Here's the introduction.
Anne De Bourgh’s matrimonial expectations—or should we say those of her mother, Lady Catherine?—were thwarted when Mr. Darcy wed that upstart nobody from Hertfordshire. But Lady Catherine is determined to find her daughter a suitable match. After a London season does not answer the purpose, she drags Anne down to the seaside resort of Sanditon to spend the summer in the pursuit of health and a husband.
There Lady Catherine finds more than one potential suitor among the residents, raising her hopes of establishing her daughter creditably. What Anne finds is a degree of independence she has never before enjoyed, and the courage to follow her own path to love . . .
These reflections so occupied Anne’s mind that she could pay but little heed to Lady Catherine’s conversation on the morning of the party at Sanditon House, when they all met for breakfast. She was dimly aware that the subject of this discourse was the state of the local tenantry, which Lady Catherine had been investigating closely in the preceding days. Anne had no notion her mother might have a particular motive for this examination; she assumed merely that, finding little else to occupy her time, Lady Catherine was intent on involving herself in the affairs of others. The fruit trees of one farmer and the thatching on the cottage of another passed over Anne’s head unheeded until she found her attention more explicitly demanded.
“Anne, Mr. Wingfield paid us a visit yesterday while you were out walking. He is pleased with the progress you have been making, but is of the opinion more is required than simply taking the air daily. He is convinced you will not truly see an amelioration until you have pursued a course of sea bathing. I do not know whether there is any benefit to be had from it, but Mr. Wingfield is adamant. Fitzwilliam, you will escort your cousin down to the bathing machines this morning; I wish Anne to be in her best bloom tonight.”
Colonel Fitzwilliam turned to Anne. “Are you inclined to attempt it?” he inquired.
This was a great deal further than Anne had ever considered going in pursuit of health. Her incapacity for exertion was such an established idea that, a week earlier, she would never have considered sea bathing. But for several days now, she had been taking daily walks and had come to no harm; she could even admit to herself that she felt stronger. The notion of sea bathing, though—facing the buffeting of the waves and doing so in a state of undress…
She eyed the colonel, considering the question—and a thought, breathtaking in its audacity, came to her: How better to distract a man from preoccupation with one lady than by a glimpse of the charms of another?
A blush suffused her cheeks for even entertaining the notion. She had an appealing figure, she knew, if rather thinner than was considered fashionable. She was well aware that, even though men and women did not bathe together, men took great pleasure in observing women from a convenient vantage point as they were disporting themselves in the water. Would she dare to flaunt herself in the sea before the colonel’s eyes in an attempt to lead him to abandon his interest in Miss Brereton? And if she did, would she succeed?
Anne smiled. “I would enjoy it exceedingly.”