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Sense and Sensibility | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • February

    Henry Dashwood dies, entrusting the care of his widow and three daughters to his son and heir, John.

    Chapter 1
  • August

    A wealthy relative offers Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters a home at Barton Cottage.

    Chapter 4
  • September

    The Dashwoods meet Colonel Brandon at Barton Park; Willoughby rescues Marianne.

    Chapter 7
  • October–November

    Brandon mysteriously departs for London; a week later Willoughby leaves, too. Marianne is downcast.

    Chapter 13
  • January

    Elinor and Marianne go to stay with Mrs. Jennings in London; Willoughby's betrayal is revealed.

    Chapter 26
  • March

    Edward refuses to marry Miss Morton and is disowned; Elinor tells Marianne he is engaged to Lucy.

    Chapter 37
  • April

    Elinor and Marianne go to Cleveland; Marianne falls ill; Willoughby confesses all to Elinor.

    Chapter 42
  • May

    Edward tells Elinor that Lucy and his brother, Robert, are married and proposes to her.

    Chapter 49
  • Autumn

    Elinor and Edward marry and move into the parsonage at Delaford.

    Chapter 50
  • A year later

    Marianne comes to love Colonel Brandon; they marry. The sisters live happily near each other.

    Chapter 50

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapters 1–3 Henry Dashwood, owner of Norland Park, has a son, John, by a previous marriage and three daughters—Elinor, Marianne, a... Read More
Chapters 4–5 Elinor and Marianne discuss Edward, whose taste seems lacking to Marianne. Elinor defends Edward as intelligent but sh... Read More
Chapters 6–8 Mother and daughters are too upset for the journey to their new home to be pleasant, but Barton Valley's lovely scenes... Read More
Chapters 9–11 While out walking one day, Marianne and Margaret are caught in a sudden storm and rush home. As they descend the hill ... Read More
Chapters 12–13 The next day, Marianne tells Elinor that Willoughby has given her a horse—an extravagant and inappropriate gift. Lost ... Read More
Chapters 14–15 For days Mrs. Jennings keeps up the gossip about Colonel Brandon's sudden trip to London, guessing at personal and fin... Read More
Chapters 16–18 After a sleepless night, the next day Marianne walks to Allenham, "indulging the recollection of past enjoyment" and f... Read More
Chapters 19–20 Though Edward's spirits improve each day, he says he must leave after a week. Elinor blames Mrs. Ferrars—an easy excus... Read More
Chapters 21–22 The next visitors to Barton Park are Anne and Lucy Steele, sisters to whom the Middletons are distantly related. Sir J... Read More
Chapters 23–25 Elinor has every reason to believe that Lucy and Edward are engaged, which explains much of Edward's behavior. Persuad... Read More
Chapters 26–28 After a three-day journey, Elinor, Marianne, and Mrs. Jennings arrive in London. Marianne wastes no time sending a let... Read More
Chapters 29–30 Early the next morning Marianne cries—Elinor can't comfort her—and writes to Willoughby for the last time. At breakfas... Read More
Chapters 31–32 Marianne's moods swing from desire to hide in her room to determination to face the world; she can't bear Mrs. Jenning... Read More
Chapters 33–34 Marianne and Elinor visit a jeweler's shop. As they wait their turn, Elinor watches a gentleman, who seems familiar to... Read More
Chapters 35–36 At Mrs. Jennings's home the next morning, Elinor and Lucy discuss Edward's mother, whom Lucy found to be very pleasant... Read More
Chapters 37–39 Mrs. Jennings brings strange news to Elinor over two weeks later: thinking that Fanny was fond of Lucy, Anne (whom Mrs... Read More
Chapters 40–41 After Colonel Brandon leaves, Mrs. Jennings congratulates Elinor and asks whether she is free to tell others, but Elin... Read More
Chapters 42–43 In early April the families set out for their country homes—John and Fanny for Norland; the Palmers, Mrs. Jennings, Co... Read More
Chapters 44–45 Willoughby's first concern is Marianne's health, but once he knows she's out of danger, he admits to Elinor he rode fr... Read More
Chapters 46–48 Colonel Brandon loans the Dashwoods his carriage for the trip home and returns to Delaford. Marianne endures the two-d... Read More
Chapters 49–50 After getting some fresh air Edward returns to the cottage, where by dinner he "secure[s] his lady, engage[s] her moth... Read More
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