Pictured is Anne and Wentworth from the film Persuasion

All the differences between Netflix’s Persuasion and the original novel

I think I might cry

Persuasion has every Jane Austen fan in a chokehold over how bad the movie adaptation is. Whether it’s the butchering of the novel’s best quotes or Dakota Johnson’s ghastly attempt at breaking the fourth wall, there is much to think about. Based off Austen’s final novel, the movie follows Anne Elliot who is “living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy”. Like most of Austen’s protagonists, Anne is an unconventional woman and as Netflix describes it, she is a woman with “modern sensibilities”. When Anne’s past love comes back into her life, she has to choose between “putting her past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances.”

When books are adapted into films, it is to be expected that parts will be taken out and replaced to fit for a modern audience. But what are the differences between the Netflix film Persuasion and the book, and how did they get it so wrong?

The HUGE change to one of the most famous Persuasion quotes

One of the worst changes from the Persuasion book to the film is the cringey quotes they chose instead of some of the best quotes from the book. In the book, it says: “There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved. Now they were as strangers; nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted. It was a perpetual estrangement.”

The films changes this and Anne says: “Now, we’re worse than exes. We’re friends.” Give me a moment while I scream.

Anne’s time in school had a significant impact on her in the book

Pictured is Anne from the film Persuasion

After her mother’s passing, Anne attended school in Bath. Anne disliked Bath because of how miserable she was there, but she still remained in touch with her friends she made there who helped her when she was struggling. Anne’s time at school helped her process her mother’s death in the original novel. This is never mentioned at all in the film.

Charles and Mary don’t have the happiest of marriages in the book

Despite having a seemingly loving marriage in the film, this isn’t how it is in the novel. After Anne rejected Charles, her younger sister Mary married him and they seem to get along. In the book, the couple butt heads on raising their children and often complain to Anne about their dislikes about each other.

Lady Russell does not comfort Anne about Wentworth in the book

Anne’s relationship with Wentworth was torn after Lady Russell, her late mother’s closest friend, and her father did not approve of Wentworth. In the movie, it is made out that only Lady Russell disapproved, when there were multiple who didn’t. When Wentworth’s name is brought up in conversation, Lady Russell comforts Anne, but this doesn’t happen in the book.

In the book, Anne does not find out about Wentworth’s success

Wentworth and Anne were not in contact with each other for eight years, and Anne had no way of finding out information about his travels. However, in the movie, Anne is seen sorting through news clippings about Wentworth’s time at sea.

Anne and Wentworth’s reunion was very different

Pictured is Wentworth from the film Persuasion

In the film, Anne and Wentworth reunite as Anne is mocking him and the two talk with one another after having not seen each other for years. In the book, the first time they see each other again they don’t even speak! When they first reunite, they look at each other from across a room.


Persuasion is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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