I remember during my English class reading an extract of a well-known novel. It was about a lady spraining her ankle and a gentleman helping her, I recollect. I have always thought it to be from Pride and Prejudice but as I am finishing it I understand it is not. And I don’t believe it’s from Jane Eyre either. Could someone please give me a hint? I can only suppose the writer was either Austen or a Brontë.

2 Answers 2


As you supposed, it is Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

While out for a walk, Marianne gets caught in the rain, slips, and sprains her ankle. The dashing John Willoughby sees the accident and assists her, picking her up and carrying her back to her home.


It could be The Lost Prince, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It's one of her lesser-known books (famous ones include The Secret Garden, A Little Princess).

At some point in the story, Marco (the main character) gets lured into his enemy's house when she pretends to sprain her ankle as he passes her in the street, and asks him to help her home.

He was trying to decide which of the two countries she belonged to, as she drew near to him, but quite suddenly the curved mouth ceased smiling as her foot seemed to catch in a break in the pavement, and she so lost her balance that she would have fallen if he had not leaped forward and caught her.

She was light and slender, and he was a strong lad and managed to steady her. An expression of sharp momentary anguish crossed her face.

''I hope you are not hurt,'' Marco said.

She bit her lip and clutched his shoulder very hard with her slim hand.

''I have twisted my ankle,'' she answered. ''I am afraid I have twisted it badly. Thank you for saving me. I should have had a bad fall.''

-- Excerpt from Chapter 13

(I still love this book after years of rereading; it's full of the beauty many of the classics hold, without being heavy reading. I think it's a wonderful example of the art of writing so many modern authors seem to have lost.)

  • Do you mean one of her books? In English, Francis is generally the male version of the name, and Frances the female.
    – Peter Shor
    Feb 13, 2020 at 0:45
  • Oops... It's fascinating how it never occurs to us to question childhood assumptions. I've been enjoying her books all my life and never realised it's the female spelling of the name! - updated my answer Feb 13, 2020 at 7:36

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