Persuasion | Study Guide

Jane Austen

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Persuasion Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 4 Oct. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, November 28). Persuasion Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved October 4, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Persuasion Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2023.


Course Hero, "Persuasion Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed October 4, 2023,


Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe explains the main characters in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion.

Persuasion | Characters

Character Description
Anne Elliot At 27 Anne has lost the bloom of youth but is still pretty, "with an elegance of mind and sweetness of character." Read More
Captain Frederick Wentworth Captain Frederick Wentworth, a naval officer, is Anne Elliot's former fiancé. Read More
Sir Walter Elliot Titled landowner and owner of Kellynch Hall, Sir Walter Elliot is a widower and father of Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary. Read More
Elizabeth Elliot Elizabeth Elliot is Sir Walter Elliot's oldest and prettiest daughter; she is Anne Elliot's and Mary Elliot Musgrove's sister. Read More
Lady Russell Independent and strong, Lady Russell is the late Lady Elliot's financially secure friend and Anne Elliot's godmother. Read More
Mary Elliot Musgrove The youngest daughter of Sir Walter Elliot and Lady Elliot, Mary Elliot Musgrove is married to Charles Musgrove and has two young sons. Read More
William Elliot The heir to Kellynch Hall because Sir Walter has no living sons, William Elliot, a widower, has a considerable amount of money and a shady past. Read More
Miss Atkinson Miss Atkinson is a mutual friend of the Wallises and Captain Wentworth, who thinks William Elliot is "agreeable."
Admiral Baldwin Aged decades beyond his years, 40-year-old Admiral Baldwin serves as Sir Walter's example of what a sailor's life can do to someone's physical looks.
Captain Benwick An acquaintance of Captain Wentworth, Captain James Benwick, a naval officer, takes refuge in poetry while he stays with the Harvilles mourning his deceased fiancé. However, he is soon engaged to Louisa Musgrove, causing some surprise to those who thought him partial to Anne Elliot.
Admiral Brand An enemy of Admiral Croft, Admiral Brand stole his "best men."
Admiral Brand's brother While walking with Anne, Admiral Croft points out Admiral Brand's "shabby" brother, whom he dislikes.
Captain Brigden Captain Brigden is Admiral Croft's friend.
Miss Carteret Miss Carteret is Lady Dalrymple's boring and unaccomplished daughter whose title attracts her cousins Sir Walter and Elizabeth Elliot.
Mrs. Clay Wily and conniving, Mrs. Penelope Clay is Mr. Shepherd's widowed daughter, whose unhappy marriage has left her with two children. She has moved back with her father and later accompanies Elizabeth Elliot to Bath, having ingratiated herself by flattery and usefulness.
Admiral Croft A Somersetshire native, Admiral Croft is the rich, amiable husband of Mrs. Croft; he and his wife rent Kellynch Hall from Sir Walter Elliot.
Mrs. Croft Respectable and bright, Mrs. Sophia Croft is Captain Wentworth's sister and Admiral Croft's wife, who has accompanied her husband on numerous sea voyages.
Lady Dalrymple Dowager (widowed) Viscountess Dalrymple is Miss Carteret's boring and unaccomplished mother and Sir Walter Elliot's cousin, who stays at Laura Place while the Elliot family is in Bath. Impressed by her title Sir Walter tries to ingratiate himself and Elizabeth with her, seeking her aristocratic social connections.
Sir Archibald Drew Sir Archibald Drew is old and friendly and mistakes Anne Elliot for Admiral Croft's wife.
Sir Archibald Drew's grandson Sir Archibald Drew's grandson accompanies his grandfather on walks.
The little Durands Mrs. Smith asks if the little Durands, music lovers, attend the benefit concert.
Lady Elliot The deceased wife of Sir Walter Elliot, Lady Elliot is Anne, Mary, and Elizabeth Elliot's mother, known for many of the good qualities, such as rationality and good nature, that Anne has inherited.
Anne Elliot's former governess While Anne Elliot is in Bath, her former governess suggests she visit Mrs. Smith.
Captain Harville The kindhearted and friendly Captain Harville is Captain Wentworth's injured friend, who stays in Lyme for the winter; his late sister was Captain Benwick's fiancé.
Mrs. Harville Mrs. Harville, a warm-hearted and hospitable nurse and mother of three, is Captain Harville's wife, whom Captain Wentworth escorts along with her cousin, sister, and children to her husband at sea.
Fanny Harville The deceased fiancé of Captain Benwick, Fanny Harville was Captain Harville's sister.
The Harville children The little Harvilles stay with the Musgroves at Uppercross while the Captain and Mrs. Harville nurse Louisa Musgrove in Lyme.
The Harvilles' maid The Harvilles' maid helps with meals.
Mrs. Harville's nursery maid A long-time companion, Mrs. Harville's nursery maid helps with Louisa.
The Miss Hayters Charles Hayter's sisters are infatuated with Captain Wentworth.
Mr. Hayter Mr. Hayter owns property in Winthrop, near the Musgroves, though the Hayters are considered the Musgroves' poorer relations.
Mrs. Hayter A mother and Mr. Hayter's wife, Mrs. Hayter is Mrs. Musgrove's sister whom the Musgroves treat well and equally, despite the difference in their social standing.
Charles Hayter The oldest of the Hayter cousins, good-mannered and bookish Charles Hayter is a curate, in love with his cousin Henrietta Musgrove, to whom he eventually becomes engaged.
The Ibbotsons Mrs. Smith asks if the Ibbotsons, a group that includes two pretty women, will attend the concert.
Jemima Jemima is Charles and Mary Elliot Musgrove's trustworthy nursery maid.
The laundress The laundress shares general gossip with Mrs. Smith.
Lady Mary Maclean A woman of "grandeur," Lady Mary Maclean attends all concerts in Bath.
Sir Basil Morley Sir Basil Morley is Sir Walter Elliot's friend.
Mr. Musgrove Warm and sociable, Mr. Musgrove is Mrs. Musgrove's husband, Mary Elliot Musgrove's father-in-law, and the father of Charles, Henrietta, and Louisa Musgrove.
Mrs. Musgrove Mrs. Musgrove is Mr. Musgrove's affectionate and outgoing wife and mother of Charles, Henrietta, and Louisa Musgrove.
Charles Musgrove Father of two young sons, the amiable and easy-going Charles Musgrove is Mary Elliot Musgrove's husband and the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove.
Charles Musgrove Jr. The elder son of Charles and Mary Elliot Musgrove, he injures his collarbone and thus gives Anne an opportunity to care for him and thereby avoid meeting Captain Wentworth.
Henrietta Musgrove Henrietta Musgrove is the sociable and fun-loving daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove and Charles Musgrove's sister; she has some romantic interest in Captain Wentworth but remains true to her earlier love interest, Charles Hayter, to whom she becomes engaged.
Louisa Musgrove The strong-minded yet somewhat shallow daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove, Louisa Musgrove—Henrietta's younger sister—shows interest in Captain Wentworth; then following her concussion she becomes engaged to Captain Benwick.
Richard Musgrove Richard "Dick" Musgrove is Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove's troubled, deceased son. His parents are reminded of him when Captain Wentworth, who was Dick's superior in the navy, arrives at Kellynch Hall.
Walter Musgrove An energetic toddler, Walter Musgrove is the younger son of Charles and Mary Elliot Musgrove, whom Captain Wentworth wrangles from Anne's neck.
Mr. Robinson Mr. Robinson is the apothecary who treats Charles Musgrove Jr.
Nurse Rooke The smart sister of Mrs. Smith's landlady, Nurse Rooke teaches Mrs. Smith how to knit for a living.
Sarah Sarah is the Musgroves' old nursery maid.
Mr. Shepherd Mr. Shepherd, a cautious lawyer, is Sir Walter Elliot's adviser and Mrs. Clay's father.
Dr. Shirley Rigid and fussy, Dr. Shirley is an old rector suffering from health problems and whose parish Charles Hayter hopes to take over.
Mrs. Shirley Mrs. Shirley is Dr. Shirley's wife, who likes Lyme.
Mr. Smith Mr. Charles Smith is Mrs. Smith's deceased husband, who was ruined by William Elliot.
Mrs. Smith Formerly Miss Hamilton and Anne's childhood classmate, resilient Mrs. Smith is a poor, ill widow, who exposes William Elliot's wicked past.
Mrs. Smith's landlady The landlady introduces Nurse Rooke, her sister, to Mrs. Smith.
The Spicers Acquaintances of Charles Hayter, the Spicers are a prominent family who support Charles's career.
Lord St. Ives Lord St. Ives is the son of a curate.
Colonel Wallis A close friend of William Elliot, distinguished and logical Colonel Wallis resides in the Marlborough Buildings and is married to Mrs. Wallis.
Mrs. Wallis An extravagant gossip, Mrs. Wallis is Colonel Wallis's attractive wife, whom Nurse Rooke cares for after childbirth.
Edward Wentworth Edward Wentworth is Captain Wentworth and Mrs. Croft's brother, whom Anne confuses with Frederick when she hears his name and with whom Frederick stays while Louisa Musgrove recovers.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Persuasion? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!