Volume 1, Chapter 10

Synopsis of Volume 1, Chapter 10

Anne contemplates the developing relationships between the Musgrove girls and Captain Wentworth. She concludes that the girls are more infatuated with him than in love. The Captain seems unaware of Charles Hayter's interest in Henrietta, and Charles Hayter withdraws from competing for her.

Anne overhears Captain Wentworth and LouisaAnne, Mary and Charles Musgrove, the Musgrove sisters and Captain Wentworth, take a long walk in the direction of Winthrop. As she walks, Anne contemplates the beauty of the autumn day. She is distracted by the conversation between Frederick and Louisa. Despite Mary's objections, Charles Musgrove and Henrietta pay a visit to the Hayters. While she waits, Anne overhears Frederick and Louisa discussing the merits of a firm mind. She is distressed when the conversation seems to allude to her own refusal of Charles' offer of marriage.

Charles Musgrove and Henrietta return from Winthrop accompanied by Charles Hayter, who is happy to be reunited with Henrietta. As they continue their walk, the Crofts come upon them in their gig. Captain Wentworth quietly arranges for Anne to ride home with them as he knows she is tired. Her encouragement at his expression of concern for her is tempered by the conversation she has just overheard. Anne is amused to observe the dynamics between the Crofts as they drive her home, with Mrs. Croft subtly guiding the reins.

Commentary on Volume 1, Chapter 10

some of the evils they were exposing themselves to Anne Elliot is keenly aware that the Captain's ignorance of his attractiveness to the girls, alongside their flirtatious behaviour, could have dramatic consequences for them all. ‘Playing the field' was a dangerous pastime.

junction Juncture, state of affairs.

lieve Archaic spelling of lief (rarely used today), meaning willingly.

a gleaning of nuts Nuts gathered together. The originates from the verb to glean, which was the practice in biblical times, of collecting grain left at the edges of a field for the poor to gather up (Leviticus 23:22).

she very soon heard Captain Wentworth and Louisa in the hedge-row behind her This is the first of two very important overheard conversations that are used to reveal Anne and Captain Wentworth's opinions on the theme of persuasion and thus advance the plot.

spread a little more canvas A nautical metaphor referring to the unfurling of sails to make the ship go faster. Admiral Croft wishes that Frederick would hurry up and choose one of the Musgrove sisters for his wife.

Investigating Volume 1, Chapter 10
  • Explain Anne's reaction upon overhearing the conversation between Louisa and Captain Wentworth on firmness of resolve.
  • Make notes on how the theme of persuasion is explored and developed in this chapter through the conversation between Captain Wentworth and Louisa.
  • This chapter contains some unusually descriptive and symbolic language (for Jane Austen) about autumn. How does it relate to Anne's age and marital status?
    • How does it relate to Jane Austen's stage of life at the time of writing? 
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