Persuasion

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Elizabeth Elliot Character Analysis

The eldest Elliot daughter, Elizabeth resembles her father in good looks and vanity. She is the baronet’s favorite child, and she possesses a similar sense of self-importance and indifference to Anne. Despite her beauty and superficial charms, she remains unmarried at the end of the novel; there is some suggestion that her pride has prevented her from acknowledging anyone to be an eligible match, except her father’s heir, Mr. Elliot, who has no desire to marry her.

Elizabeth Elliot Quotes in Persuasion

The Persuasion quotes below are all either spoken by Elizabeth Elliot or refer to Elizabeth Elliot. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Status and Social Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Persuasion published in 1997.
Chapter 15 Quotes

[Anne] might not wonder, but she must sigh that her father should feel no degradation in his change; should see nothing to regret in the duties and dignity of the resident land-holder; should find so much to be vain of in the littleness of a town; and she must sigh, and smile, and wonder too, as Elizabeth threw open the folding-doors and walked with exultation from one drawing-room to the other, boasting of their space, at the possibility of that woman, who had been mistress of Kellynch Hall, finding extent to be proud of between two walls, perhaps thirty feet asunder.

Related Characters: Anne Elliot, Sir Walter Elliot, Elizabeth Elliot
Related Symbols: Kellynch Hall
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

In this chapter, Anne joins her father and her sister, Elizabeth, in the town of Bath. Anne is secretly amused with her family members for being so impressed with such a tiny, ordinary town. Walter is proud of himself for being powerful enough to travel and reside in a town outside his own home at Kellynch Hall, and Elizabeth seems to feel a similar sense of pride: she praises their accommodations in Bath, even though they're pretty tiny (at least compared to their former home).

The passage is illuminating because it suggests that Anne's family members are more self-satisfied with the mere fact of owning real estate, being able to travel, and being aristocrats, than with the material conditions of their wealth and power. Walter's aristocracy is really title-only; he doesn't have a lot of money or political clout anymore, and yet the mere fact of being an aristocrat is enough to satisfy him. Anne, by contrast, can see (somewhat) through the theater of the aristocracy. The supposed power and glamor of the Baronetage doesn't really exist at all: Walter and Elizabeth are just getting off on their supposed prestige and superiority.

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Elizabeth Elliot Character Timeline in Persuasion

The timeline below shows where the character Elizabeth Elliot appears in Persuasion. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Status and Social Class Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...that includes his own lineage. His own wife bore him three daughters before passing away: Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary respectively. (full context)
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...passing, her intimate friend and advisor Lady Russell helped Sir Walter to raise his daughters. Elizabeth is beautiful and vain, her father’s favorite; Anne has her mother’s elegance of mind and... (full context)
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Sir Walter’s hopes for enhancing his family’s importance through a suitable marriage rest on Elizabeth, as he deems Anne’s beauty to have faded and Mary’s marriage to have “given all... (full context)
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Because of Sir Walter and Elizabeth’s extravagant lifestyle, the Elliot family is now facing financial trouble. They are in great debt,... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...good status, but not too superior. Mr. Shepherd is authorized to arrange the deal, and Elizabeth is pleased at the prospect of Bath. Anne departs with the anticipation that she may... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...with her at Uppercross Cottage, instead of heading straight to Bath with Sir Walter and Elizabeth. Anne is pleased with the opportunity to be useful and stay in the country. (full context)
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...Russell is displeased that Mrs. Clay plans to travel to Bath with Sir Walter and Elizabeth; Anne also worries that Mrs. Clay’s persistent flattery may induce Sir Walter to take her... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Anne is struck again by how dramatically the concerns of the Musgroves differ from the Elliots; the former have minimal interest in the affairs of aristocracy and Kellynch, which so preoccupy... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...it hard to adjust again to the concerns of Lady Russell—that of her father and Elizabeth—which so differ from the events that have recently absorbed the Musgroves. Anne informs her about... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...expected home soon. Anne dreads joining her sister and father in Bath, but learns from Elizabeth the intriguing news that Mr. Elliot is also at Bath. He has been seeking to... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Sir Walter and Elizabeth have found Bath much to their satisfaction. They greet her with unexpected warmth, though they... (full context)
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Sir Walter and Elizabeth are delighted with Mr. Elliot. Mr. Elliot has explained away all his prior behavior as... (full context)
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Anne wonders at his efforts for reconciliation, guessing it may be for Elizabeth’s sake. Mrs. Clay and Elizabeth believe him to be interested, and Anne reflects that Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Sir Walter and Elizabeth insist that Mrs. Clay continue to stay with them even after Anne’s arrival, increasing Anne’s... (full context)
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...Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret, their estranged noble cousins, arrive in Bath, Sir Walter and Elizabeth make every effort to connect with them. Anne is dismayed by their obsession with rank,... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...with the Dalrymples because of a previously arranged visit to Mrs. Smith, Sir Walter and Elizabeth discover their renewed friendship with disdain. They feel such a connection to be degrading. (full context)
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...to Mrs. Smith. Lady Russell has become convinced that his interest is in Anne, not Elizabeth; she is greatly pleased by the suitability of such a match and would love to... (full context)
Chapter 19
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One day, Anne goes out with Elizabeth, Mrs. Clay, and Mr. Elliot. Because of rain, it is decided that Elizabeth and Mrs.... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...concert, Captain Wentworth greets Anne and the two speak. To Anne’s gratification, Sir Walter and Elizabeth acknowledge their acquaintance. Captain Wentworth and Anne make small talk for a while, before discussing... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...then was to become wealthy and independent, which was why he slighted Sir Walter and Elizabeth in favor of marrying a rich woman. He cared nothing for the honor of his... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...would much prefer the play over the party, which Captain Wentworth overhears. Sir Walter and Elizabeth arrive to extend their invitation to the Musgroves and Captain Wentworth, before returning home to... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...is a suitable match for the daughter of a “foolish, spendthrift baronet.” Sir Walter and Elizabeth are reconciled to the marriage. Lady Russell is forced to admit her error of judgment... (full context)
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Mr. Elliot is dismayed and shocked; he departs Bath, mortifying Elizabeth once again, who has yet to find a potential suitor. When Mrs. Clay leaves soon... (full context)