Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 41

By Jane Austen

Chapter 41

  • Mrs. Jennings goes to see Lucy the next day with congratulations, and is reassured that both she and Edward are very happy. She's confident that they'll all be together soon at Delaford Parsonage. She gives credit in the matter to Elinor and Colonel Brandon for their assistance.
  • It's been about a week since anyone heard anything from John and Fanny, and Elinor feels obliged to visit, despite Marianne's desire not to. She goes by herself to check on Fanny.
  • When she gets to the Dashwood home, she runs into her brother, who invites her in to see Fanny.
  • John, as usual, is happy to see his sister, and wants to investigate the matter of Colonel Brandon's gift to Edward – can it be true? Can Colonel Brandon really be offering Edward a job?
  • John is totally shocked by all of this considering that Colonel Brandon barely knows Edward at all. He begs Elinor not to mention Edward to Fanny. He doesn't want his mother-in-law to find out about this yet.
  • Elinor wants to know why any of this should matter to Mrs. Ferrars – after all, she cast out her son completely. Why should she care what happens to him, either good or bad?
  • John corrects his sister, saying that Mrs. Ferrars still loves Edward, and won't be able to hear of his horrible marriage without being distressed.
  • The topic shifts to the other Ferrars brother – the clan plans to marry the unfortunate Miss Morton off to Robert now. Elinor asks if Miss Morton has any choice in the matter, and is informed pragmatically that it's the same difference. Robert's the one with the money now, so why should she care which one he is?
  • Before she sees Fanny, John wants to tell Elinor one more thing – Mrs. Ferrars has actually admitted that she would have infinitely preferred it if Edward had just married Elinor, instead of Lucy, despite the fact that she had originally looked down on that connection.
  • At this point, Robert enters the room and starts chatting with Elinor, while John goes to tell Fanny that his sister is there to see her.
  • Robert continues to be obnoxious, and again trash talks Edward. He laughs at the idea of Edward as a clergyman, and is totally insensitive to the fact that his family has basically screwed over his only brother.
  • He claims to be sorry for Edward, even though he's laughing at him. Robert dismisses his brother as ruined forever.
  • Elinor asks if Robert has met his future sister-in-law, and he replies that he only saw her once, and was thoroughly unimpressed. He even went so far as to tell Edward that he was making a terrible mistake in marrying her.
  • Finally, Fanny emerges to greet Elinor – surprisingly, with a moderate degree of friendliness. She even says that she wishes that Elinor and Marianne were staying in town longer.