Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 42

By Jane Austen

Chapter 42

  • Elinor visits her brother's house once more before everyone sets off for Cleveland. Everyone seems intent on Elinor visiting Colonel Brandon's house at Delaford, assuming that the Colonel will marry her.
  • Early in April, the Palmers, Mrs. Jennings, and the Dashwoods leave London to go to Cleveland. The plan is for the party of ladies to go slowly, and for Colonel Brandon and Mr. Palmer to meet up with them at Cleveland.
  • Despite her desire to go home, Marianne is sad to leave London, home of so many Willoughby-related memories.
  • Elinor, however, is feeling pretty good, and has high hopes for the coming journey.
  • Cleveland turns out to be a perfectly lovely house, with pretty grounds – a nice-sounding place to spend a few days of vacation.
  • Marianne is overcome by the idea that she's only thirty miles away from Willoughby's house, Combe Magna, and she imagines that she can see it in the distance.
  • Marianne vows to spend her time at the Palmers' taking long, lonely, rather romantic and sentimental walks.
  • Unfortunately, bad weather settles in, and prevents Marianne from taking an evening walk. Everyone settles down with gossip, crafts, and reading – sounds pretty cozy.
  • Colonel Brandon and Mr. Palmer arrive the next day. Elinor finally gets to know Mr. Palmer a little better, and discovers that he's better than she'd thought – though much worse in general than Edward.
  • Colonel Brandon tells her a bit about Edward, or rather, some things that concern Edward; the two of them chat about the Parsonage at Delaford, and how it could be improved before Edward settles there.
  • Mrs. Jennings takes Colonel Brandon's affectionate treatment of Elinor to be a sign of his love for her. Elinor, however, is sure that he still loves Marianne, for though he speaks mostly with her older sister, he can't help but observe the rather sickly Marianne.
  • Speaking of which, Marianne has taken ill – after several damp, chilly walks, she's caught cold, and is actually quite unwell. Elinor persuades her to go to bed and try and get a good night's rest.