Category Archives: Heartbreak

Isolation and grief

"I have had all this hanging on my mind, without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature . . ."

Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, v. 3, ch. 1

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Filed under Elinor, Heartbreak, Self-command, Sense and Sensibility

Constant and painful exertion

"The composure of mind with which I have brought myself at present to consider the matter, the consolation that I have been willing to admit, have been the effect of constant and painful exertion; they did not spring up of themselves; they did not occur to relieve my spirits at first. No, Marianne. Then, if I had not been bound to silence, perhaps nothing could have kept me entirely—not even what I owed to my dearest friends—from openly showing that I was very unhappy."

Sense and Sensibility, volume 3, chapter 1

Elinor to Marianne

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Filed under Elinor, Heartbreak, Self-command, Sense and Sensibility, Sense vs. Sensibility

Capable of feeling

"If you can think me capable of ever feeling, surely you may suppose that I have suffered now."

Sense and Sensibility, volume 3, chapter 1

Elinor to Marianne

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Till that instant

. . . in the acuteness of the disappointment which followed such an ecstasy of more than hope, she felt as if, till that instant, she had never suffered.

Sense and Sensibility, volume 2, chapter 9

Of Marianne, on finally receiving a letter and discovering it is from her mother when she thought it would be from Willoughby

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Filed under Heartbreak, Marianne, Sense and Sensibility, Sense vs. Sensibility

The first smart of the heavy blow

Supported by the conviction of having done nothing to merit her present unhappiness, and consoled by the belief that Edward had done nothing to forfeit her esteem, she thought she could even now, under the first smart of the heavy blow, command herself enough to guard every suspicion of the truth from her mother and sisters. And so well was she able to answer her own expectations, that when she joined them at dinner only two hours after she had first suffered the extinction of all her dearest hopes, no one would have supposed from the appearance of the sisters, that Elinor was mourning in secret over obstacles which must divide her for ever from the object of her love, and that Marianne was internally dwelling on the perfections of a man, of whose whole heart she felt thoroughly possessed, and whom she expected to see in every carriage which drove near their house.

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Filed under Edward Ferrars, Elinor, Heartbreak, Marianne, Self-command, Sense and Sensibility

Rapture of delightful expectation

Elinor, in spite of every occasional doubt of Willoughby's constancy, could not witness the rapture of delightful expectation which filled the whole soul and beamed in the eyes of Marianne, without feeling how blank was her own prospect, how cheerless her own state of mind in the comparison, and how gladly she would engage in the solicitude of Marianne's situation to have the same animating object in view, the same possibility of hope.

Sense and Sensibility, volume 2, chapter 4

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Filed under Elinor, Heartbreak, Love, Marianne, Sense and Sensibility

Elinor weeps

. . . she wept for him, more than for herself.

Sense and Sensibility, volume 2, chapter 1

Of Elinor, on learning of Edward's engagement

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Violent sorrow

. . . she thought with the tenderest compassion of that violent sorrow which Marianne was in all probability not merely giving way to as a relief, but feeding and encouraging as a duty.

Sense and Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 15

Elinor considers Marianne’s broken heart

Marianne is devoted to feeling everything to the extreme.

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Constantia wine

This is for Karen, who was wondering if this scene was in the book:

“I have just recollected that I have some of the finest old Constantia wine in the house that was ever tasted; so I have brought a glass of it for your sister.  My poor husband!  How fond he was of it!  Whenever he had a touch of old cholicky gout, he said it did him more good than anything else in the world.  Do take it to your sister.”

“Dear ma’am,” replied Elinor, smiling at the difference of the complaints for which it was recommended, “how good you are! But I have just left Marianne in bed, and, I hope, almost asleep; and as I think nothing will be of much service to her as rest, if you will give me leave, I will drink the wine myself.” . . .

Elinor, as she swallowed the chief of it, reflected that, though its good effects on a cholicky gout were, at present, of little importance to her, its healing powers on a disappointed heart might be as reasonably tried on herself as on her sister.

Elinor and Mrs. Jennings, shortly after Marianne’s disappointment with Willoughby
Sense & Sensibility, volume 2, chapter 8 (read it in context at Mollands)


Filed under Drink, Elinor, Heartbreak, Mrs. Jennings, Sense and Sensibility

Such sort of Disappointments

“Things are now in such a state, that you must resolve upon one or the other, either allow him to go on as he has done, or whenever you are together behave with a coldness which may convince him that he has been deceiving himself.–I have no doubt of his suffering a good deal for a time, a great deal, when he feels he must give you up;–but it is no creed of mine, as you must be well aware, that such sort of Disappointments kill anybody.”

letter to her niece, Fanny Knight, about Mr. John Plumptre, whom Fanny was considering marrying
November 18, 1814 [109]

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Filed under Austen family, Heartbreak, Letters, niece Fanny Knight, Uncertainty in love