Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Mrs. Jennings Character Analysis

Lady Middleton’s mother, with whom Elinor and Marianne stay in London. Mrs. Jennings is friendly and well-intentioned, but a bit overly fond of gossip. She is obsessed with predicting marriages and matching young couples. She often irritates Marianne by joking about her supposed engagement to Willoughby, but when she learns of how Willoughby used her, she is sympathetic and compassionate toward Marianne. For all her attempts to know all the romantic gossip, Mrs. Jennings is often mistaken and misinformed. For most of the novel, she thinks that Colonel Brandon is in love with Elinor, when he actually loves Marianne.

Mrs. Jennings Quotes in Sense and Sensibility

The Sense and Sensibility quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Jennings or refer to Mrs. Jennings. 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 8 Quotes

Mrs. Jennings was a widow with an ample jointure. She had only two daughters, both of whom she had lived to see respectably married, and she had now therefore nothing to do but to marry all the rest of the world. In the promotion of this object she was zealously active, as far as her ability reached; and missed no opportunity of projecting weddings among all the young people of her acquaintance.

Related Characters: Mrs. Jennings
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

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Mrs. Jennings Character Timeline in Sense and Sensibility

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Jennings appears in Sense and Sensibility. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
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...Dashwoods went to dinner at Barton Park, where they were joined by Lady Middleton’s mother, Mrs. Jennings , who was “a good-humoured, merry, fat, elderly woman, who talked a great deal, seemed... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Mrs. Jennings was a widow with two married daughters, who now had “nothing to do but to... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...She still missed Norland, and was fed up with the boringness of Lady Middleton and Mrs. Jennings . She enjoyed spending time only with Colonel Brandon, and developed compassion for him and... (full context)
Chapter 12
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One evening at Barton Park, Mrs. Jennings asked Elinor which man was her “particular favourite.” To Elinor’s dismay, Margaret made it known... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Colonel Brandon left, and Mrs. Jennings announced that she knew what had happened with him. She said that she was certain... (full context)
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That night, Sir John and Lady Middleton hosted a dance at Barton Park. Mrs. Jennings told Marianne she knew where she and Willoughby had gone earlier that day. Elinor was... (full context)
Chapter 14
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For the next few days, Mrs. Jennings was worried about Colonel Brandon and wondered what news could have caused him to leave... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...hair. Edward seemed embarrassed the rest of the morning. Later that day, Sir John and Mrs. Jennings visited to meet Edward. Upon discovering that his name started with an F, they suspected... (full context)
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Sir John and Mrs. Jennings invited everyone to a dance at Barton Park. Since Willoughby wouldn’t be there, Marianne cried... (full context)
Chapter 19
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One morning, Sir John and Lady Middleton, along with Mrs. Jennings came to Barton Cottage along with a gentleman and a lady they introduced as the... (full context)
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...and talked, as Mr. Palmer read a newspaper, not paying much attention to the conversation. Mrs. Jennings told the Dashwoods that Mrs. Palmer was expecting a child. Sir John invited the Dashwoods... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...back to their home at Cleveland the next day. Before long, though, Sir John and Mrs. Jennings had more guests to introduce to the Dashwood: Anne and Lucy Steele, two young women,... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...One night, though, Elinor was invited to dinner at Barton Park with just Lady Middleton, Mrs. Jennings , and the Steeles. (full context)
Chapter 25
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As January came around, Mrs. Jennings invited Elinor and Marianne to come stay with her in London. Elinor declined, saying she... (full context)
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...softened her resolve not to go, and said that it was up to her mother. Mrs. Jennings went to Mrs. Dashwood, who thought it would be good for Marianne and Elinor to... (full context)
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...was indifferent toward the Ferrars family, which shocked Marianne. The Dashwoods finally decided to accept Mrs. Jennings invitation. Elinor was slightly dissatisfied, but Marianne was ecstatically happy. (full context)
Chapter 26
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Elinor was surprised to find herself in Mrs. Jennings ’ carriage, on the way to London, when she had been staunchly opposed to the... (full context)
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...how much more hopeful Marianne’s situation was than her own with Edward. They arrived at Mrs. Jennings ’ place in London, which was “handsome, and handsomely fitted up.” (full context)
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Someone came to the door of Mrs. Jennings ’ apartment, and Marianne exclaimed, “Oh, Elinor, it is Willoughby, indeed it is!” But when... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings talked with Brandon and Elinor and joked to Colonel Brandon, “I do not know what... (full context)
Chapter 27
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The next morning, Mrs. Jennings commented on the bad weather, and Marianne cheered up immediately, thinking that Willoughby might have... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings was a kind, good hostess to the sisters, and Elinor began to become comfortable with... (full context)
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...had not heard from Willoughby. They went to the dinner nonetheless, along with Colonel Brandon, Mrs. Jennings , and the Palmers. (full context)
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At the dinner, Marianne was unwilling to dance, and complained. Mrs. Jennings said she knew why Marianne was upset, and said that it was odd of Willoughby... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...She ran to her room to read it. Unaware of what had happened with Willoughby, Mrs. Jennings joked to Elinor about Marianne and asked when she was to be married. (full context)
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Elinor answered that Marianne and Willoughby were not going to be married, and told Mrs. Jennings not to spread that rumor. Elinor went to her room to see what Willoughby had... (full context)
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Elinor was astonished and angry. Mrs. Jennings was ready to go out into town, and Elinor had to excuse Marianne and herself... (full context)
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...could go home to their mother immediately, but Elinor said that they owed it to Mrs. Jennings not to leave so suddenly, as it would be impolite. Marianne lay down again, and... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Mrs. Jennings came back home and checked on Marianne. She had heard of Willoughby’s upcoming engagement to... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings was very kind to Marianne, and Elinor returned the politeness. When Marianne left the table,... (full context)
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Elinor admitted to Mrs. Jennings that Willoughby had broken no formal engagement with Marianne, but Mrs. Jennings would have none... (full context)
Chapter 31
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...was innocent and sometimes feeling that he was cruel and guilty. She tried to avoid Mrs. Jennings , telling Elinor, “all that she wants is gossip,” even though Mrs. Jennings was attempting... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings brought Marianne a letter, telling her it would cheer her up. Marianne imagined it might... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings left and Elinor began writing a letter to her mother. Then, Colonel Brandon came to... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Mrs. Dashwood recommended that Elinor and Marianne not shorten their stay with Mrs. Jennings , as everything at Barton would likely remind Marianne of Willoughby, and she thought Marianne... (full context)
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...“delicate, unobtrusive enquiries” about Marianne to Elinor, who began to value him as a friend. Mrs. Jennings noticed them spending time together and began to think that Brandon would propose not to... (full context)
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Lucy and Anne came to talk with Elinor and Mrs. Jennings , speaking of their beaux and romantic conquests. Marianne left the room when the Steeles... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Elinor finally persuaded Marianne to go out with her and Mrs. Jennings one morning. They went to a jeweler, where they saw a rude gentleman giving orders... (full context)
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...He promised to visit the next day, and looked forward to meeting the Middletons and Mrs. Jennings , who Elinor politely said were kind and friendly. (full context)
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...his sisters, though Fanny was unable 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... (full context)
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...fond of. Elinor “kept her concern and censure to herself.” John congratulated Elinor on having Mrs. Jennings as a friend, because of her “exceeding good income.” He hinted that she might even... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Fanny had Mrs. Jennings and Lady Middleton to her home the next day along with the Dashwood sisters, and... (full context)
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...had arrived with John and Fanny. Shortly after this, Elinor found Edward’s card left at Mrs. Jennings ’ home twice. He had come to visit, and she was glad that she hadn’t... (full context)
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John and Fanny invited Elinor, Marianne, Mrs. Jennings , the Steeles, and the Middletons to dinner. Mrs. Ferrars was supposed to attend, and... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...she wouldn’t have to worry about his mother. The next time Lucy saw Elinor at Mrs. Jennings ’ apartment, she gushed about how happy she was that Mrs. Ferrars was so fond... (full context)
Chapter 36
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A few days later, Mrs. Palmer gave birth to a son. Because of this, Mrs. Jennings spent much time with the Palmers, and Elinor and Marianne often accompanied her, which meant... (full context)
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Anne Steele was also not fond of Elinor and Marianne, but Mrs. Jennings was oblivious to all this and thought it was a good thing for the girls... (full context)
Chapter 37
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About two weeks later, Mrs. Jennings told Elinor she had some news. She had been with Mrs. Palmer, whose baby was... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings asked what he meant, and he explained that Edward’s engagement to Lucy had been found... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings was glad of this, as Lucy was her cousin, and said that she would make... (full context)
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...Robert. He again said that he pitied Edward’s situation, and then left. Marianne, Elinor, and Mrs. Jennings all disapproved of how Mrs. Ferrars had handled the situation. (full context)
Chapter 38
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Mrs. Jennings , Elinor, and Marianne all felt compassion for Edward. For the next few days, they... (full context)
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Anne asked if Mrs. Jennings was angry with Lucy, and Elinor told her she wasn’t. Anne said that false rumors... (full context)
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...John, and Fanny behaved with the matter of Edward’s engagement, before having to leave. When Mrs. Jennings and Elinor were in their carriage on the way back home, Mrs. Jennings “was eager... (full context)
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...him “to any body that has a living to bestow.” Elinor showed the letter to Mrs. Jennings , who was delighted to read that Lucy was happy. (full context)
Chapter 39
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After Elinor and Marianne made their plans, Colonel Brandon visited, and Mrs. Jennings told him about their imminent departure, hoping to spur him to propose to Elinor. She... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings overheard parts of their conversation, with Brandon apologizing “for the badness of his house,” and... (full context)
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...afraid the marriage could not take place very soon, and this was the sentence that Mrs. Jennings heard and misunderstood. (full context)
Chapter 40
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As soon as Colonel Brandon left, Mrs. Jennings (thinking that Brandon had proposed to Elinor) told Elinor that she had overheard a bit... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings started to leave and Elinor asked her not to spread the news, until she had... (full context)
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After Mrs. Jennings left, Elinor tried to start writing to Edward, but was interrupted when Edward himself arrived... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings returned home and talked to Elinor more about what she thought was her engagement to... (full context)
Chapter 42
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...For all her earlier eagerness to leave, Marianne now found it hard to part with Mrs. Jennings ’ home. (full context)
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...of being a pleasant companion.” Colonel Brandon arrived and spent much time talking to Elinor. Mrs. Jennings continued to think that Colonel Brandon loved Elinor, though Elinor knew he had his eyes... (full context)
Chapter 43
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The next day, Marianne seemed better, but that night she was feverish. As Mrs. Jennings had suggested, Elinor called for the Palmers’ apothecary. He came and said that Marianne would... (full context)
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...to go stay with his wife, and Colonel Brandon was also preparing to leave, but Mrs. Jennings persuaded him to stay. (full context)
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Marianne’s illness continued for two days and though the apothecary still said she would recover, Mrs. Jennings thought Marianne was dying, and told Brandon this. The next day, though, Marianne seemed much... (full context)
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...apothecary arrived, and said that Marianne was all right, and would recover. In the morning, Mrs. Jennings was upset that Elinor had not woken her up to tell her of Marianne’s worsening... (full context)
Chapter 44
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In London, Willoughby was pained to receive Marianne’s letters. He watched Mrs. Jennings ’ house and waited until Marianne was out of the house before visiting and leaving... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...her life, she felt bad for the contempt with which she treated the kindness of Mrs. Jennings and even Fanny, John, the Steeles, and the Middletons. (full context)
Chapter 49
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Elinor received a letter from Mrs. Jennings about Lucy, which communicated “her honest indignation against the jilting girl,” and her pity for... (full context)