Date: October 2011
Duration: 8 hours 10 minutes
In Persuasion, Austen’s last novel, she reveals the tale of love and marriage told with irony, insight, and an evaluation of human conduct. The characters, Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot, have met and separated years before. A reunion forces the recognition of the false values that drove them apart.
“Though dominated by the intelligent, sweet voice of Anne Elliot, the least favored but most worthy of three daughters in a family with an old name but declining fortunes…She reads Anne’s haughty father’s lines with a mixture of stuffiness and bluster, and Anne’s sisters are portrayed with a hilariously flighty, breathy register that makes Austen’s contempt for them palpable. Anne’s voice is mostly measured and reasonable—an expression of her strong mind and spirit—but Stevenson imbues her speech with wonderful shades of passion as Anne is reacquainted with Capt. Wentworth, whom she has continued to love despite being forced, years before, to reject him over status issues…a sudden encounter with Wentworth, one hardly needs Austen’s description of how Anne grows faint, [this] perfectly judged and deeply felt reading has already shown that she must have. Even those who have read Austen’s novels will find themselves loving this book all over again.”--Publishers Weekly