Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 48

By Jane Austen

Chapter 48

  • Elinor finds herself mulling over the event of Edward's marriage – she realizes that she'd hoped that something would come up to prevent it, but now that it's happened, she feels incredibly hurt.
  • She's surprised that he and Lucy were married so soon, before he could possibly have been ordained. She wonders how he must have felt, being so close to Barton.
  • She supposes that the Ferrars must be settled at Delaford already, and envisions their life there.
  • Elinor had thought that someone in London might have seen fit to tell her of Edward and Lucy's marriage, and she's surprised when no letter arrives with details.
  • She even asks her mother to write to Colonel Brandon (she has already), eager for any news. However, no word has arrived.
  • As soon as she asks this, though, Colonel Brandon himself arrives – but wait, it's not the Colonel. In fact, it's Edward!
  • Elinor tells herself to be calm. Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood both freak out as well, unsure of what they should do. They silently await his arrival.
  • Edward enters, looking ill with anxiety. Mrs. Dashwood breaks the ice by shaking his hand and wishing him happiness.
  • Marianne and Margaret both retreat, leaving Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood to deal with the visitor.
  • Mrs. Dashwood asks if Mrs. Ferrars is well, and Elinor, following up, asks if she's at Longstaple. Edward is shocked – his mother (the Mrs. Ferrars he's thinking of) isn't anywhere near here!
  • Elinor pointedly asks about Mrs. Edward Ferrars. All eyes turn to Edward.
  • Edward stammers, confused – does Elinor mean Mrs. Robert Ferrars instead?
  • Everyone is shocked: what's the meaning of this?
  • This is the deal – it turns out that Robert, Edward's younger brother (you remember, the toothpick case guy) just married Lucy Steele. Whoa. Our minds are blown.
  • Elinor isn't sure how to react, so she flees the room and bursts into tears of joy.
  • Edward also doesn't know what to do, so he sits in silence for a moment, then simply leaves.
  • Everyone is totally perplexed.