Chapter 1

Sir Walter Elliot, after spending a lavish amount of money on himself, has put the family into financial difficulties. We meet his daughters Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary, who is married to Charles Musgrove. It is revealed that Mrs. Elliott passed away fourteen years ago, and that Lady Russel, an old friend of the family, has been helping take care of the Elliot girls since their mother’s death.

Chapter 2

After Sir Walter rejects the idea to retrench their expenses to save money, he finally agrees to Mr. Shepard’s suggestion to move the family to a cheaper home in Bath, but only if they find a suitable tenant for Kellynch. Lady Russel also believes the move will be good as it will separate Elizabeth from Mrs. Clay, whom Lady Russel believes is a bad influence on Elizabeth. 

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 1 & 2

Chapter 3

After discussing the reputation of Admiral Croft, Sir Walter agrees that he would be a suitable tenant to rent Kellynch Hall. 

Chapter 4

In 1806 Anne fell in love with Captain Frederick Wentworth, but because he lacked social standing and wealth, Lady Russel and her father convinced her to end their relationship. Anne, however, has not stopped thinking about the captain for the past seven years, and even though Charles Musgrove proposed to her, she refused him, leading Musgrove to marry her sister Mary instead. With Captain Wentworth’s sister now moving into Kellynch Hall, Anne’s feeling for Captain Wentworth return.

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Chapter 5

The Admiral and his wife agree to rent Kellynch. The Elliot family prepares to leave for Bath with Mrs. Clay as their companion, an arrangement Anne and Lady Russel find improper. Before joining her family in Bath, Anna visits Mary and introduces the reader to the Musgrove family.

Chapter 6

Anne gets along reasonably well with the Musgroves, and Mary is happy to have a companion. Anne and Mary visit the Crofts at Kellynch and learn that Captain Wentworth, who is Mrs. Croft’s brother, will arrive soon.

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Chapter 7

Captain Wentworth arrives at Kellynch. Mr. Musgrove invites him to Uppercross, but Anne is forced to miss him when Mary’s son is injured. She misses yet another opportunity when Wentworth comes to dinner, as she stays with the child so Mary and Charles can go. She sees him briefly the next morning, and learns from Mary that Wentworth slighted her appearance. The narrator informs us Wentworth has not forgiven Anne.

Chapter 8

Anne and Captain Wentworth are forced to see each other often now. One night at dinner, Wentworth consoles Mrs. Musgrove about her late son Dick. Anne plays music for the group later that evening, and though everyone is enjoying themselves, Anne cannot help but feel hurt by Captain Wentworth’s attitude toward her.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 7 & 8

Chapter 9

Charles Hayter, who is courting Henrietta Musgrove, returns to find she is enamored with Captain Wentworth. The family wonders whether Wentworth will choose her or the other Musgrove sister, Louisa. One day, Wentworth finds himself in a room with Anne. One of Mary’s young sons is climbing all over her, and while Charles Hayter ineffectively chastises the boy, it is Wentworth who actually picks him up and removes him, to Anne’s relief.

Chapter 10

One day Anne, Mary, Henrietta, Louisa, Wentworth, and Charles go for a walk. When they pass the Hayters’ home, Charles and Henrietta stop in for a visit; Mary disapproves, considering the Hayters socially inferior. Louisa tells Wentworth Charles Musgrove initially wanted to marry Anne, and that Anne refused, which interests Wentworth. When Admiral and Mrs. Croft pass by, Wentworth arranges for them to take Anne, who is tired, home in their carriage.

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Chapter 11

Anne, Mary, Charles, Henrietta, Louisa, and Wentworth visit some friends, Captain and Mrs. Harville, in Lyme. Captain Benwick, a recently widowed young man, is also staying with the Harvilles. Though Benwick has been depressed, he feels comfortable around Anne enough to talk about poetry with her. 

Chapter 12

The group discovers that Mr. Elliot, Anne and Mary’s cousin and their father’s heir, is staying at the same inn they are. During a walk later, Harville acknowledges Anne’s positive influence on Benwick. Louisa falls and suffers a head injury; Anne alone remains calm. Mary decides to stay with Louisa in Lyme so she can recover, and Anne and Wentworth head back to Uppercross to tell the Musgroves what happened.

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Chapter 13

Louisa’s health slowly improves. Anne goes to stay with Lady Russel, and the two visit the Crofts at Kellynch. The Crofts mention that Wentworth spoke highly of her after what happened in Lyme, and Anne is flattered. They say they are going away for a few weeks, which disappoints Anne, as that means she likely won’t see much of Wentworth.

Chapter 14

When Charles and Mary return from Lyme, they report that Louisa is doing well and also that Captain Benwick seems to have feelings for Anne. Elizabeth writes to inform them that Mr. Elliot is in Bath visiting her and Sir Walter, and Anne and Lady Russel proceed to make the journey there, too.

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Chapter 15

Anne arrives in Bath to find Elizabeth and Sir Walter in good spirits at their new home, Camden Place. When Mr. Elliot visits them, it appears he has taken a liking to Anne.

Chapter 16

Everyone is charmed by Mr. Elliot, but Anne suspects he only wants to marry Elizabeth. Sir Walter is excited about the prospect of reuniting with their estranged cousins, Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret. Anne finds that Mr. Elliot shares her concern about a potential improper attachment between Sir Walter and Mrs. Clay.

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Chapter 17

Anne reunites with an old friend, Mrs. Smith, who has fallen into dire straits. Anne declines an invite to dine with the Dalrymples, citing a previous engagement with Mrs. Smith, which scandalizes Sir Walter. At dinner, Lady Russel becomes convinced that Mr. Elliot means to court Anne. This pleases her; she wants to see Anne become Lady Elliot of Kellynch Hall. Anne, however, has reservations about Mr. Elliot.

Chapter 18

The Crofts come to Bath, and Anne learns that Louisa is engaged to Captain Benwick. She is pleased that it is Benwick Louisa is marrying and not Wentworth. Anne encounters Admiral Croft, who mentions Wentworth doesn’t seem upset about Louisa’s engagement and suggests he should come to Bath, as there are many suitable women for him to court.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 17 & 18

Chapter 19

Captain Wentworth does indeed come to Bath and immediately runs into Anne in town. Upon learning that there is no room in the carriage and that Anne intends to walk back with Mr. Elliot in the rain, Wentworth offers his umbrella, but Mr. Elliot ushers her away. The next day, Lady Russel pretends not to see Wentworth. Anne is looking forward to attending a concert where Wentworth is sure to be.

Chapter 20

At the concert, Anne converses with Captain Wentworth, who expresses some doubts about Louisa and Benwick’s coming marriage. Anne is forced to sit near Mr. Elliot, who showers her with praise. Her attempts to speak with Wentworth again are rebuffed by Mr. Elliot. Wentworth lets Anne know he is leaving and bids her farewell.

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Chapter 21

While visiting Mrs. Smith, Anne learns of Mr. Elliot’s true character—that he persuaded Mr. Smith to go into debt before he died, and that he himself expressed a wish to either destroy Kellynch or sell it. He came here to prevent Sir Walter from marrying Mrs. Clay, as a son from this union would threaten his inheritance. He wants to marry Anne on the condition that Sir Walter never remarry. Anne decides to tell Lady Russel at once.

Chapter 22

Charles and Mary arrive in Bath, preventing Anne from visiting Lady Russel, and reveal that Henrietta is set to marry Charles Hayter, and that Mrs. Musgrove, Henrietta, and Captain Harville are here too. Anne spies Mr. Elliot talking to Mrs. Clay. Charles and Mary argue about their evening plans but ultimately decide to attend Sir Walter’s party, to which everyone is invited.

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Chapter 23

Captain Wentworth slips a note to Anne, declaring his love for her. Anne, overcome, leaves and encounters Captain Wentworth outside, and tells him she has loved him for a long time. At the party, Wentworth blames himself for the long years of separation, and the two agree to marry.

Chapter 24

Anne and Captain Wentworth announce their engagement. Sir Walter and Elizabeth offer no objections; Lady Russel eventually overcomes her hurt feelings; Mr. Elliot leaves Bath and is rumored to have formed an attachment with Mrs. Clay. Captain Wentworth helps Mrs. Smith regain some of her husband’s money, and he and Anne are happy in marriage.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapters 23 & 24