David Shapard, who was responsible for the wonderful Annotated Pride and Prejudice in 2007, has now turned his thoughtful scholarly talents to Persuasion, Jane Austen last complete novel. Lesser known, probably lesser-read than Pride and Prejudice, and generally considered to be less polished due to Austen's illness and death during its composition, it is nevertheless the favorite Austen novel of many an English professor and Austenite.
Persuasion is not as brilliant, sparkling, and perfect as Pride and Prejudice, but it is more subtle. It is the most interior (by which I mean, so much of the action occurs in the thoughts and emotions of the main characters) of Austen's novels, and has most intensely emotional climax of any of her works. Yet the same heroine, Anne Elliot, who has "the power of loving, when all hope is gone" is also one of Austen's most self-controlled heroines.
While Pride and Prejudice will always remain my personal favorite (I am biased; II fall for Lizzy's wit and spirit every time), Persuasion offers a different display of Austen's skills as a mature novelist, and my re-reading of it was greatly enriched by Shapard's annotations. Highly recommended!