t as “romantic” as I’d expected. Despite the ending, I did find this story a sad one, most likely because of my own current frame of mind: wrong timing for me. Also, I am aware of Austen’s condition when she wrote this novel. I do hope to pick it up again someday, along with all of Austen’s books.As I was reading I felt sometimes as though I was reading a play. It read that way to me. I could “see” it all. I can see why Austen’s novels translate so well to film.more
Two stars is my rating from when I read this on my own in high school. I liked it more the second time through when we read it for class, and I started to understand the humor in it. I even wrote my AP English literary criticism/research paper on this book, which helped me appreciate it more than when I read it independently.more
One of my most favorite books in the whole world.more
A friend of mine gave me a copy of Pride and Prejudice a year ago. I had read other Austen novels for classes, but never this one. I started out a little slow with it because I was working my way through some of those detective novels I love so much.

Then she told me a local theater company was putting on Pride and Prejudice! I had to rededicate myself to the novel so I would have it done in time for the play. Once I really got into it I loved it.

Even though the characters are old fashioned and the book was written long ago when social conventions were different, I still found it easy to relate to the sisters. Seeing the play just cemented my renewed love of Jane Austen's storytelling.more
This book seems rather more subdued and serious than Austen's others -- that I've read, anyway. I was half-expecting some silly conclusion in which everyone marries and everyone is reconciled and whatever. By the time I was halfway through, I didn't really know where it was going to go, and I'm not sure I cared that much. Persuasion wasn't bad to read, I just didn't really care that much.

Anne, as a main character, is very nice. Kind of bland, really. Just nice. She bears her lot remarkably calmly, is all self-sacrificing all the time, doesn't seem to have any great passions. She's comfortable and unchallenging. I didn't really get to know or care about her paramour, either, so I was just vaguely glad when they got together. The lack of real feeling made the book lack any urgency, too.

The characters in general didn't seem as lively and interesting in general as, say, the Bennets, and were therefore not as endearing for me. Mary reminded me of Mrs Bennet, but at least with Mrs Bennet, I felt a little fond of her.

Mind you, I can say what I like but I probably read Persuasion in a couple of hours, all told, and I don't exactly think those hours wasted. It wasn't the most gripping, life-changing book in the world, but I enjoyed it well enough.more
Loved listening to the audio of this book! Made the drive to and from work really enjoyable! The story has many different love triangles and stories that all seem to center around who really want who. The main characters fall for one another but of course it takes the whole book before they live happily ever after. Would use in classes to show an almost time capsule of how things once were.more
hmm, now that i have finished this read, i am wondering if i like it more than pride and prejudice???late in the book there is this quote:"Minutiae which, even with every advantage of taste and delicacy which good Mrs. Musgrove could not give, could be properly interesting only to the principals."and when i read that line it made me think of the details in austen's writing and how, in fact, the minutiae present with her manner of storytelling sucks me right in every time. but...with persuasion i feel this is very much a novel of anne's restraint and resolve as much as it is a tale of different persuasions. so given anne's nature, though we aren't privy to her inner workings in great detail, i was seeing everything through her eyes and completely immersed in her world.i am so glad i had saved a few austens to read and so had this novel to be experienced for the first time. i now, of course, want to re-watch one of the bbc adaptations!!more
While I love Jane Austen and her characters I'm at a stage where I want to be so much more invigorated by a book and I just cannot (to use an awful phrase) "get into" this kind of novel at the moment. Time to spend a while reading other genres and then come back to these. Ahhh, feels good to say that and not feel guilty.more
I first read this book in a library summer reading program many years ago. I've reread it probably at least every 5 years or so since, and it never fails to entertain and inform me with its trenchant observations of the way people are -- even with the changing mores of today, we have all met an Elizabeth, a Darcy, and a Lady Catherine DeBourgh!more
Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest daughter of five of a country gentleman and his wife, over the course of a year. In that time, she meets the cold Mr. Darcy, the flirtatious Mr. Wickham, and her cousin, the odious Mr. Collins while dealing with the fact that she, along with her sisters, are unmarried with little dowry to offer.

Pride and Prejudice was written in 1813 and is an excellent example of what is known as a novel of manners. It deals with the behavior and manners of the gentry of Regency England, which had strict codes of conduct and dealt harshly with anyone who broke those codes. Although, Pride and Prejudice is set in the Regency time frame, the book is actually timeless. It deals with matters of the heart and how people can allow prejudices or their pride to color their world view, leading to mistakes that could later haunt them.

Jane Austen is a spectacular writer, knowing exactly how to draw the reader in and keep them captivated. Her characters are fully explored, often times in a humorous way. Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine are the best examples of this- they are depicted in such a ridiculous way that it is easy to picture them in their various scenes.

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel. I have read it again and again over the years, always finding it fresh and exciting. I always cringe when Elizabeth or Mr. Darcy make a serious error in judgment and wait on pins and needles to see if they ever will find their way to true love. I highly recommend this book to all readers. It will capture your attention and take you on an eventful and satisfying journey.
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The older I get, the better this story gets. Of course, the tale does not change. The fact that it seems to have magically gained new content hopefully means that I have grown in understanding since my last reading. I truly enjoyed my most recent visit with Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, and their friends and family. But I hope that I will be capable of knowing them even better when we meet again.more
Enjoyable, satirical, funny, and a great slice of 18th century bourgeois life, but I am surprised this is anyone's favourite book as there is no story at all. However character development is beautifully crafted, and the sense of how people negotiated the mores and morals of the time is superb.
I do have a few criticisms, though, although these may not be entirely valid, as the way in which people were able to behave, particularly women, when JA wrote this, may have something to do with it.
I would however have put in a couple of showdowns, one with Mr Collins, which was relegated to a line in a letter from Mr Bennett, and the other with Lady Catherine, which so should not have been ex camera.
Worth a read, surely, and I will read again I am sure, and what greater accolade for a book could there be?more
Reread because I ran out of things to read and was looking for free ebooks.
A few things:
1) nobody writes annoying people as well as Jane Austen.
2) so, many, commas,
3) OMG Captain Wentworth's letter. I. DIE.more
I tried to read this book, really I did. We read it for my book club and it came highly recommended by a woman whose taste in books I share. I wanted to like this book. But a month later, and I'm still only 38% done with what is a very thin book.

It's puzzling to me...I like the story line. I like the characters. But something about the writing... I just can't make myself finish it. It's a slow read. It's not something I can sit down with and relax at the end of the day. It takes a level of focus that I am apparently incapable of. Reading it just felt way too much like high school.

I appologize to all the Austen fans, but I just can't do it.more
What can I say? It's been more than a month since I finished a book. Would that there were a service called "GoodArticleReads": then I'd be a busy recorder.

Given that this is outside my field, I'm allowed to *prefer* without thinking....so, I get to say that I liked Austen's decision in Emma to make the most talented, beautiful, and wise character Jane Fairfax, not our heroine. It's easier in terms of, you know, "relatability," to mark the protagonist with genius.more
3.5 really. I don't know what to make of this one. I know it's usually regarded as Austen's most mature novel. Sure, the main character is 28 and there's lots of autumnal references, as well as political symbolism - but I didn't find it all that deep and full-fleshed.

It's the story of Anne Elliot, a gentleman's daughter who had become engaged to a captain Wentworth 8 years before the novel begins, but broke the engagement due to family pressures. She has never stopped loving him, and now she encounters him again and hopes that he will still have feelings for her.

Now, as I see it, there's two ways one can take this premise. One, you can explore how these two people have changed. Are they still the people they fell in love with in the first place? Will they still love each other, and if so, will it be for the same reasons? Two, you can use the tension created by this background to write an otherwise standard romance, which is what happens here. The result is a succesion of scenes along the lines of "OMG, he found me a place in the carriage so I won't have to walk home - he LUUUUUUVS me!".

Of course, this is all superbly written, and the book is by no means an average romance, but it's still a pretty conventional one. Which would be fine, if it wasn't full of hints dropped to remind the reader that this oh-so-mature and more adult and complex than, say, Pride and Prejudice. It probably is, but Pride and Prejudice works much better as a comedy of manners than Persuasion does as a character study.more
I was actually thinking about going for three Austen books, 'cause I dug Pride & Prejudice so much, but when I got into Persuasion I realized there are an awful lot of familiar elements. The well-mannered guy can't be trusted, the shy, dickish guy can, the heroine's the most perceptive character in the book, her family is near-fatally mortifying...if this is just what Austen does, that's fine, but it means one should maybe not read her books back-to-back.

Anne Elliott is a great character, though. More complicated than Elizabeth. She, like this book, is a little ambiguous. Even the novel's theme, laid out in the title, is a slippery one; Anne herself seems unable to come to terms with it, concluding - maybe half-heartedly and a little defensively - that one ought to be persuaded by one's elders instead of one's heart, because if they turn out to be wrong one might get a second chance eight years later. It's possible that I read that defensiveness in myself because I want to like Anne more than that; as it stands, that moral is an awfully conservative one, and one that doesn't sit well with me.

The version my wife had on hand, which she hates so much that this is still the only Austen book she's never read, is the Longman Cultural Edition, which comes, Norton-style, with about a hundred pages of supporting material. Some of that was terrific; I loved reading Austen's letters, chosen (wisely) from when she was Anne's age, not from the period in which she actually wrote the book. Unsurprisingly, they sound just like her books: funny and charming. It's particularly neat to read her account of a ball, and her own very recognizable trepidation and elation at being asked to dance (or not). Some of the contextual reading is also nice, including some well-chosen passages from Byron. The contemporary reviews weren't nearly as interesting as I'd hoped; they focus on her recent and posthumous identification as the author, rather than on the book, which sounds cool but turns out to sorta not be. I hated the introduction - too many big words, not enough thought - and the footnotes were superfluous. I'm not under the impression that Austen requires footnotes. Four stars for the edition.more
Jane Austen does romance like nobody else. The tension and the anticipation, drawn out for a novel's worth, perfectly balances the convention of her day with the impatience of the modern reader. Jane Austen is the only author of her day that does not try my patience. And she's one of the few who don't mess up a good romance with embarrassment. This, of all Jane Austen's books, is the one I find the most influenced from her life. And it is for that more that the story that I liked the novel. On the pages of the book I found myself more rooting for a scenario where Jane was thrust into society with the man she had wanted to marry but was not of influence enough to be accepted with the tables now turned and her in every position to say yes. I wanted Jane to relive her life as a small part of her did on the pages of her novel.

Of all the characters in the book Ann was the only likable one and while it would have been better for her if Captain Wentworth had saved her from her selfish family 8 years prior, late is better than never. The interactions full of blushes and meaning had me wanting to shake both of them to swallow their pride and take the first step. It's hard once you've been rejected, had your heart broken, to admit to being vulnerable again, but they were obviously both miserable with just the thought of each other and if they missed connecting with their love this time around, they wouldn't have the meddling of other to blame.

Which brings me to the statements about society Austen made. Two kind souls perfect for each other are torn about because circumstance is not favorable. To make the statement that money and position are not good judges of character, Austen surrounds Anne with characters one more deplorable than the next: a father spending his family into bankruptcy, a cold emotionally void sister, a selfish competitive sister who whines until things fall in her favor, silly cousins, a gold digger, a power/money hungry man who cares not who he ruins in his climb. And these are the people who are supposed to be good blood and therefore good people. But we all know riches more often than not buy spoiled self-centered shallow personalities, not better ones. I wanted to despise the characters more than Austen allowed because they are presented through the eyes of a loving relative.

And then we get to the topic of persuasion itself. Modern society cares not for the influence of the elderly nor the advice it imparts, but throughout history and other cultures, the elder reign with too much power. There must be a happy median where one listens to the counsel of those who have lived through it and respects older generations without letting such opinions stand supreme. Nobody makes decisions for one's life better than that person and all well-meaning meddling should be taken and considered, but not let it overpower ones own persuasion. When one makes decisions to please others and not with the best at heart, it is the wrong decision. It's not even just a young/old problem. It's a personality issue too where the shy or insecure let the out-spoken run their lives for them because it's easy to go along than fight sometimes. I say if you get what you want too easily from someone, be careful because it's not given whole-heartedly and your tactics may come back to hurt you in unexpected ways when that person finally breaks. I suppose I related more to Anne than I initially realized.

There are a few parts that dragged just slightly but overall I once again loved Jane Austen's work. Although I enjoyed this one more for the picture it gave me into Austen's mind and soul than for the story itself, the story is good too.more
Flowery, pretentious writing does not a good story make. Austen created stiff, one-dimensional characters, brought them to life (as much as she could) in a boring plot, and had two of them fall in love somewhere, I guess. No one writes romance colder than Austen did.

If you want to read a classic romance with true heat and a plot that's actually interesting, read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre instead. Bronte is far and away a better storyteller than Austen.more
A love story? No, not really. The soul and literary stell-cells of two of the finest characters ever to walk off the printed page and into your mind. Once they've taken up residence in your heart, you'll find yourself helpless not to occasionally catch a glimpse of the world as it would be seen through their eyes -- and a merry, vibrant, and more colourful globe that should be.

Elizabeth Bennet, with her ready wit and sparkling repartee, with add a jingle of unheard music and half-glimpsed rainbows to whatever already harkens in your tired subconscious. Holding hands with her will be Mr. Darcy, his droll cynicism and sarcastic edge providing the perfect backdrop and grounding to her more gracious allowances.

A love story? Yes, perhaps there was such sketched upon the pages. But what you take from this book will be the outlines of these two lovingly etched, ineffably charming, faultlessly proper, and brilliantly bellicose beloveds; a true "book-mark" to keep you from ever again losing your place in the world :-)more
I've been thinking about this one now and then since I read it, First, I thought back to it while reading Nafisi's novel Reading Lolita in Tehran as it is one of the Western books put on trial by the class. Most recently, I considered it while reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own in which she speaks of early female writers.

I had a Major British Writers teacher at university who was easy for me to like immensely. He lived in a world where television was an anathema and where he watched films like Naked and read everything from Coleridge to Irvine Welsh. His one true flaw? He also loved Jane Austen. Over the course of our class, he tried in earnest to get me to realize that Austen was a feminist writer. I disagree wholeheartedly and the only reason why this gets two stars from me is because it was written during a time when it was difficult for women to write especially publicly. I also think that Jane was a fairly keen observer of the high society that was taking place and if I enjoyed frivolous poetry that tends to go nowhere, I'd have a much higher appreciation for the writing of Marcel Proust. Really, it's such a shame Marcel Proust was born a century later and wasn't interested in women anyhow. He and Jane could have made the most boring couple in human history.

One thing I want to be considered here and this is where my main justification lies has to do with women in relation to men. Women have always been seen in terms of this alone. That's why the idea of feminism is still considered rather radical today. The idea of woman as a separate identity existing in a way which she has no consideration for men in terms of how it affects her actions and thoughts is rare. John Berger explores this in (I think) his novel G about the poet Goethe and Woolf explores the idea in A Room of One's Own. In Virginia Woolf, we have some examples of the female entity as separate from the male. None can be found in any Austen I am familiar with. Instead, every function of the female is intended to ensnare a male. While it's true that the female protagonist shows some evidence early in the book of being able to function independently, it all predictably falls apart at the end, doesn't it? And what is the true goal of it all? Well, class rank, fortune, and incredibly shallow views of others. I think Jane Austen is somewhat evil actually because she's perpetuated the subconsciousness of thousands of women that these things (and men) matter more than their own identities. I'd even go so far as to say that they perpetuate the idea that these exact things are what identity is instead of the thought processes, actions, and personal history that may be separate from all of this.


True, Austen was a feminist by being a writer in her time period but I would not describe any of her writing as feminist and would instead label them harmful to humanity in subtle ways of course. If you want to read a better example of early female literature that had more of a feminist tone, I'd suggest Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

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I am still surprised that I didn't encounter this novel during my English degree. When approaching it as a romance novel (without the messiness of actual physical contact), this is not a bad read. It smacks of "will they, won't they" and can be infuriatingly slow for those readers accustomed to a bit more action. Much of the actual story is told second hand, through letters or ladies gossiping. It is also difficult to trust Elizabeth's opinion. She is quick to judge based on what one character says and then changes her mind based on what another character says. She also seems to be unfairly ashamed of much of her own family and their behavior.



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I have a soft spot for Persuasion. I think that it has the more epic and tragic romance, and I’m constantly rooting for Anne and Wentworth to get back together. It’s an interesting study of the class system, since now the heroine is from the upper class and it’s her love interest who’s low-class and struggles with that prejudice. Love this book.more
It was okay. I had hoped to like it more than I did. I enjoyed the story, but will probably never read it again.more
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