15 Quotes From Jane Austen's 'Persuasion' That Will Make You Believe In True Love

In my opinion, Persuasion is the most romantic of all Jane Austen's novels. Of course, I can't deny that Pride and Prejudice is incredibly beautiful (and I will read retellings of it all day long), but something about Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth's reunion after years apart should earn Persuasion a special place in the heart of every Austen aficionado (and every romantic). 

The story has so much more to offer than just a love story, however — as the title suggests, this is a book about a woman who learns to make her own decisions after years of living under the influence of others. This is a novel about pain, loss, the past, and memory. It's a beautifully written book with a heroine who notices every touch, every glance, every carefully chosen word of those around her — and the payoff at the end comes when we finally see that Wentworth has noticed these things as well. Maybe I'm a little biased in my love for Persuasion, because I wrote my last essay of my undergraduate education about the story, but I would wholeheartedly recommend this Jane Austen novel to anyone. After all, a book that takes such careful account of the importance of small human interactions naturally has wonderful prose. It's hard to pick out the best quotes from this masterpiece, but here's a collection of my favorites. 

"Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything."

—Anne Elliot, Persuasion

"There is hardly any personal defect...which an agreeable manner might not gradually reconcile one to."

—Anne Elliot, Persuasion

"One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best."

—Admiral Croft, Persuasion

"My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."

—Anne Elliot, Persuasion

"Give him a book, and he will read all day long."

—Charles Musgrove, Persuasion

There was never any burst of feeling, any warmth of indignation or delight, at the evil or good of others. This, to Anne, was a decided imperfection. Her early impressions were incurable. She prized the frank, the open-hearted, the eager character beyond all others. Warmth and enthusiasm did captivate her still. She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.

—Jane Austen, Persuasion

"When pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure."

—Anne Elliot, Persuasion

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.

—Jane Austen, Persuasion

“I have been used to the gratification of believing myself to earn every blessing that I enjoyed. I have valued myself on honorable toils and just rewards. Like other great men under reverses, I must endeavor to subdue my mind to my fortune. I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve.”

—Captain Wentworth, Persuasion

"Facts or opinions which are to pass through the hands of so many, to be misconceived by folly in one, and ignorance in another, can hardly have much truth left."

—Anne Elliot, Persuasion

"I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days."

—Mrs. Croft, Persuasion

"What! Would I be turned back from doing a thing that I had determined to do, and that I knew to be right, by the airs and interference of such a person, or of any person, I may say? No, I have no idea of being so easily persuaded. When I have made up my mind, I have made it." 

—Louisa Musgrove, Persuasion

"A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not."

—Captain Wentworth, Persuasion

"Time will explain."

—Lady Russell, Persuasion

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.
"I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."

—Captain Wentworth, Persuasion

Images: Giphy (6), ITV (1)

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