Dedicated Jane Austen fans often cite Persuasion as their favorite Austen novel after Pride and Prejudice. With its thousands of annotations, The Annotated Persuasion is a real find for all those who are drawn back time and again to this gem of a novel–as well as incredibly helpful to students or anyone reading Austen for the first time.
David M. Shapard's delightfully entertaining edition juxtaposes the complete text of the novel with more than 2,000 annotations on facing pages, along with maps, illustrations, and an introduction. Here you will find explanations of historical context, such as the rules of etiquette that govern characters' behavior; definitions of archaic words; citations from Austen's life and letters; thought-provoking literary analyses; and all kinds of illuminating details, from the use of "bathing machines" at seaside resorts to how Colonel Wentworth could have made a fortune from the Napoleonic Wars.
For anyone who loves Austen, the experience of reading The Annotated Persuasion is like having an incredibly knowledgeable person reading over your shoulder and discussing the book with you, page by page, paragraph by paragraph. It's perfect for students, for reading groups, and of course for Janeites everywhere.
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Jane Austen (1775–1817) was born in Hampshire, England, where she spent most of her life. Though she received little recognition in her lifetime, she came to be regarded as one of the great masters of the English novel.
David Shapard is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice and The Annotated Persuasion. He graduated with a Ph.D. in European History from the University of California at Berkeley; his specialty was the eighteenth century. Since then he has taught at several colleges. He lives in upstate New York.