When she was young and beautiful Anne Elliot fell in love with a dashing, but poor naval officer. Her family considered him beneath her and persuaded her to break off the match. Eight years later, when the novel begins, Anne is well past the bloom of her youth. Until Wentworth, now a celebrated captain, returns to the area to court her young neighour. Anne begins to slowly bloom a second time, though she hardly dares hope that he will return to her.
The last of Austen's novels, Persuasion is also considered her most thoughtful, philosophical work.