Press Release: Persuasion
Introduced by Siri Hustvedt
Illustrated by Deanna Staffo
‘It is, in a sense in which the other novels are not, a love story’
c. s. lewis
With the opening of Persuasion, we appear to be in known Austen territory: the empty-headed Sir Walter, whose only reading is the Baronetage (mainly the page about himself ), promises familiar delights. Yet the atmosphere of this book is as different from the earlier works as autumn is to spring. Anne Elliot is haunted by her past mistake in turning down her first love Frederick Wentworth, due to pressure from her family – misplaced persuasion. But a financial calamity will put her, unexpectedly, in the way of a second chance. Jane Austen’s last finished novel, Persuasion shows her at her most moving, powerful and mature.
Siri Hustvedt, prize-winning author and scholar, is the latest distinguished introducer for the Folio Jane Austen series. Her fascinating introduction examines the notion of ‘persuasion’ as part of the 18th-century New Rhetoric philosophy that would have been familiar to Austen’s readers. She also charts the social changes revealed by the story, particularly in the conflict between the long-established but moribund Elliot family and Captain Wentworth, who has made his fortune in the Napoleonic wars. ‘Old money has given way to new money, aristocracy to meritocracy.’ Hustvedt writes that, despite its sadness, ‘Jane Austen’s last finished novel has become the book of hers I love best.’
Deanna Staffo’s illustrations are perfectly suited to the book’s tone, particularly that which shows Captain Wentworth dropping his pen while writing his letter to Anne – one of the most significant, highly charged scenes in literature, and one of the most beautiful of love letters. The slipcase reproduces one of the novel’s most famous lines.
Bound in metallic cloth. Set in Baskerville. 248 pages. 8 full-page colour illustrations.
Metallic blocked slipcase. 9½˝ x 6¼˝.
UK £34.95 US $59.95 Can $69.95 Aus $69.95
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US & Canada
Cathleen P. Williamson (617) 435-5505, CathleenPW@gmail.com