Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Young and pretty Ellie Dunn is the first of many guests to arrive at the Sussex, England, home of Captain Shotover. Ellie, who was invited by Mrs. Hushabye, Captain Shotover’s eldest daughter, will eventually rename the home Heartbreak House because of all the disappointments she and others experience there that day.
When Ellie arrives at the house, there is no one to greet her, and she sits reading William Shakespeare until she falls asleep. The elderly servant, Nurse Guinness, finally discovers Ellie just before the arrival of another visitor, Shotover’s younger daughter, Lady Utterword, who is returning home after having been away from England for twenty-three years.
Mrs. Hushabye invited Ellie, her father Mazzini Dunn, and Ellie’s fiancé, Boss Mangan, to Captain Shotover’s house because she wants to persuade Ellie not to marry Mangan, a millionaire industrialist who has befriended Ellie’s father. Mangan gave Dunn money to begin a business that failed after two years, after which Mangan bought the business, which then thrived, and gave Dunn a job managing it. Mrs. Hushabye wants Ellie to marry someone she loves rather than someone to whom her father owes a debt.
In a conversation with Mrs. Hushabye, Ellie reveals that she has a secret passion for a mysterious man she has just met, a romantic adventurer named Marcus Darnley. When Mrs. Hushabye’s husband, Hector, enters the room, Ellie discovers that Marcus Darnley...
(The entire section is 1020 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Heartbreak House Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!