Sense and Sensibility

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Colonel Brandon Character Analysis

A friend of Sir John, whom the Dashwood sisters meet at Barton Park. Brandon is a 35 year-old bachelor who has been in love once before, with a woman named Eliza who was married against her will to Brandon’s brother. When he meets Marianne, he instantly falls in love with her, but she thinks he is far too old to marry and neglects his affections. For most of the novel, Brandon’s love for Marianne is quite hopeless. Nonetheless, he is a persistent, good friend to Elinor and is compassionate when Marianne is hurt by Willoughby. In an extraordinary act of generosity, Brandon gives Edward a living on his property after Edward is disinherited by his mother. At the end of the novel, Marianne finally allows herself to grow fond of Brandon, and they end up marrying and settling down together happily.

Colonel Brandon Quotes in Sense and Sensibility

The Sense and Sensibility quotes below are all either spoken by Colonel Brandon or refer to Colonel Brandon. 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:
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Sense and Sensibility published in 2003.
Chapter 31 Quotes

“He had left the girl whose youth and innocence he had seduced, in a situation of the utmost distress, with no creditable home, no help, no friends, ignorant of his address! He had left her, promising to return; he neither returned, nor wrote, nor relieved her."
"This is beyond every thing!" exclaimed Elinor.
"His character is now before you; expensive, dissipated, and worse than both.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood (speaker), Colonel Brandon (speaker), Colonel Brandon, Eliza (Younger)
Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

Colonel Brandon has shared with Elinor a long story that, he believes, will make clear what Willoughby's character is truly like. The story seems to prove Willoughby's irresponsibility and indecency: it ends with him abandoning a girl, while pregnant, whom he had seduced. Elinor is of course shocked by this tale, especially as she realizes to an even greater extent how little she (or Marianne) had understood of Willoughby's true character. She is not confused as to what Willoughby is really like; instead, here as elsewhere, the book defines character as something consistent and stable - one might not fully know another person, but that is only because one has not learned all there is to be learned about the person, not because the person is inconsistent or overly complex. 

Brandon finally is confident enough to make a sweeping statement about Willoughby's character by the end of his story, though he had begun apologetically, unwilling to smear someone's reputation rather than allow that reputation to come forth naturally. Now, though, Elinor can be grateful to Brandon for exposing Willoughby's past to her, and for helping her to understand the root of Willoughby's actions regarding Marianne.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Sense and Sensibility quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Sense and Sensibility LitChart as a printable PDF.
Sense and sensibility.pdf.medium

Colonel Brandon Character Timeline in Sense and Sensibility

The timeline below shows where the character Colonel Brandon appears in Sense and Sensibility. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Also at the dinner was Colonel Brandon, a friend of Sir John, who was “silent and grave.” He was handsome and gentlemanly,... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
After dinner, Marianne played piano and sang. Everyone applauded, but Colonel Brandon “heard her without being in raptures.” He paid her attention, but showed no pleasure in... (full context)
Chapter 8
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...do but to marry all the rest of the world.” She quickly realized that Colonel Brandon was in love with Marianne and thought this would be an excellent match. Marianne, though,... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Elinor told Marianne that it would be fine for Colonel Brandon to marry a 27 year-old woman, but Marianne said that a woman of that age... (full context)
Chapter 10
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Elinor gradually now realized that Colonel Brandon also liked Marianne, and, as Marianne and Willoughby grew closer, she felt bad for him,... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
One day, Willoughby and Marianne were discussing Colonel Brandon and Elinor defended him. Marianne teased Elinor at how concerned she seemed with Colonel Brandon.... (full context)
Chapter 11
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...the boringness of Lady Middleton and Mrs. Jennings. She enjoyed spending time only with Colonel Brandon, and developed compassion for him and his hopeless love for Marianne. Colonel Brandon asked Elinor... (full context)
Chapter 12
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...conversation shifted, and the group started to form plans to visit the property of Colonel Brandon’s brother-in-law the next day. (full context)
Chapter 13
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...the trip. As they were having breakfast, some letters came in, including one for Colonel Brandon. As soon as he read it, he announced that he had to leave immediately for... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Everyone was surprised and asked what had happened, but Colonel Brandon would give no details and insisted on leaving immediately. Marianne and Willoughby agreed to each... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Colonel Brandon left, and Mrs. Jennings announced that she knew what had happened with him. She said... (full context)
Chapter 14
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
For the next few days, Mrs. Jennings was worried about Colonel Brandon and wondered what news could have caused him to leave so quickly, guessing and conjecturing... (full context)
Chapter 20
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...was talking about the engagement. She said that she had heard of it from Colonel Brandon. She described Colonel Brandon as charming, but “so grave and so dull.” (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...said that he was generally well thought of. She then told Elinor more about Colonel Brandon, whom she had known for a long time. She told Elinor that she thought Colonel... (full context)
Chapter 26
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...Willoughby, indeed it is!” But when the door opened, it turned out to be Colonel Brandon. Shocked and disappointed, Marianne left the room. Brandon asked if she was ill, and Elinor... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Mrs. Jennings talked with Brandon and Elinor and joked to Colonel Brandon, “I do not know what you and Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 27
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...to the sisters, and Elinor began to become comfortable with her stay in London. Colonel Brandon visited them often, and Elinor noted that he had a “continued regard for her sister,”... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...still had not heard from Willoughby. They went to the dinner nonetheless, along with Colonel Brandon, Mrs. Jennings, and the Palmers. (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...next day, Elinor wrote to her mother, while Marianne paced anxiously around the apartment. Colonel Brandon came to the door, and talked with Elinor. He asked when Marianne and Willoughby were... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Knowing Brandon’s feelings for Marianne, Elinor debated what it was proper for her to say, and ended... (full context)
Chapter 30
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...behavior implied an engagement. But she said, optimistically, that now Marianne would likely marry Colonel Brandon, which would be a good match. (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...went to check on Marianne and tried to persuade her to go to bed, Colonel Brandon arrived, having heard about Willoughby’s engagement. He asked Elinor how Marianne was doing, and Elinor... (full context)
Chapter 31
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Mrs. Jennings left and Elinor began writing a letter to her mother. Then, Colonel Brandon came to the door. He said that he had come across Mrs. Jennings on the... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
In order to explain, Brandon had to go back to when he suddenly left Barton Park. He said that Marianne... (full context)
Women in Society Theme Icon
Brandon and Eliza tried to elope, but were caught. Eliza “resigned herself at first to all... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Brandon was clearly pained as he told this story, but continued on. Eliza had a daughter,... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Elinor was shocked that Willoughby had done this, and Brandon told her, “His character is now before you.” Brandon told Elinor that he had been... (full context)
Chapter 32
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Elinor told Marianne what she had learned from Colonel Brandon, but it didn’t cheer her up. Marianne was sad at “the loss of Willoughby’s character,”... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Colonel Brandon often made “delicate, unobtrusive enquiries” about Marianne to Elinor, who began to value him as... (full context)
Chapter 33
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
...to join him. John was kind and polite to Mrs. Jennings and his sisters. Colonel Brandon arrived, and John looked at him curiously, as if “he only wanted to know him... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
...with John to the Middletons’ home, and on the way he asked her about Colonel Brandon. He asked what Brandon’s fortune was like, and then congratulated Elinor on the prospect of... (full context)
Chapter 34
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Colonel Brandon admired the paintings. Mrs. Ferrars looked at them and upon hearing that Elinor had painted... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Marianne’s outburst offended John, Fanny, and Mrs. Ferrars. Colonel Brandon, though, seemed to admire Marianne’s protective affection for her sister. Marianne couldn’t help but bursting... (full context)
Chapter 39
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
After Elinor and Marianne made their plans, Colonel Brandon visited, and Mrs. Jennings told him about their imminent departure, hoping to spur him to... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Mrs. Jennings overheard parts of their conversation, with Brandon apologizing “for the badness of his house,” and she heard him say, “I am afraid... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
However, what Elinor and Brandon were actually talking about was Edward. Having learned that Edward had been disinherited by his... (full context)
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Brandon did not think that the living at Delaford would be sufficient for both Edward and... (full context)
Chapter 40
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
As soon as Colonel Brandon left, Mrs. Jennings (thinking that Brandon had proposed to Elinor) told Elinor that she had... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...she had told him that Elinor had news for him. Elinor told him about Colonel Brandon’s offer. (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Edward was surprised and overwhelmed with gratitude. He called Brandon “a man of great worth and respectability. . . undoubtedly a sensible man, and in... (full context)
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
...returned home and talked to Elinor more about what she thought was her engagement to Brandon. At last, she talked plainly about the Colonel marrying Elinor, and the misunderstanding was cleared... (full context)
Chapter 41
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Lucy and Edward were both equally happy and grateful to Elinor and Colonel Brandon. After this development, Elinor felt that she should pay a visit to Fanny, even though... (full context)
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
John was astonished about the news of Colonel Brandon’s gift and wondered what Brandon’s motive was. Elinor said Brandon simply wanted “to be of... (full context)
Chapter 42
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
...he congratulated her on “travelling so far towards Barton without any expense, and on Colonel Brandon’s being to follow them to Cleveland in a day or two.” Marianne and Elinor finally... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...Mr. Palmer behaving gentlemanly and “found him very capable of being a pleasant companion.” Colonel Brandon arrived and spent much time talking to Elinor. Mrs. Jennings continued to think that Colonel... (full context)
Chapter 43
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...neither better nor worse. Mr. Palmer left to go stay with his wife, and Colonel Brandon was also preparing to leave, but Mrs. Jennings persuaded him to stay. (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...the apothecary still said she would recover, Mrs. Jennings thought Marianne was dying, and told Brandon this. The next day, though, Marianne seemed much better, and it appeared she would soon... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Colonel Brandon volunteered to go to Barton and get Mrs. Dashwood. Elinor was very grateful for his... (full context)
Chapter 45
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...who was now refreshed by a long sleep. At last, Mrs. Dashwood arrived with Colonel Brandon. (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...the chance to speak alone with Elinor, she said that she was overjoyed because Colonel Brandon told her that he loved Marianne. Elinor was not very surprised, and Mrs. Dashwood was... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
On the journey back from Barton, Colonel Brandon had told Mrs. Dashwood that he had loved Marianne from the moment they met. Mrs.... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Mrs. Dashwood said that she had told Brandon that she would gladly encourage his union with Marianne, but he worried that Marianne still... (full context)
Chapter 46
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...four days of Mrs. Dashwood’s arrival, Marianne was well enough to leave her room. Colonel Brandon visited her in her room, and Elinor imagined that the scene reminded Brandon “of many... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
A couple of days later, Marianne was ready to travel back to Barton. Colonel Brandon offered to let the Dashwoods use his carriage, and promised to visit the cottage within... (full context)
Chapter 47
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...to Eliza Williams.” Marianne agreed, and Mrs. Dashwood began talking about the merits of Colonel Brandon. (full context)
Chapter 48
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Colonel Brandon was due to visit soon, and Elinor looked forward to his arrival, as he might... (full context)
Chapter 49
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...apologized, pleading “an ignorance of his own heart.” Edward was glad to hear that Colonel Brandon was coming to the cottage soon, and looked forward to the opportunity to thank him... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Four days after Edward’s arrival, Colonel Brandon came to Barton Cottage. He enjoyed the company of the Dashwoods, and especially Marianne. He... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
...he did not want to write “a letter of proper submission,” as John had urged. Brandon and Edward finally left Barton Cottage together, to examine the property at Delaford and then... (full context)
Chapter 50
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...and happily settled into their life at Delaford. All they wanted now was for Colonel Brandon and Marianne to marry. John visited Elinor and was happy for her, but said that... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...could well be contrived.” Mrs. Dashwood, Edward, and Elinor all hoped that Marianne and Colonel Brandon would marry. Gradually, Marianne came around to liking Brandon, and discovered “the falsehood of her... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...how Marianne used to think of love, she gradually grew more and more attracted to Brandon. They married, and her fondness grew even more, as she “could never love by halves.”... (full context)