Notes on Objects & Places from Sense and Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility Objects/Places

Sussex: County in south east England. Norland is here.

Norland Park: The Dashwood family home. It is inherited temporarily by Mr. Henry Dashwood, but when he dies it goes to his rich son John. John and his family move in right after the funeral, and the Dashwood women feel uncomfortable in what had been their home. The house and its surroundings are beautiful, and it was the site for many happy memories. The Dashwood women are sad to leave it.

annuity: A sum of money paid out yearly. John suggests he fulfill his promise by paying Mrs. Dashwood an annuity, but his wife is afraid Mrs. Dashwood will live for many more years, thus increasing the amount of money they will have to pay her. Fanny is more concerned about money than the quality of life of the Dashwood women.

china and linen: Mrs. Dashwood has china and linen from her old house. Fanny suggests that since Mrs. Dashwood has such nice things (much nicer than theirs, she complains), she does not need any gift of money from John.

Cowper: Marianne's favorite poet. From the Romantic period, his poetry is passionate about nature. Willoughby shares Marianne's love for Cowper, which makes him very attractive to her.

Barton Park: The home of Sir John and Lady Middleton. It is the estate upon which Barton Cottage resides, only a short walk away. The Dashwoods often visit the Middletons at this home.

Barton Cottage: The new home of the Dashwoods. The cottage is small but cozy, and has a beautiful garden. The land is also beautiful and they take many walks in Barton Valley. It is while living here that they meet Willoughby.

Devonshire: County in south west England, home of Barton Cottage. It is very far from Norland.

piano forte: A piano. Marianne enjoys it and plays well. She is often asked to play during parties and small gatherings. She and Willoughby would often play together, and when he leaves she plays their favorite songs over and over.

flannel waistcoat: An undergarment worn to keep warm. Colonel Brandon mentions wearing one, and Marianne takes this as a sign he is old and sickly, and incapable of being a lover.

Allenham: The home of Mrs. Smith, Willoughby's benefactress. Allenham lies in Barton Valley, close to Barton Park. The Dashwood girls are curious to see it, but Marianne gets a private viewing when she and Willoughby sneak away and see the home when Mrs. Smith is not there. Elinor reprimands Marianne for this improper behavior.

Scott: Another of Marianne's favorite poets. A Romantic writer like Cowper.

Pope: An English poet whose writings preceded those of Cowper and Scott. His more reserved approach keeps him from being one of Marianne's favorites, though she does like him.

second attachment: Being in love a second time. Marianne insists that her opinion is fixed that second attachments are impossible. The Colonel, Marianne's father, and by the end of the novel Marianne herself, all have second attachments.

Somersetshire: County in south-west England, the home of Combe Magna, Willoughby's estate.

Queen Mab: The name of the horse Willoughby gives to Marianne. Mab is a fairy queen in English literature. Elinor has to convince Marianne to return the gift because the Dashwoods cannot afford to care for a horse. It is a very impulsive present.

lock of Marianne's hair: Margaret sees Willoughby begging Marianne for a lock of her hair, and Marianne agrees to let him have a few strands. Such an act is a very romantic one, the act of a lover. A loved one's hair was often set in rings and worn by her man. But the way Willoughby asked for the hair is not proper, because the two are not engaged.

Whitwell: The home of Colonel Brandon's brother-in-law. The group is about to take a trip to Whitwell when the Colonel is called away on business. The business involves his foster daughter Eliza, and the harm Willoughby has done to her; but the Colonel at this time keeps his business a secret.

Hamlet: The Shakespearean play the Dashwoods were reading when Willoughby had to leave. Hamlet was a Danish prince who was slow to act, and whose behavior drove Ophelia, who loved him, mad.

hills of Barton Valley: Marianne is disappointed by Edward's reserved description of her beautiful valley. Where Marianne sees perfection, Edward cannot help but see the faults that exist too.

profession: Edward is without profession, and lacks ambition. He would like to enter the clergy, but that is not good enough for his family. He is the eldest son, and it is not unusual for this time period for the eldest son not to have a profession.

hair ring: When Marianne and Elinor see Edward wearing a ring set with hair, they both assume it to be Elinor's, though Edward has never asked for a lock of her hair. This is one of the few times that Elinor jumps to conclusions, letting her heart lead her, and she is sorely disappointed when she learns that the hair actually belongs to Lucy Steele, who is engaged to Edward.

Cleveland: The home of the Palmers. Elinor and Marianne will visit here after their disastrous time in London. Marianne becomes very sick while she is staying here, and nearly dies.

Combe Magna: Willoughbys estate.

Longstaple: The home of Mr. Pratt, Lucy's uncle. In his youth, Edward was under Mr. Pratt's care at Longstaple for several years, during which he fell in love with Lucy.

picture of Edward: Lucy pulls from her pocket a small painting of Edward, adding more proof to the idea that she really is engaged to him.

Edward's letter: A letter from Edward to Lucy, which Lucy thoughtlessly shows to Elinor. This final proof convinces Elinor that they must be attached.

London: Elinor and Marianne stay with Mrs. Jennings in London. The Dashwoods, the Middletons, the Palmers, and the Steele girls are there too. Willoughby is also in town, but he does not answer Marianne's letters. He treats her coldly at a party, then sends her a letter denying any feelings for her. Marianne is grief-stricken, and spends the rest of their time in London being miserable.

Delaford: Colonel Brandon's home. He has a parsonage on his estate that he offers to Edward and Lucy. When Edward ends up marrying Elinor, the two of them move into the parsonage at Delaford.

Marianne's letters: The three letters Marianne writes to Willoughby after their arrival in London. He does not answer them, only writing to her after Marianne's third letter, which demands an explanation for his cold behavior at the party.

Willoughby's letter: Cold and formal, in this letter Willoughby denies having any feelings for Marianne, and apologizes for any confusion. He tells her he will soon be married to another woman. He returns her letters and her lock of hair. The letter is unexpected and out of character; it is the action of an unfeeling cad. We later learn that Willoughby's fiancee wrote the letter in a fit of jealousy after seeing Marianne.

Bath: City in south-west England. When visiting Bath with one of her friends, Miss Williams meets Willoughby and the two run away together. He gets her pregnant, then leaves her penniless and alone.

Lady Middleton's card: The upperclass leave their card with those they wish to associate. All the Dashwood's acquaintances shun Willoughby and his new wife, but Lady Middleton insists on leaving her card with Willoughby's new wife, because she is rich and stylish. It is an uncaring act, but completely in character. Her concern is more for the customs of society than for her young "friend."

tooth-pick case : When Elinor first sees Robert Ferrars (though she does not know at the time it is him), he is meticulously choosing a fancy tooth-pick case at a store in London. First, he does not let Elinor, a woman, place her order first. Second, any man so concerned and fussy about the details of a tooth-pick case is definitely a fop, a dandy.

East Kingham Farm: A farm neighboring Norland which John Dashwood buys. He brings up this purchase to show Elinor how little money he has, so he will not look bad when he does not buy her anything. A large landlord, John buys his neighbor's farm, making him a tenant. Despite his complaints about how much it cost to buy, the new farm will earn John much more money.

Elinor's drawings: Both Elinor and Marianne seriously pursue their artistic talents. Many women of this period practice drawing or music only so they will appear attractive to a prospective husband, then give it up after they marry. Elinor draws quite well, and the hypocritical Ferrars women like her drawings until they learn that they belong to Elinor.

Kensington Gardens: The gardens of Kensington Palace in London. Elinor has a chance meeting here with Ann, who tells Elinor how Edward offered to end the engagement. Elinor is shocked to learn that Ann got her information by eavesdropping on the couple.

libertine: Also known as a rake. A person who thinks only of their libido, and not the feelings of others or the consequences of their actions. At one time it was fashionable to be a libertine; in the Dashwoods' age it is only disgraceful.

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