Volume 1, Chapter 7

Synopsis of Volume 1, Chapter 7

Mary and Anne are on their way to Uppercross Hall. They narrowly miss seeing Captain Wentworth as they are interrupted by the news that Mary's eldest son has taken a serious fall. It turns out that his collarbone is dislocated, and while the injury is not life-threatening, he needs constant care for a while.

Charles believes this is a woman's task, but Mary is in a dither and unfit to help. Anne rises capably to the task of being his nurse. Charles' and Mary's initial concern and desire to be close to their injured son soon fades, and they eagerly leave for Uppercross to dine with the Musgroves and Captain Wentworth.

The next morning, Captain Wentworth pays a brief visit to the cottage, leaving Anne in a state of inner agitation as she tries to overcome her emotions with reasoning. Mary later relays the Captain's observation that Anne is greatly changed. Anne finds the Captain as full of vigour as before. He is keen to find a wife, and while he appears to be quite cavalier about whom he will choose, it is clear that his past admiration for Anne has shaped his standards.

Commentary on Volume 1, Chapter 7

Anne had everything to do at once Being the only capable and willing helper, Anne is catapulted from the sidelines into the centre of the activity.

apothecary A chemist who prepares and sells medicines, regarded in that era as an inferior medical practitioner.

raptures A romantic term meaning frenzied delight. Its use here contrasts the emotional concerns of the Musgrove sisters with Anne's more measured tones.

apparently more full of Captain Wentworth than of little Charles This injection of irony from the narrator puts the excitability of the Musgrove sisters over Captain Wentworth into perspective.

teaze Archaic spelling of tease, meaning to press.

he would have done what … she should have done … when events had been early giving him the independence which alone had been wanting Anne wonders that Captain Wentworth didn't approach her again once his fortune had increased, when that had been the only obstacle to their getting married.

Investigating Volume 1, Chapter 7
  • How does Charles' and Mary's response to their son's fall impact on our impression of them as parents?
  • Both Anne and Charles comment on the role of nurse being in the woman's realm of duties.
    • What might be their different motivations for expressing this opinion?
  • Reread paragraph two, paying particular attention to the list of things Anne has to do to help her nephew. Contrast this with the end of the second paragraph where the Musgrove sisters' responses to Captain Wentworth are listed.
    • What effect is achieved by coupling the similar style of these lists, with their very different content?
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