Sophie Croft

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Sophie Croft is a fictional character, appearing in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion.[1]


Persuasion is a love story, in which wealthy young Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, a dashing young officer in the Royal Navy fall in love, plan to marry, but Anne is encouraged by her family, and god-mother, to change her mind, because Wentworth just isn't wealthy enough. 19 year old Anne is encouraged to think she will find a wealthier husband. Eight years later Anne remains unmarried. Her father's spending has forced him to rent out the family's large country estate.

The renters, Admiral and Sophie Croft, turn out to be Wentworth's Naval mentor and his older sister. Anne is troubled when she meets Wentworth when he comes to stay with them. He has been promoted, and is now a Captain, and he is now also wealthy, because his ship captured valuable prizes.

Young Anne's lack of courage is contrasted with Sophie's courage, as not only did she marry a Naval officer, but she took the rare but legal step of living on board the ships he commanded, during wartime.

Sheila Johnson Kindred, who wrote a biography of one of the sisters-in-law of novelist Jane Austen, suggested that Fanny Palmer Austen's life aboard this ships commanded by her husband, Charles Austen, Jane's youngest brother, was a model for Jane Austen's description of Sophie Croft.[1]

In the 21st century a large number of novels inspired by Jane Austen's novels, and re-using or re-inventing characters Austen invented were published. While most of those new novels are based on the characters from Austen's most popular novel, Pride & Prejudice, some are based on Persuasion. And some of the Persuasion spin-offs are largely focussed on Sophie Croft.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sheila Johnson Kindred (2017). "Jane Austen's Transatlantic Sister: The Life and Letters of Fanny Palmer Austen". McGill University Press. Retrieved 2023-05-25. "'A VERY PLEASING LITTLE WOMAN, she is gentle and amiable in her manners, and appears to make [Charles] very happy' (Fig. 1). Such were the words of Cassandra Austen when she and her sister Jane first met Fanny Palmer, their brother Charles’s Bermuda-born wife."