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Persuasion | Chapter 13 (Volume 2, Chapter 1) | Summary

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Summary

At Uppercross, Anne stays at the Great House, awaiting news of Louisa's condition, which is unchanging. Mrs. Harville has been caring for Louisa, and all is under control there. Anne believes if Louisa heals Louisa and Captain Wentworth will marry. After three days Anne suggests the Musgroves visit Louisa in Lyme and helps them prepare for the trip.

After a lonely hour in the Great House Anne goes to Lady Russell's. Lady Russell compliments Anne on a healthier appearance. While informing Lady Russell of the incident at Bath, speaking Wentworth's name torments Anne until she tells Lady Russell that he has been paying special attention to Louisa. On hearing this news Lady Russell feels somewhat vindicated for her persuasiveness eight years ago. She thinks Captain Wentworth shallow for his present attraction to Louisa, whom she believes to be equally shallow.

Anne receives news from Lyme that Louisa is slowly improving and accompanies Lady Russell who, out of social duty, visits the Crofts at Kellynch Hall. Informed by Wentworth's updates, they discuss the accident. While Admiral Croft speaks, Anne acknowledges the distance between herself and Lady Russell: his "manners were not quite of the tone to suit Lady Russell, but they delighted Anne. His goodheartedness and simplicity of character were irresistible." Because the Crofts plan to travel soon, Anne will not see them—including Captain Wentworth—again before she goes to Bath and is amused by how much anxiety she suffered over the possibility of Wentworth and Lady Russell meeting.

Analysis

Because it is Anne's first return to Kellynch since September, most of the chapter's conflict is internal. Recent events have not only improved Anne's appearance but also have further developed her character, while Lady Russell's character seems unchanged. When Lady Russell experiences "angry pleasure" and "pleased contempt" at hearing of Wentworth's wooing Louisa, she is validating her own poor judgment in convincing Anne to reject him years before.

Previously Anne delighted in the ease of social interactions with the Crofts. However, Lady Russell, showing her typical snobbish tendencies, creates tension between herself and Anne by calling a visit to the Crofts "a trial." Noting Admiral Croft's good nature creates an alliance between his and Anne's character and a certain tension between hers and Lady Russell's. The scene is important because it shows that Anne can think for herself without relying on Lady Russell's opinion.

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