Sense and Sensibility - Stuff That Happens In The Play

Happy endings ensue...

• Mr. Dashwood, on his deathbed, makes his son, John, promise to take care of John’s stepmother and half-sisters, the reserved Elinor and the passionate Marianne, after Mr. Dashwood dies.

• John’s wife Fanny whittles down John’s planned gifts to his sisters and stepmother to a meager 500 pounds a year. John and Fanny move into the Dashwood family home, Norland Park, displacing the Dashwood ladies.

• Fanny Dashwood’s brother, the sweet and mild Edward Ferrars, comes to visit, forming a strong attachment to the eldest Dashwood sister, Elinor. Fanny’s rude remarks about the impossibility of their marriage lead Mrs. Dashwood to look for a new home.

• The Dashwood ladies move to Devonshire and take up residence in Barton Cottage within Barton Park, the estate of John Middleton, a gentleman and Mrs. Dashwood’s relation.

• The boisterous John Middleton and his well-meaning (though incurably nosy) mother-in-law Mrs. Jennings greet the Dashwoods and invite them to Barton Park for dinner, where they meet the dignified gentleman Colonel Brandon.

• Colonel Brandon, though much older than Marianne, falls for her instantly upon hearing her sing.

• On a walk, Marianne hurts her ankle. The gallant, handsome, and young John Willoughby comes to her rescue, stealing her heart in the process.

• Marianne and Willoughby publicly display their affection for one another, overstepping the bounds of decorum.

• During a picnic at Colonel Brandon’s house, the Colonel receives a letter that spurs him to London immediately, with no explanation.

• Willoughby asks to speak to Marianne alone, leading Elinor and her mother to believe he is proposing. When they return, however, Marianne is heartbroken and Willoughby is leaving for London.

• Mrs. Jennings introduces Miss Lucy Steele to the Dashwood sisters. Lucy, jealous and manipulative, secretly informs Elinor that she has been engaged to Edward Ferrars for several years.

• The Dashwood sisters, both confused and feeling the sting of lost love, go to London with Mrs. Jennings.

• Heartbreak, complete and utter despair, and happy endings ensue.