Study Guide

Persuasion Chapter 5

By Jane Austen

Chapter 5

  • Anne decides to take a walk that just happens to coincide with the Crofts arriving to take over Kellynch Hall.
  • The rental goes off with out a hitch, with Sir Walter pleased that his tenant is not completely hideous and the Admiral assured that his landlord is not quite a complete nitwit.
  • As the logistics of the move get figured out, it’s settled that Anne will stay with her younger sister Mary and then with Lady Russell, while Elizabeth and Sir Walter head out to set up house in Bath, with Anne joining them later.
  • Lady Russell is dismayed to learn that Elizabeth doesn’t want Anne around to crimp her style in Bath, but is still taking Mrs. Clay along as her wing-woman. Sisters, Lady Russell thinks, should back each other up.
  • Anne, however, has other worries about the situation: she thinks Mrs. Clay might be lining up Sir Walter as her sugar daddy.
  • Anne tries to warn Elizabeth of her concerns, but her sister blows her off, saying that Mrs. Clay is the last woman on earth whom looks-obsessed Sir Walter would fall for.
  • The Bath Party Bus, er, Carriage, sets off in style, with Sir Walter, Elizabeth, and the dreaded Mrs. Clay aboard, while Anne walks alone to Lady Russell’s house.
  • Both women are depressed at the break-up of the family (since they’re so much fun to have around, apparently), so Lady Russell leaves town and Anne moves in with her sister Mary, who lives with her husband and children at Uppercross Cottage, while her in-laws live at the Uppercross Great House.
  • Anne and Mary have a conversation in which Anne counters Mary’s incessant whining about her health and how nobody likes her with "forced cheerfulness" (5.40).
  • It actually works, and Anne manages to get Mary to forget about her hypochondria and neglected self-importance for long enough to eat lunch.
  • Anne and Mary pay a visit to Mary’s in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove, and their two young, vivacious daughters Louisa and Henrietta, who are popular but aren’t ringing any wedding bells yet.
  • Mary invites the two Miss Musgroves to join her and Anne on a walk through the countryside.