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Persuasion, Jane Austen’s evocation of a lost romance

PERSUASION: THE EVOCATION OF A LOST ROMANCE

Abstract submitted for JASNA AGM 2018

I would like to present to the Kansas AGM my contention, explored in Jane and D’Arcy, that Jane Austen’s Persuasion is an allegory based on her own life experience. It is the sad and lamentable story of a lost love that eventually ends in happiness when the long absent hero returns. Following a series of embarrassing romances and encounters, he eventually reciprocates with a declaration that he has always loved her, giving the story a fairy-tale, happy-ever-after ending.

There is another ending to Jane Austen’s story that was too painful for her to explore. It is her own real-life story in which the hero, forced from her life by the Austen family, never returned. At the very early age of fourteen, Jane fell in love with D’Arcy Wentworth, with whom she had an exciting and eventful love affair. The Austen family, to protect their good name, enforced their separation. Jane was persuaded to abandon her lover and their affair was never to be mentioned again. Continue reading Persuasion, Jane Austen’s evocation of a lost romance