Mrs Dashwood is devastated when her husband dies. His estate and fortunte are bequeathed by law to his son from a previous marriage. The Dashwoods start a new life in Devonshire. The eldest daughter, Elinor, is upset to leave her sweetheart, while her younger sister, Marianne, quickly finds she has suitors to choose from.
Marianne and Willoughby find themselves falling blissfully in love and Colonel Brandon is out of the picture when he is called away on urgent business in London. Elinor finally receives her visit from Edward, but his behaviour is so odd and distant that she is left far from reassured.
Marianne learns the full extent of Willoughby's betrayal and wrongdoing from Brandon. When Elinor learns that Edward intends to honour his engagement to Lucy Steele, even after he is disinherited by his mother, she and Marianne decide to leave London.