Jane Austen

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Persuasion: Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Charles and Mary return to Uppercross, reporting that Louisa is recovering well though still weak. Mary has had an enjoyable stay bathing, reading, churching, and perceiving herself as useful, although it is clear Mrs. Harville has been doing all the work. Anne inquires after Captain Benwick, and Charles amusedly reports of his great admiration for Anne; he is convinced that Captain Benwick will soon be visiting Kellynch, intriguing Lady Russell, although Mary peevishly disagrees. Whether from shyness or lack of interest, however, Captain Benwick fails to visit.
The evidence of Anne’s desirability, first displayed in Lyme with the admiring stranger and friendship with Captain Benwick, increases with Charles’s report about Benwick’s affections. Mary’s delusional self-importance and petty jealousy continue to contrast Anne’s combination of perceptiveness and humility.
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The Musgroves return to Uppercross, restoring the house to its familial cheer. Henrietta and Captain Wentworth remain at Lyme to nurse Louisa, who is rapidly improving and is 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 renew relations between their families. Lady Russell and Anne are both curious and desire to see him.
The affairs of the Musgroves are again contrasted with those of the Elliots: the Musgroves remain cheerful, loving, and bustling even as they cope with Louisa’s accident, and Anne feels some grief at having to leave them and join her rather silly and cold father and sister in Bath.
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