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Persuasion

Jane Austen

Chapters 15–16

Chapters 13–14

Chapters 15–16, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Chapter 15

Now in Bath, Anne finds her father and sister happily situated at a house in Camden Place. Although she is very depressed to be there, she finds the welcome from her family unusually warm. They are excited to show her all the new furniture and rooms of the house, but they have no inclination to listen to Anne's stories. Sir Walter and Elizabeth are quite pleased with the pleasures and accommodations that Bath affords them, and Anne is saddened that her family should be so degraded and not even feel it.

They tell Anne how happy they are to have renewed their acquaintance with Mr. Elliot. He has often been visiting them at Camden Place. They have forgiven him for the estrangement and for his choice in marrying his first wife, who was rich, but not well-born. Mr. Elliot is now in mourning, his wife having died only six months ago. Anne cannot help but be skeptical as to the reasons for her cousin so suddenly paying respects to his family after so long a separation. She guesses that he might be interested in marrying Elizabeth.

The conversation with Sir Walter and Elizabeth turns to the topic of appearance. Sir Walter announces his belief that Bath is filled with plain-looking women. He inquires after Mary's appearance.

Mr. Elliot arrives to visit them and finds Anne very attractive. He recognizes her from their brief meeting in Lyme and is very pleased to find that she is actually his cousin. He sits down with them, seems very interested in Anne, and tries repeatedly to talk to her. Anne thinks that he is polished, well-mannered, and sensible. After an hour, he rises to leave. Anne thinks her first evening in Bath has gone much better than she could have hoped.

Chapter 16

The next morning, Mrs. Clay offers to leave Bath, now that Anne has come, but Sir Walter and Elizabeth will not hear of it. This reignites worries in Anne that her father may become romantically attached to Mrs. Clay. She notices that her sister, Elizabeth, does not worry at all about this possibility. Lady Russell, with all her propriety, is vexed that Mrs. Clay should receive any precedence over Anne at Camden Place.

Lady Russell is quite charmed by Mr. Elliot, and thinks him all that he should be: sensible, moderate, pleasant, and correct in her opinions. She has no suspicions as to his motives for reuniting with his family. Anne recognizes that she may at times disagree with Lady Russell; it is her belief that Mr. Elliot is paying them attention because he means to court Elizabeth.

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