Persuasion Chapter 5 Volume 1

While Sir Walter and Elizabeth (along with Mrs. Clay) travel to Bath, Anne stays behind to tend to her sister Mary at Uppercross Cottage. What qualities of observation does Anne show with regard to her own position in the family and the relations between the Elliotts and the Musgroves (i.e. the family of Mary's husband Charles)? Mainly, how does she deal with Mary's complaints and Lady Russell's snubs, and how does she think of Miss Louisa and Henrietta Musgrove?

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As the Crofts prepare to move into Kellynch Hall, it is decided that Anne will not go to Bath and will instead stay with her sister Mary at Uppercross. This arrangement suits all parties: Sir Walter and Elizabeth will not miss her, Lady Russell will have her closer by, and Mary will welcome the company to keep her indisposed spirits high. To the disapproval of Lady Russell and Anne, however, it is also decided that Mrs. Clay will join the Elliots at Bath. Mrs. Clay, a daughter of Mr. Shepherd who has returned with two children after an unsuccessful marriage, exceeds at the art of pleasing at Kellynch Hall. Although no one describes her as beautiful — she has a projecting tooth and freckles — both Lady Russell and Anne fear that she will ingratiate herself with the Elliots to the extent that an intimacy develops with Sir Walter. After all “there is hardly any personal defect,” says Anne to Elizabeth, “which an agreeable manner might not gradually reconcile one too” (24).