by Jane Austen
Emma Chapter Forty-Five Summary
- Emma walks slowly home, thinking about Jane’s change in fortunes.
- She’s surprised to find Mr. Knightley at home when she arrives. He’s sitting beside Harriet.
- He only meant to stay five minutes – but he’s been sitting there for 30.
- Apparently, he’s made a sudden decision to travel to London and visit his brother. (Mr. Woodhouse, as you can imagine, is highly unnerved by such unnecessary travel!)
- Emma arrives in time to hear her father discussing her visit to the Bates house with Mr. Knightley.
- As he looks at her approvingly, Emma blushes.
- She’s glad that she seems to have done exactly the right thing for once.
- The next day, an express letter arrives at the Westons’.
- Mrs. Churchill finally died.
- After death, everyone seems a lot nicer than they were alive. Even Mrs. Churchill.
- Mr. Weston begins to think that he might have liked her, after all.
- Emma realizes at once what this means: Mr. Churchill, Frank’s uncle, is a pretty easygoing guy. It was only Mrs. Churchill who kept Frank on such a short string.
- Now that she’s gone, Harriet and Frank can be together at last!
- (OK, so maybe Emma’s skipping a few steps…like figuring out if they actually like each other. But let’s overlook that for now.)
- Emma decides that there’s not much she can do immediately to help forward Harriet’s love.
- More pressingly, Jane Fairfax has taken very ill.
- Determined to be more friendly, Emma offers to take her on a drive. She’s rejected.
- She drives by her house, trying to make it seem like an accident.
- Jane still doesn’t come out.
- She sends some arrowroot to the house (a medicinal root). It’s sent back.
- Dejected, Emma realizes that Jane doesn’t want her help at all.
- Surprised? Well, not everything works out as Emma plans it.
- As she’s beginning to figure out.
- Later, she hears rumors that Jane was out walking on the cliffs by herself.
- Emma tries not to think about what that might mean.
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