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Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility


by Jane Austen

Lucy Steele Timeline and Summary

  • Lucy and her sister, Anne, meet their distant cousin Mrs. Jennings in Exeter; they are invited to come stay at Barton Park.
  • The Miss Steeles win over the Middletons, particularly Lady Middleton, with their unending praise of the couple's children. Sir John drags over Elinor and Marianne to meet them.
  • Lucy and Anne fail to impress Elinor and Marianne. However, Lucy takes a strong interest in Elinor – we wonder why?
  • After hearing Sir John tease Elinor about Edward, the questionably malicious Lucy takes Elinor into her confidence, and tells her new "friend" that she's secretly engaged to Edward Ferrars. We, and Elinor, are shocked and horrified.
  • Furthermore, Lucy tries to get Elinor to help her win over Edward's family, through Elinor's connection to John and Fanny. We only have one thing to say: oh no, she didn't!
  • Lucy continues to plague Elinor with conversations about her plight.
  • Upon the Dashwoods' departure for London, the Steeles say goodbye, hoping to meet up again in London.
  • When they meet up again in town, Lucy slyly nudges Elinor towards helping her out with John and Fanny.
  • Lucy complains to Elinor that she hasn't seen Edward yet. Sigh.
  • The Miss Steeles are invited, along with the Middletons and Dashwoods, to meet Fanny and Mrs. Ferrars. The two Ferrars women take an instant liking to Lucy, not knowing what her relationship is to Edward, of course.
  • Lucy is exhilarated, and thinks that she's a shoe-in for the Ferrars family.
  • Edward interrupts Lucy and Elinor's tête-à-tête, and a very awkward moment ensues.
  • The Miss Steeles are invited to stay with John and Fanny, at Fanny's desperate insistence (she doesn't want Marianne and Elinor to come).
  • Anne screws over her sister by revealing the engagement to Fanny. The whole Ferrars family throws a fit. Lucy is furious with her sister, but supposedly forgives her.
  • Lucy writes a condescending letter to Elinor, thanking her for her discretion and friendship. She emphasizes how happy she and Edward are.
  • Lucy runs into Thomas, the Dashwoods' servant, in Exeter. Knowing that he'll tell Elinor, she cruelly leads him to believe that she's married to Edward, though in fact, she's married to Robert Ferrars.
  • Backtracking, it turns out that Lucy supposedly tried to convince Robert to help her and Edward out, but ended up gradually seducing him (and cunningly convincing him that he was the one that seduced her, if that makes sense to you).
  • Lucy and Robert are disowned by Mrs. Ferrars, but quickly regain her good graces. Lucy becomes the favorite daughter-in-law soon enough.