Persuasion synopses and commentary

An unfinished novel?

Jane Austen began writing Persuasion in 1815 and completed it in just under one year. In 1818 it was published jointly with Northanger Abbey in a four volume set with a brief biographical notice written by her brother Henry. Since it was published posthumously, and is her shortest novel, it is reasonable to assume that had she lived, Jane Austen might have made some revisions as she did with her other novels.

Note on chapter numbering

In most editions, Persuasion is divided into two volumes with each volume starting at chapter 1. However, a few modern editions number the chapters straight through from 1 to 24. Since this guide is intended to be applicable to any modern edition of the novel, both systems of numbering are used.

Persuasion: The cancelled chapter

The cancelled chapter of Persuasion refers to an earlier version of Volume 2, Chapter 10 which Jane Austen subsequently rewrote as Chapters 10 and 11. Some editions of Persuasion include this chapter.

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