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Persuasion

    by Jane Austen (adapted by Pamela Whalan)



Please Note : This play is only available from us to customers in UK and Europe.
If you are outside this area, please go to David Spicer Productions

Drama Play Script: 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen adapted by Pamela Whalen'Persuasion' is Jane Austen’s last completed novel. She began it soon after she had finished 'Emma', completing it in August, 1816. She died, aged 41, in 1817, but 'Persuasion' was not published until 1818.

Anne Elliot is the second of three daughters of vain, snobbish Sir Walter, a spendthrift baronet obliged to let his country house and move to Bath to pay his debts. Eight years before the story begins, Anne was briefly engaged to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but was persuaded to break off the engagement on the grounds of prudence, a decision Anne has regretted ever since. At twenty-seven, she is now faded and thin, and life seems to have passed her by; nobody now seems to expect her to marry.

The new tenants of Kellynch are Admiral Croft and his wife, Wentworth's sister, which brings Anne's bittersweet memories to the fore again. Before joining her father and elder sister in Bath, she spends a few months with her younger, married sister Mary Musgrove in the country, and here she encounters Captain Wentworth again and gradually gets used to being in company with him. He treats her with cold formality, still being angry at her decision, but she is confirmed in her feeling that she will never love another man. He tries to attach himself to Henrietta or Louisa Musgrove, sisters-in-law of Mary, and both seem to hero-worship him, though Henrietta eventually re-establishes an understanding with her cousin, a young clergyman. The small but telling events of these autumnal months in the country bring Anne an exquisite mixture of pleasure and pain.

A two-day visit to the seaside resort of Lyme takes place but is not dramatised. Here the Musgrove party meet naval friends of Captain Wentworth and Anne is charmed by their warmth and camaraderie. The visit is brought to a dramatic end when Louisa sustains a bad fall on the Cobb and is concussed.

Anne moves to Bath, to live with Sir Walter, his daughter Elizabeth, and Mrs Clay (a widowed, somewhat lower-class friend of the family). News reaches Anne that Louisa Musgrove has become engaged to Captain Benwick, a man she met in Lyme and that Henrietta is to marry Charles Hayter. Shortly afterwards, Captain Wentworth arrives in Bath, and though his love for Anne is evidently returning, to her very great joy, he is afflicted by jealousy of Mr Elliot, another acquaintance from Lyme, whose intimacy with the family he now observes.

Anne manages to speak up for herself, though not directly to Captain Wentworth, on the subject of constancy in love, and encouraged, he offers his hand. Anne has been offered a second, well-deserved chance of happiness and fulfilment as the proud and loving wife of a naval officer.


Characters

(4m, 8f)

  Mrs Musgrove
  Miss Louisa Musgrove
  Miss Henrietta Musgrove
  Mrs Mary Musgrove
  Miss Anne Elliot
  Mrs Croft
  Captain Frederick Wentworth
  Admiral Croft
  Sir Walter Elliot
  Mr William Elliot
  Elizabeth Elliot
  Mrs Penelope Clay



Please Note : This play is only available from us to customers in UK and Europe.
If you are outside this area, please go to David Spicer Productions

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