Persuasion

by

Jane Austen

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Anne Elliot

The protagonist of the novel, Anne Elliot is the sensible, gentle, and capable middle daughter of the aristocratic Elliot family at Kellynch Hall. Unlike her vain and spendthrift father, she possesses a calm mind and… read analysis of Anne Elliot

Captain Frederick Wentworth

The love interest of Anne Elliot, Captain Wentworth is a passionate, confident, and good-hearted naval officer who makes his own fortune and rank through the Navy. Though he is initially indignant and angry with… read analysis of Captain Frederick Wentworth

Mr. William Elliot

The cousin of Anne Elliot and Sir Walter’s heir, Mr. Elliot is a duplicitous and charming gentleman. After making his fortune from his first marriage, he seeks the baronetcy that he previously scorned by… read analysis of Mr. William Elliot

Lady Russell

Anne’s friend and mentor, Lady Russell served as a maternal figure after her best friend Lady Elliot, Anne’s real mother, passed away. Lady Russell is a good-hearted and sensible woman, though she possesses her… read analysis of Lady Russell

Elizabeth Elliot

The eldest Elliot daughter, Elizabeth resembles her father in good looks and vanity. She is the baronet’s favorite child, and she possesses a similar sense of self-importance and indifference to Anne. Despite her beauty… read analysis of Elizabeth Elliot
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Mary Elliot Musgrove

Mary is the youngest Elliot daughter and married to Charles Musgrove with two children. While she is not as vain and unjust to Anne’s merits as Elizabeth, she does possess a strong dose… read analysis of Mary Elliot Musgrove

Charles Musgrove

The husband of Mary, Charles is the eldest son of the respectable Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove, whose landed property and general importance are second only to Sir Walter’s in the region. Although… read analysis of Charles Musgrove

Louisa Musgrove

Louisa is Charles’s younger sister and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove. Just returned from boarding school, she is generally accomplished and carefree. She is exuberant and headstrong, but also very impressionable… read analysis of Louisa Musgrove

Mr. & Mrs. Musgrove

The parents of Charles, Henrietta, and Louisa, Mr. and Mrs. Musgroves are a happy and homey couple. A landed family second in their parish only to the Elliots, they live in the… read analysis of Mr. & Mrs. Musgrove

Captain Benwick

The friend of Captain Wentworth from the navy, Captain Benwick is scholarly and reserved. He was engaged to Captain Harville’s sister, Fanny, who passed away while he was at sea. Despite his melancholy manner, he… read analysis of Captain Benwick

Admiral and Mrs. Croft

Admiral and Mrs. Croft are a warm and well-matched couple, who move into Kellynch Hall after Sir Walter and Elizabeth depart for Bath due to debts. Mrs. Croft accompanies the Admiral on all of his… read analysis of Admiral and Mrs. Croft

Mrs. Clay

Mr. Shepherd’s daughter and Elizabeth’s good friend. She is a widow of low birth and rather unattractive. However, she knows how to flatter those of higher rank and wheedles her way into Elizabethread analysis of Mrs. Clay

Lady Elliot

Sir Walter’s wife and Anne’s mother, Lady Elliot is already deceased at the start of the novel. She was a gentle, kind, and capable woman who anxiously cared for her children and softened… read analysis of Lady Elliot
Minor Characters
Sir Walter Elliot
The baronet of Kellynch Hall, Sir Walter is the father of Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary Elliot. He is superficial and vain, spending more money than he can afford to sustain the aristocratic lifestyle he feels entitled to and judging others on their looks and lineage.
Henrietta Musgrove
Henrietta is Charles’s younger sister and the elder of the Musgrove daughters. Like her sister, she is young and cheerful. She vacillates between her cousin Charles Hayter and the charms of the newly arrived Captain Wentworth.
Charles Hayter
The cousin and suitor of Henrietta Musgrove, Charles Hayter belongs to a lower social standing than the Musgroves because his mother—Mrs. Musgrove’s sister—married less well. More scholarly than the rest of his family, he is pursuing a profession in the church.
Mr. Shepherd
Mr. Shepherd is the Sir Walter’s family advisor and lawyer. He gives financial counsel to the Elliots when it becomes clear that they are deep in debt.
Mrs. Smith
Formerly Miss Hawkins, Mrs. Smith is Anne’s girlhood friend from school. Impoverished, crippled, and widowed, Mrs. Smith nonetheless sustains an optimistic and good-natured spirit in the midst of her trials. She also provides a critical revelation of Mr. Elliot’s dark past and duplicitous character.
Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret
Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret are the Elliot family’s Irish cousins of noble lineage. They are uninteresting and unremarkable individuals, but Sir Walter and Elizabeth desire them as connections because of their aristocratic associations.
Captain and Mrs. Harville
Naval friends of Captain Wentworth, Captain and Mrs. Harville are a warm and hospitable couple, who welcome the Musgroves to Lyme during their visit and nurse Louisa after her accident.