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Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen

Summary and Analysis Chapter 49


That very afternoon the couple became engaged. Edward explained to Elinor how he had happened to become engaged to Lucy Steele, and how "it was not, at the time, an unnatural or inexcusable piece of folly." He then showed her the letter that he had received from Lucy informing him that she felt he didn't really love her and that she had found someone who could in Robert.

Colonel Brandon came for a short time, and letters from Mrs. Jennings and John Dashwood brought news once again of Robert's marriage to Lucy. John felt that Edward should send a letter of apology to Mrs. Ferrars, but Edward decided to go to London in person to see his sister Fanny and "personally intreat her good offices in his favour," hoping that she might be able to bring about a reconciliation with his mother.


By a strange twist of fare, it is the sensible sister, Elinor, who marries her first love and is willing to share his life on the small salary of a country parson. With love, Elinor develops sensibility; her feelings when Edward at last proposes to her are as strong as any which Marianne has experienced, for "she was oppressed, she was overcome by her own felicity."