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An Annotated Edition

Jane Austen

Edited by Robert Morrison

ISBN 9780674049741

Publication date: 11/07/2011

Published posthumously with Northanger Abbey in 1817, Persuasion crowns Jane Austen’s remarkable career. It is her most passionate and introspective love story. This richly illustrated and annotated edition brings her last completed novel to life with previously unmatched vitality. In the same format that so rewarded readers of Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition, it offers running commentary on the novel (conveniently placed alongside Austen’s text) to explain difficult words, allusions, and contexts, while bringing together critical observations and scholarship for an enhanced reading experience. The abundance of color illustrations allows the reader to see the characters, locations, clothing, and carriages of the novel, as well as the larger political and historical events that shape its action.

In his Introduction, distinguished scholar Robert Morrison examines the broken engagement between Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, and the ways in which they wander from one another even as their enduring feelings draw them steadily back together. His notes constitute the most sustained critical commentary ever brought to bear on the novel and explicate its central conflicts as well as its relationship to Austen’s other works, and to those of her major contemporaries, including Lord Byron, Walter Scott, and Maria Edgeworth.

Specialists, Janeites, and first-time readers alike will treasure this annotated and beautifully illustrated edition, which does justice to the elegance and depth of Jane Austen’s time-bound and timeless story of loneliness, missed opportunities, and abiding love.


  • A fine example of the revitalized investment in beautiful books that keeps company with [the] latest phase of digital reproduction. Lavishly respectful of the best material values of the book (elegant cloth binding, gold-stamped spine, silky endpapers, thick and creamy paper, superb illustrations), it also celebrates Austen’s bookish credentials. Its size (25 × 24 cm) makes it monumental rather than portable: a book for exhibition and browsing rather than for continuous reading on the train or in bed. Page layout is double-columned, with the novel text occupying the inner column, and commentary, annotation and graphic illustration tucked around it, cosseting and adorning it, in a gesture akin to the medieval art of illumination. This does not represent the contest for the space of the page that we find in some dry scholarly editions of the twentieth century, where footnotes and layers of synoptic apparatus induce anxiety in the reader, but something closer to loving embellishment and homage… This volume’s purpose of pleasure is evident in the freewheeling style of Robert Morrison’s annotations.

    —Kathryn Sutherland, Times Literary Supplement


  • Robert Morrison is Queen’s National Scholar at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Book Details

  • 360 pages
  • 9 x 9-1/2 inches
  • Belknap Press

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