Persuasion

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Jane Austen’s last complete novel, which was published just before Christmas in 1817, five months after her death. It is the story of Anne Elliot, now 27 and (so we are told), losing her bloom, and of her feelings for Captain Wentworth who she was engaged to, 8 years before – an engagement she broke off under pressure from her father and godmother. When Wentworth, by chance, comes back into Anne Elliot's life, he is still angry with her and neither she nor Austen's readers can know whether it is now too late for their thwarted love to have a second chance.

The image above is from a 1995 BBC adaptation of the novel, with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds

With

Karen O’Brien
Vice-Chancellor of Durham University

Fiona Stafford
Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford

And

Paddy Bullard
Associate Professor of English Literature and Book History at the University of Reading

Producer: Simon Tillotson