Persuasion Plot Summary
The baronet of Kellynch Hall, Sir Walter Elliot, lives with his daughters Elizabeth and Anne. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, has overseen the affairs of Kellynch Hall since her mother’s death thirteen years ago. Sir Walter feels closest to Elizabeth, who shares his values and good looks. Anne’s opinion is valued very little. As for the youngest daughter Mary, she lives with the Musgroves — her husband Charles’ family — at Uppercross. After Lady Elliot’s death, the Elliots have accumulated debt steadily. At the novel’s opening, the debt has reached a point that requires the Elliots to reform their lifestyle thoroughly. Two family friends, Mr. Shepherd and Lady Russell, are called in for advice. After some discussion and negotiations, it is decided that the Elliots will let Kellynch Hall to Admiral Croft and move to a smaller place in Bath. At Bath, the Elliots will be able to maintain a dignified lifestyle at lesser expense. Incidentally, it is decided that Mrs. Clay will accompany Sir Walter and Elizabeth to Bath. Mrs. Clay is a daughter of Mr. Shepherd who excels at the art of pleasing (at least at Kellynch Hall). Although she is a widow and not very pretty, Anne and Lady Russell fear that she and Sir Walter may become involved with her romantically. Anne, meanwhile, goes to Uppercross at Mary’s request. At Michaelmas, the Crofts move into Kellynch Hall. As it turns out, Mrs. Croft is the sister of Frederick Wentworth, with whom Anne fell in love seven years ago. The affectionate feelings between Captain Wentworth and Anne were true and strong. At the time, however, the captain had neither fortune nor title to his name. Anne was thus persuaded by Lady Russell to break off the relationship. Now, Captain Wentworth has returned to visit the Crofts at Kellynch Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove are eager to meet Captain Wentworth because their deceased son Richard once served under him. Once the acquaintance is made, the captain’s fine character...
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