Chapter 18 Summary
Anne has been in Bath for more than a month. During this time, she has heard little about what has been going on at Uppercross and Lyme. She is curious about Louisa’s health, but she has an even a stronger urge to know what Wentworth is doing. Finally she receives a letter from Mary.
In her letter, Mary tells Anne that she has the most extraordinary news. Not only is Louisa better and returning to Uppercross but she will soon be receiving Captain Benwick. As it turns out, Benwick has proposed to Louisa and has written ahead to Mr. Musgrove and obtained his permission to marry his daughter.
Mary is very surprised by this turn of events. She quickly tells Anne that she was right all along. She reminds Anne that she said Benwick had no interest in Anne, contrary to what Charles claimed. For her part, Mary is thankful for the engagement, though she mentions that she is not so grateful about whom Henrietta has chosen. Henrietta and Mr. Hayter are now constant companions.
In other news, Mary tells Anne that the Harville children are still staying at Uppercross. This has greatly upset Mary because she believes her mother-in-law prefers the Harville children over her own grandchildren. Mary also finds it odd that Mrs. Harville could be without her children for so long; thus she criticizes Mrs. Harville’s parenting. Mary closes her letter with the hope that she might be invited to visit at Bath. She states that she could get away for a few weeks or maybe even a month without her children.
Mary’s letter also announces that Admiral and Mrs. Croft are on their way to Bath. Anne’s father is not happy with this turn of events. The admiral probably knows no one here, Sir Walter says. The best way people will know of him, Sir Walter announces, is by his being the renter of Kellynch.
One day Anne runs into the admiral while she is walking. The admiral joins her. As they continue on their way, the admiral is stopped several times by people who admire him and people who know him through his naval service, thus proving Sir Walter wrong again.
Before leaving Anne at the door of her house, the admiral tells Anne that he has heard from Captain Wentworth. Anne is anxious to know how Wentworth has taken the news that his best friend, Benwick, is about to marry Louisa, a woman whom Wentworth seemed to be pursuing. The admiral assures Anne that Wentworth does not seem affected by the news at all. But poor Frederick, the admiral adds, will have to start all over to find himself a wife. Then the admiral says that he thinks his wife should invite Frederick to Bath. He asks Anne if she agrees.