Persuasion: Adapted


Persuasion was the last complete novel written by Jane Austen and was published, along with Northanger Abbey, on 20 December 1817, six months after her death.

The novel differed from the earlier ones in that the main character, Anne Elliot, was older than Austin’s previous heroines which reflected the author’s growing maturity as an author.

Anne Elliot, a young Englishwoman, falls in love with a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but is persuaded he is not worth marrying due to his lack of social rank. Seven years later, Anne meets Frederick again at the home of his sister and realises she never stopped loving him.

Frederick, now a distinguished man, is ready to settle down and is looking for a suitable wife but he still harbours bitterness towards Anne for her previous rejection. After the usual misunderstandings, Wentworth and Anne both realise they can only be happy with each other and they eventually marry.



The first televised version of the novel was made by the BBC and was a four-part mini-series starring Daphne Slater as Anne Elliot and Paul Daneman as Captain Frederick Wentworth.

The series began on 30 December 1960 and was shown weekly in 30 minute episodes. Unfortunately the series appears to have been lost.


In 1971, Granada Television produced a five-part series for ITV directed by Howard Baker and starring Ann Firbank as Anne and Bryan Marshall as Wentworth. 

The series was first aired on 18 April 1971 to a mixed reception as the leading lady was actually 38 years old when her character was a decade younger. The costumes leave a lot to be desired, as do the hairstyles, but it is awarded bonus points for being filmed in Bath.


It would be more than fifteen years before Persuasion would reappear on our screens and it was once again adapted by the BBC with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds in the starring roles. Since the BBC was partnered by WGBH Boston and a French company, Millesime, the budget was high enough for filming in the real places mentioned in the novel. 

Persuasion originally aired on 16 April 1995 on BBC Two but was given a theatrical released in the US on 27 September 1995. The film was well received by critics and Root was singled out for her strong performance.

The film won several awards, including a BAFTA for Best Costume Design, Best Design, Best Original Television Music, Best Photography and Lighting and Best Single Drama.


A decade later, it was ITV’s turn to adapt a new version of the novel starring Sally Hawkins as Anne and Rupert Penry-Jones as Wentworth. The film was adapted by Simon Burke and directed by Adrian Shergold.

Persuasion was one of three novels adapted that year for the channel’s Jane Austen season, alongside Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey, which were deliberate choices to highlight some of Austin’s lesser known works.

The film was aired on ITV on 1 April 2007 and was well received by critics and Austen fans, and is generally considered the best of the three films.


Following on from its success with the Bridgerton novels, Netflix decided to turn its attention to Jane Austen and commissioned a new version of Persuasion with Dakota Johnson in the title role.

Directed by Carrie Cracknell from a screenplay by Ron Bass and Alice Victoria Winslow, the film was released on Netflix on 15 July 2022. It was largely panned by critics for dumbing down the novel in an effort to make it bright and breezy like Bridgerton.

The choice to have the main character offering asides to the viewer and glancing directly at the camera at certain points is frankly annoying. The dialogue is also far too modern and some characters are unrecognisable from their book counterparts.