All the privilege I claim for my own sex...is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone.'. Anne Elliot's heartfelt words strike the keynote of Jane Austen's last completed novel. It features a heroine older and wiser than her predecessors in earlier books, and its tone is more intimate and sober as Jane Austen unfolds a simple love-story. She described her heroine in a letter as 'almost too good for me': Anne Elliot's goodness is not of the cloying kind, but an unsentimental quality that, combined with stoicism and integrity, enables her to find happiness in love after seven years when it seemed she had for ever put an end to such a prospect.
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