This chapter offers information about Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne’s relationship with him. Wentworth was an orphan; his only relations were his sister and brother. In the summer of 1806, he lived for six months at Monkford. He is described as having been handsome and intelligent. When he and Anne met that year, they quickly became friends and almost as quickly fell in love.
Although their love ran deep, their connection was thwarted by Anne’s father and Lady Russell. Sir Walter never deliberately forbade the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth, but he went out of his way to express the reasons why Anne should not pursue it. He thought the relationship was beneath his family’s name. Lady Russell was a little more diplomatic about her feelings concerning the alliance between the two young people, but in the end she agreed with Sir Walter.
Anne was young at the time—merely nineteen years of age. She had a family name, money, and good looks. She could have her choice of any eligible bachelor. Her friends could not see why she would want a man without a family, without wealth, and with little or no prospects. Acting as a mother figure, Lady Russell carried a lot of weight in Anne’s mind. Anne did not feel she could go forward in her acknowledgement and acceptance of Wentworth’s promise of love if Lady Russell was against it. Anne knew that Lady Russell would do all she could to prevent it. Lady Russell’s influence was more than Anne was capable of fighting.
In the end, Anne believed that an engagement to Captain Wentworth was wrong. It was improper, and there was no chance of success if they should marry. She gave him up—not so much to protect herself but to save him. She would sacrifice her own needs to provide an advantage for him. If she should marry him against her father’s and Lady Russell’s approval, Captain Wentworth might suffer social disgrace. After receiving Anne’s refusal, Captain Wentworth immediately left the country.
After his departure, Anne suffered greatly. Everything seemed colored by her despair. No other young man appealed to her. No one could compare to her Captain Wentworth. No one could rouse her emotions as he had done. Anne’s depression caused her to weaken physically. Her vibrant beauty slowly faded.
Seven years have passed, and still Anne is affected by her memory of him. The emotional strain has diminished somewhat over the years, but still she reacts to the sound of his name. No one around her knows...
(The entire section contains 666 words.)
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