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Persuasion | Study Guide

Jane Austen

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Chapter 14

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 14 of Jane Austen's novel Persuasion.

Persuasion | Chapter 14 (Volume 2, Chapter 2) | Summary



When Charles and Mary leave Lyme after a two-week stay, Louisa has begun sitting in bed. When they subsequently visit Lady Russell and Anne at Kellynch Lodge, Anne asks after Captain Benwick, and Charles and Mary argue over whether Benwick has romantic feelings for Anne. Anne says she's flattered, and both she and Lady Russell spend the next week half expecting a visit from him at Kellynch Lodge. Even though Anne does not ask about Captain Wentworth, the others update her: he has not gone to visit Louisa, and he plans to travel while she recuperates.

While Henrietta Musgrove remains in Lyme, the Musgroves return to Uppercross with the Harvilles' children. Captain and Mrs. Harville plan to bring Louisa to Uppercross when she is more fully recovered, perhaps before the end of the holidays. Lady Russell, as promised, delivers Anne to Camden Place in Bath, a city she still dislikes. A long, descriptive sentence shows the changed environment: they drive through "the long course of streets from the Old Bridge to Camden Place, amidst the dash of other carriages, the heavy rumble of carts and drays, the bawling of newsmen, muffin-men and milkmen, and the ceaseless clink of pattens." She has learned from Elizabeth that William Elliot has called on Sir Walter and Elizabeth. Both Anne and Lady Russell are curious about this turn of events.


Much of the chapter is devoted to the discussion of Captain Benwick, a minor character. The combination of the absence of Captain Wentworth and silences between Lady Russell and Anne create tension. More distance grows between their characters, showing how much Anne has grown.

After being surrounded by children at the Musgroves, Lady Russell complains of the noise. Yet she is not bothered by Bath's noise, described at great length. Anne dreads Bath—for who, she asks herself, "would be glad to see her when she arrived?"—but Lady Russell is pleased. On this point the mentor and her former disciple are again at odds.

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