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"All the privilege I claim for my own sex ... is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone." In persuasion, her last novel, Austen explores the theme of postponed but enduring love, delayed by class boundaries and excessive pride. Anne Elliot, the story's aged (27 year old) heroine, suffers from a decision that was forced upon her several years ago-to break off a relationship with Capn. Frederick Wentworth, the man she deeply loved. As Austen examines the causes and consequences of this action, she sketches for us the social complexities of being part of the upper-middle-class in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century. (Summary by Moira Fogarty)