A Preview of Persuasion: An Annotated Edition, edited by Robert Morrison

Persuasion: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen, edited by, Robert Morrison (2011)Where are my aromatic vinegars? Harvard University Press really knows how to make this Janeite book lover swoon.

Next November we will be treated to another sumptuous annotated edition of one of Jane Austen’s classic novels. Last year they gave us Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks, and now Persuasion, edited by scholar Robert Morrison will be available to drool over.  Here is the publisher’s info:


Published posthumously with Northanger Abbey in 1817, Persuasion crowns Jane Austen’s remarkable career. It is her most passionate and introspective love story. This richly illustrated and annotated edition brings her last completed novel to life with previously unmatched vitality. In the same format that so rewarded readers of Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition, it offers running commentary on the novel (conveniently placed alongside Austen’s text) to explain difficult words, allusions, and contexts, while bringing together critical observations and scholarship for an enhanced reading experience. The abundance of color illustrations allows the reader to see the characters, locations, clothing, and carriages of the novel, as well as the larger political and historical events that shape its action.

In his Introduction, distinguished scholar Robert Morrison examines the broken engagement between Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, and the ways in which they wander from one another even as their enduring feelings draw them steadily back together. His notes constitute the most sustained critical commentary ever brought to bear on the novel and explicate its central conflicts as well as its relationship to Austen’s other works, and to those of her major contemporaries, including Lord Byron, Walter Scott, and Maria Edgeworth.

Specialists, Janeites, and first-time readers alike will treasure this annotated and beautifully illustrated edition, which does justice to the elegance and depth of Jane Austen’s time-bound and timeless story of loneliness, missed opportunities, and abiding love.


  • Robert Morrison’s new annotated edition of Persuasion is terrific: thorough, scrupulous, and thoughtful. It is a worthy addition to the wonderful Harvard series of annotated volumes, likely to be long read and much enjoyed by Austen enthusiasts. — Patricia Meyer Spacks
  • Readers who know Pride and Prejudice and Emma very well, can on encountering or re-encountering Austen’s final novel find it disconcerting and disorienting. Fortunately, they are now well served by the thorough and thoughtful annotation in Persuasion: An Annotated Edition. — Deidre Lynch, University of Toronto


Robert Morrison is Queen’s National Scholar at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Persuasion: An Annotated Edition, edited by Robert Morrison
Harvard University Press (2011)
Hardcover (360) pages
ISBN: 978-0674049741

Cover image courtesy of Harvard University Press © 2011; text Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose.com

19 thoughts on “A Preview of Persuasion: An Annotated Edition, edited by Robert Morrison

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  1. In the meantime, for those who can’t wait, in 2010 Anchor Books published David M. Shapard’s “The Annotated Persuasion.” I haven’t had time to read it yet, but I enjoyed his annotated edition of “Pride and Prejudice.”


  2. Ah, it looks beautiful! I’m currently reading the Patricia Meyer Spacks’ (edited version) of The Anotated Pride and Prejudice. It’s giving so much depth, the the story.


  3. Laurel Ann, I’ve never read an annotated version of an Austen novel. So glad I came over to your lovely blog just now from your comment at Jane Austen Today on Vic’s and my review of the latest Jane Eyre film. I’ll be eagerly anticipating this edition coming out in November.


  4. My JASNA chapter is having Patricia Meyer Spacks speak tomorrow on her Annotated P & P. I can’t wait. I’ll definitely be hanging in there until November. I’ve read the David Shappard P & P and quite enjoyed it. Yeah for those who’ll do the scholarship so we can further enjoy Jane’s books!


  5. I was SO hoping that there would be MORE annotated versions done in the same format as the P & P version edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks. When I saw that book on the shelf at B & N… I couldn’t tear myself away from it! I absolutely LOVE it!! And now, my 2nd favorite Jane Austen book is being done in the same format!!??! Fabulous!!! Can’t wait until November to get my hands on it…. So EXCITED!!!! :)


  6. I heard Patricia Meyer Spacks today and she is next working on Sense and Sensibility annotated. Harvard has plans to do all 6 books. I got my copy autographed today! She was interesting to listen to. Add to that that one of the organizers had taken a photo of a regency costume and photo-shopped Colin Firth’s head onto it and then made it life size. We were all getting our pictures taken next to it. Ah, a near perfect Sunday!


    1. Oh my Karen. What an eventful gathering of Janeites. Thanks for sharing the great news that Harvard is doing all six novels. Now, if we could convince them to do Lady Susan, Austen’s forget gem, that would be delightful. I am still thrilled with the news. The photo shopped life size image of Colin is amazing, but I want to know how got to go home with him? ;-) I would like him stand in my bedroom corner like a Regency guardian angel.


    2. Annotated editions for all SIX novels!!??!!! YESSSSSSSSS!!!!! That is incredible news!!! Will definitely be watching out for the remainder – Thank You for telling us about it! :)


  7. I know what I’ll be asking my family to give me for Christmas!!! =D Thanks for the lovely preview, Laural Ann.

    Harvard is coming up with annotated versions of all 6 Austen novels? Be still my Janeite heart! I agree, LA, they should also consider doing Lady Susan. =)


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