The Dashwoods are surprised by the many invitations they receive in Devonshire, including several private balls at Barton Park. Marianne spends almost all of her time with Sir John Willoughby, who seems to have eyes for her alone. Elinor, however, is concerned by how open her sister is in her affections. She, unlike her sister, has no one whose company she truly enjoys, with the exception of Colonel Brandon. He, disappointed by Marianne's ardor for Willoughby, asks Elinor if her sister believes in "second attachments." Elinor must confess that Marianne's romantic sensibility seems bent on the ideal of love at first sight.
One morning, while Elinor and Marianne are out walking, the younger sister reveals that Willoughby offered her a horse, as a gift. The offer thrills Marianne, but Elinor gently reminds her sister how inconvenient and expensive the horse would be to maintain. She also tells Marianne that she doubts the propriety of receiving such a generous gift from a man she has known so briefly. Marianne insists that it does not necessarily take a long time for people to get to know each other well, though she ultimately concedes that owning a horse would be too much of a burden on their mother, who manages the household.
The next day, Margaret reports to Elinor that she saw Willoughby cut off a lock of Marianne's hair and kiss it, a sure sign of the pair's engagement. Elinor, nonetheless, warns her little sister not to jump to any conclusions.
Mrs. Jennings somehow learns that Elinor had affections for someone back at Norland. The old busybody tries to get Elinor to reveal the name of this "favourite," but Elinor insists that she had no such attachment. Finally, however, Margaret confirms that there was such a man, he was of no particular profession, and his name began with an 'F'. Elinor is extremely embarrassed by her sister's indiscretion.
The Dashwoods, Colonel Brandon, Willoughby, and the Middletons plan an excursion to Whitwell, an estate twelve miles from Barton belonging to Colonel Brandon's brother-in-law. However, just as they are about to set off, the Colonel receives an urgent letter calling him to town immediately. This disappoints the other members of the party; they encourage Brandon to postpone his trip, but he insists on leaving right away. He refuses to reveal the reason for his sudden departure, though Mrs. Jennings whispers to Elinor that she suspects he must attend to Miss Williams, whom she identifies as his natural daughter.
Since they cannot go to Whitwell without Colonel Brandon, the party instead decides to drive about the country in carriages. Marianne later confesses that during this excursion, Willoughby took her to his home at Allenham while his elderly relative, Mrs. Smith, was out. Elinor is appalled by the impropriety of such a visit, and she chastises her sister accordingly.
I fail to understand Colonel Brandon's attraction for Marianne - to all intents and purposes Elinor would seem, to me, a much more suitable partner. So Marianne's ultimate marriage to Brandon at the end of the novel leaves the only jarring note of what is, otherwise, a most enjoyable book. One last thing, I can't fathom why a younger daughter, Margaret, is introduced at all and would love to hear others' takes on my opinions.
13 out of 14 people found this helpful
Elinor finds her love of life and she continues her life with edward while marianne is heart broken.in the novel the bond between elinor and edward,marianne and willoughby grow slowly and pssionately in their own ways while colonel's love for marianne is an unrequited love.we clearly acknowledged that marianne seeks love and passion more than elinor.but wat happens at the end is so spontaneous.itz somewhat hard to believe that a lover like marianne gets along with colonel.it is evident that she marries him to prevent herself from her heartbr... Read more→
16 out of 18 people found this helpful
Concerning this engagement, for those of you who haven't read this masterpiece (tsk, tsk), Edward and Lucy became enamored with each other while Edward was staying at Lucy's uncle's home, Mr. Pratt. Because Edward wasn't aware of what girl's were really like comparatively, he thought Lucy was perfect enough to become engaged to her. Both he and Lucy were around 18-19. Later in the story, when Edward proposes to Elinor, he tells her that, yes he and Lucy had been engaged for FOUR years. NOT ONE. He is 23-24 when he tells her this. This fact i