Chapter 12. Persuasion: The Gradual Dawning

  1. Claudia L. Johnson Chair and
  2. Clara Tuite Senior Lecturer
  1. Fiona Stafford Reader Fellow

Published Online: 6 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305968.ch12

A Companion to Jane Austen

A Companion to Jane Austen

How to Cite

Stafford, F. (2009) Persuasion: The Gradual Dawning, in A Companion to Jane Austen (eds C. L. Johnson and C. Tuite), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305968.ch12

Editor Information

  1. University of Melbourne, Australia

Author Information

  1. University of Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 2 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405149099

Online ISBN: 9781444305968



  • Persuasion - the gradual dawning;
  • Austen's last novel, indeed “short.” - While Emma had three fat volumes, Persuasion, only running to two;
  • Reginald Farrer, admirer of Austen, observed the novel's heroine - “Gradually, her greatness dawns”;
  • Persuasion itself - a short book allowing for a gradual dawn is one of its many paradoxes;
  • “Getting away from oneself” - paradoxically, the means to self-discovery;
  • Persuasion is preoccupied with contrasts - narrative premised on the gap between then and now, and driven by a desire for reconciliation


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Further Reading