Jane Austen's Persuasion In Plain and Simple English (Digital Download)
A Timeless Love Reimagined: Navigate Jane Austen with Ease!

Venture into the elegant world of Jane Austen, a realm of wit, romance, and societal intricacies. But wait—feeling daunted by Austen's intricate prose? Fear not, for we've sculpted a contemporary rendition that stays true to the essence of Austen's genius while making it breezy for today's reader.

Meet Anne Elliot, a 27-year-old Englishwoman grappling with the societal norms and personal choices. The Elliot family, facing financial constraints, relocate, paving the way for some unexpected reunions. Enter Captain Frederick Wentworth—the dashing naval officer once betrothed to Anne. But their love was thwarted by familial interventions, leading to a painful separation. Now, after nearly eight tumultuous years, their paths cross again. Will the past mistakes hover or will love find its way back? Dive into a narrative sprinkled with humor, emotions, and second chances.

What's unique about this edition? Every line of Austen's masterpiece is revisited, ensuring you savor every subplot and every character arc. It's an uncompromised journey through Austen's vision. For those who cherish the classics, fret not—the pristine original text accompanies its modern counterpart, allowing readers to juxtapose, appreciate, and immerse in both versions. Whether you're an Austen aficionado or a newbie, this tailored edition ensures you resonate with every beat of Anne and Captain Wentworth's heart.



Buy Persuasion In Modern English Now!



Do you need to understand Persuasion and want something more interactive? Try our free app, SwipeSpeare!

Excerpt From Persuasion In Modern English

Chapter 1

Sir Walter Elliot, who lived in Kellynch Hall, in Somerset, was a man who never looked at any book for pleasure except the one which contained the list of barons. That kept him amused when he was bored, and cheered him up when he was upset. Looking at the oldest titles created pleased him, and any annoyance he was feeling from trouble at home faded away as he looked sneeringly at the titles which had been most recently established. Even if every other page could not cheer him up, he never tired of reading about his own family. The book always fell open at this page:



“Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married, July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of Gloucester, by which lady (who died 1800) he has issue Elizabeth, born June 1, 1785; Anne, born August 9, 1787; a still-born son, November 5, 1789; Mary, born November 20, 1791.”


This was how the page had originally been printed, but Sir Walter had added to it, so his family and himself would remember, after the words about Mary: “Married, December 16, 1810, Charles, son and heir of Charles Musgrove, Esq, of Upper Cross in the county of Somerset,” and by adding the exact date on which his wife died.


Below that in the book was the history of the ancient and respectable family, which was nothing unusual; it told how they had first lived in Cheshire, and then how in a place called Dugdale a member of the family had been high Sheriff and a member of Parliament three times in a row. The same person had been made a baronet for his loyalty to Charles II. There were also lists of all the ladies whom the men of the family had married, many Marys and Elizabeths. All these details filled two nicely printed pages of about A5 size, and finished up with the family coat of arms and motto, and the words “Main home, Kellynch Hall in Somerset.” After this Sir Walter had written, “The title will be inherited by William Walter Elliot Esq, the great-grandson of the 2nd Baron, Sir Walter.” Sir Walter Elliot was completely vain, both about himself and his place in society. When he was young he had been very handsome, and at fifty-four years old he was still very good-looking. He was as careful about his looks as most women, and he was delighted to hold the position of a baron. Being a baron was the only thing he thought more important than being handsome; and as he was both a baron and handsome, he was very well respected and liked.


He had a very good reason to be pleased with his looks and his status, because they must have been the reason he had got himself a wife who was a very much better person than him. Lady Elliot was an excellent woman, sensible and friendly; the only silly thing she ever did was to marry Sir Walter. She had tolerated his failings, made some of them better and hidden others, and let everybody see his best side, for seventeen years. Although she wasn't totally happy, she enjoyed her duties as a wife, her friends and her children enough to make her fond of being alive, and she certainly wouldn't have wanted to die. Three girls, the oldest two sixteen and fourteen, were a great burden to leave to be looked after by a vain and silly father. However, she had one very close friend, a good and sensible woman, who had come to live in the nearby village of Kellynch so she could be near her; Lady Elliot was relying on her to keep up the good upbringing she had been giving her daughters.


This friend and Sir Walter did not get married, even though many people who knew them expected them to. Lady Elliot had died thirteen years before, and they were still close neighbors and great friends, but Sir Walter remained a widower and the friend remained a widow. Lady Russell (the friend) had plenty of money and was a very sensible woman, and no excuses have to be made for the fact that she did not marry again. People tend to be more critical about women who marry for a second time than those who don't. However, the fact that Sir Walter remained single needs to be explained. So you should know that Sir Walter, like a good father, claimed that he remained single because of his love for his daughters (he had been turned down a couple of times trying to marry women of a much higher class than him). For his oldest daughter he honestly would have given up anything, though he wasn't that keen on remarrying anyway. At sixteen years of age Elizabeth had inherited all her mother’s good qualities; and being very good-looking and similar to Sir Walter in character, she had always had a great influence on him, and they got on together extremely well. His other two children he didn't think were as good. Mary had got herself a little status by marrying Mr. Charles Musgrove, but Anne, who had a fine mind and a sweet personality, which would have made her liked by anyone with any sense, meant nothing to her father or her sister. They ignored anything she said, and she always let them have their own way.


Lady Russell loved her very much as her goddaughter, her favorite person and a friend. She loved the whole family, but Anne was the only one in whom she could see her mother.


A few years before, Anne Elliot had been very pretty, but her youthful beauty had quickly disappeared. Even when she had it, her father didn't think much of her looks (she had a delicate face and calm dark eyes which were very different to his), and now they had faded and she had grown thin he thought even less of them. He had never had much hope that she would end up marrying a Baron, and now he had no hope at all. All his hopes for glory for the family rested with Elizabeth, because Mary had married into a respectable and rich family, which had been made greater by her but done nothing for the Elliot family; he hoped that someday Elizabeth would marry someone suitably high-class for them.


Sometimes a woman can be better looking at the age of twenty-nine when she was 10 years before. If she hasn't been ill or had a hard time, she usually doesn't lose any of her looks. This was what happened with Elizabeth, who was still the same good-looking Miss Elliot of thirteen years before. So Sir Walter could be forgiven for forgetting what age she was; or at least, we could think him only half stupid for thinking that he and Elizabeth were as good looking as ever while everybody else became uglier. He could clearly see how the rest of his family and friends were growing old. He had long been upset by the way Anne was becoming scrawny, Mary heavy, and how all his neighbors were looking worse. This included Lady Russell's crow's feet.


Elizabeth wasn't quite as happy as her father. She had been the lady of the house for thirteen years, running the establishment in a way which certainly didn't make her feel young. In all this time she had looked after the house and given orders to the servants. She had gone out visiting with Lady Russell to all the best homes around and about. For thirteen years she had attended every respectable dance in the neighborhood (though there weren't many). Every spring in that time she had travelled to London with her father to enjoy the wider world. She could remember all these things, and knowing that she was now twenty–nine gave her some regrets, as well as some worries. She was sure she was as good looking as ever, but she could sense that she was running out of time. She would have been very happy for someone of the rank of baronet to pay attention to her in the next year or so. If that happened she might be able to look at the list of barons as happily as she did when she was younger, but for the moment she did not enjoy it. She didn't like seeing the date of her own birth and then seeing that there were no marriages in the book apart from that of her youngest sister. More than once, when her father had left the book open on the table near her, she had closed it, turned her head away and pushed it from her.


She had also suffered a disappointment which would never be written in that book, and especially not in the story of her own family. The heir to the title, William Walter Elliot, whose right to it was thoroughly approved of by her father, had let her down.


Even when she was very young she knew that if she did not have a brother then he would be the next baronet. Knowing this she always intended to marry him, and her father had the same plan. They did not know him when he was a boy; but soon after Lady Elliot died, Sir Walter had attempted to get to know him. His approaches did not seem very welcome, but he persevered, thinking that William just had the shyness of youth. On one of her visits to London, when she was still a very youthful beauty, Mr. Elliot was forced to meet them.


At that time he was a very young man, who had just started studying to be a lawyer. Elizabeth thought he was most acceptable, and decided her plan to marry him should go ahead. He was invited to Kellynch Hall; they talked about his expected visit for the rest of the year, but he never came. The next spring they met him again in town. He was just as acceptable, and he was invited once again to visit, and once again he did not come. The next news they had of him was that he had married. Instead of following the path which the Elliots expected, he had become independent by marrying a rich woman of a lower rank than himself.


Sir Walter resented this. As the head of the family, he thought he should have been consulted, especially as he had made such a public show of looking after the young man. He pointed out that the couple must have been seen in public, “once at Tattersall's, and twice in the House of Commons.” He expressed his disapproval, but very little attention was paid to him. Mr. Elliot did not make any apology; as he did not seem to wish to be acquainted with the family, Sir Walter decided he did not deserve to be, and they completely lost touch.


Elizabeth was still, several years later, angry about the whole business; she had liked the man personally and more so because he would inherit her father's title. Her father's pride in the family made him assume that he would want to marry his eldest daughter. There was no baronet in the whole peerage whom she would have been happier to marry. But he had behaved so badly that although at the moment (the summer of 1814) she was wearing black ribbons in mourning for his wife, she would not consider him as a potential husband again. She could possibly have forgiven him for his disgraceful first marriage, as there were no children. However, he had done worse than before; friends of the family had informed them that he had spoken very disrespectfully of the whole family, their ancestry and the honors which he would be receiving. This was unforgivable.


This was how Elizabeth Elliot was feeling; these feelings lent interest to her rather dull life. They made living in a rather dull environment in the country feel rather more lively. There were no other things to think about to fill the gap, so this did very nicely.


But now there was something else for her to worry about. Her father was running short of money. She knew that now, when he picked up the book of barons, it was to help him forget the heavy bills he was facing, and the warnings of his agent, Mr. Shepherd. The Kellynch property was a rich one, but it didn't provide enough to give Sir Walter what he thought was a decent income. Whilst Lady Elliot had been alive, the place had been run sensibly and economically, and he had lived within his means. But once she died this commonsense disappeared, and since then he had been continually spending more than he had. He thought he could not spend any less. All he had done was what he thought a man in his position should do; but even though he was not to blame, he had such huge debts (of which he was constantly reminded) that it became impossible to keep them hidden from his daughter. He had hinted to her on their last spring visit to town that things were not well. He had even said to her, “Is there not one single way in which we can economies?” To be fair to Elizabeth, she had taken this seriously and considered what they could do. She had finally come up with two economies: firstly they could stop some of their charitable giving, and secondly they could not carry out their plans to redecorate the drawing room. Afterwards she also thought that they would not take a present home to Anne, as they usually did. But however good these ideas were, they were not enough, considering how much debt there was. Soon after this Sir Walter had to admit just how bad things were. Elizabeth didn't have any better plans. She felt she had been unlucky and badly treated, and so did her father. Neither of them could think of any way of economizing which would not lower their dignity or mean giving up luxuries which they could not consider.


Sir Walter was only permitted to sell a small part of the estate. However, if he had been allowed to sell the lot, it still would have made no difference. He had agreed to take out a mortgage for as much as he could, but he would never agree to sell. He would never accept such a disgrace. He was determined to pass on the Kellynch estate in one piece, in the same condition as he had been given it.


They called on their two closest friends, Mr. Shepherd, who lived in the nearby market town, and Lady Russell, for advice. Both the father and the daughter thought that one or the other of them would have some idea of a way to reduce their debts and their expenditure without any humiliation or losing any luxuries.
Translation missing: en.general.search.loading