“At the centre of the book is a displaced child with an unshakeable conscience. A true heroine”.Paula Byrne
‘Mansfield Park’ is a novel 📖 written ✍️ by Jane Austen between 1812 and 1813. The novel is categorised under the genre of novel of manners noting the culture and traits of the Victorian society in England 🏴. Mansfield Park is recognised as the third novel 📚 by Jane Austen preceded by ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’. ‘Mansfield Park’ was first published by 📜 Thomas Egerton in the year 1814 followed by a second edition by John Murray in the year 1816.
“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings”.Mansfield Park
Meet the Families
“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of”.Mansfield Park |Mary Crawford |Chapter 22
The novel starts introducing its major characters, the three families 💁♀️:
- Sir Thomas Betram 👨💼👩💼 and Maria Ward with Tom, Edmund and Maria and Julia as children
- Mr Norris and Mrs Norris 🧔👩
- Mr. Price and Mrs. Frances Price 🙎🏻♂️🙍🏻♀️ with nine children: Fanny, William, Susan, Richard, Charles, John, Sam, Betsey and Mary who is deceased.
Where Do They Live and How?
Maria Ward married 💍 Thomas Betram, a wealthy man and has got herself rich 💸. This status of her in the society helps 🤗 her sister also to marry a clergyman Mr. Norris. But, their youngest sister, marries a former naval officer, Mr. Price against her family’s wishes 😦 and lives in poverty. This family’s little income isn’t able to feed their nine children 🍽️.
What will happen to the Price family 👪? Will the kith and kin lend a helping hand 🤝?
Fanny to the Mansfield Park 🏘️
Mrs. Norris suggests that Mr. Bertram can 👨👩👧 guard Fanny, the eldest daughter of the Price family. Fanny is thus moved 🛄 to Mansfield Park where the Bertrams live. She isn’t wholeheartedly welcomed 😏. Her cousins, especially Tom, Mary and Julia upsets her. While Mrs. Norris reminds 😔 her of her poverty very frequently.
Will there be anyone in Mansfield Park who can comfort the 10 year old, little Fanny?
“Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure” .Mansfield Park
The Place of Comfort in Mansfield Park: Edmund
It is only Edmund who treats her well 🙂 in Mansfield Park. It becomes her comfort place in the estate. Meanwhile, Sir Thomas Betram gets angry 😡 as Tom is engaged in gambling 🎲 and brings debt. This puts him in a situation to sell 💱 the Mansfield Parsonage 🏠 where Mrs. Norris lives to Dr.Grant. She too moves to Mansfield Park after the sale and her husband’s death ⚰️.
Sir Thomas Betram and his eldest son Tom move to Antigua to look after the plantations 🌄 they own there. In his absence, Mrs. Norris teaches Maria and Julia on how they should behave in society 🌁 to be labelled as the ‘ladies’ 💅👒. Mrs. Norris also grabs the chance and arranges the marriage of Maria with James 🕺💍💃 Rushworth, a wealthy 💰 but stupid heir who owns the Sotherton.
Is Maria really interested 🤨in Mr. Rushworth? If not, then why does she agree to get married to him?
The half-siblings of Mrs. Grant, the wife of Dr.Grant have come to pay them a visit. The Grants welcome Henry Crawford and Mary Crawford 👫. The Betrams hear about them and are impressed 😙 by their sophisticated behaviour.
Edmund: More Than a Cousin to Fanny
“To me, the sound of Mr. Bertram is so cold and nothing-meaning, so entirely without warmth or character! It just stands for a gentleman, and that’s all. But there is nobleness in the name of Edmund. It is a name of heroism and renown; of kings, princes, and knights; and seems to breathe the spirit of chivalry and warm affections”.Mansfield Park|Chapter 22
Henry Crawford flirts 💏 with both the Betram sisters, Maria and Julia. Maria, who is engaged to Rushworth, is attracted to Henry. Meanwhile, Tom returns 🛥️ from Antigua before his father. Mary Crawford is attracted ☺️ to him but she is also fond of Edmund. But she chooses Tom over Edmund as she plans to marry a wealthy man and enjoy herself while Edmund has chosen to become a clergyman 👨⚖️ in the country. Between these relationships, Fanny has fallen in love 😍 with Edmund, who is now much more than a cousin.
“An engaged woman is always more agreeable than a disengaged. She is satisfied with herself. Her cares are over, and she feels that she may exert all her powers of pleasing without suspicion. All is safe with a lady engaged; no harm can be done”.Mansfield Park |Henry Crawford |Chapter 5
The Enacting of Lovers’ Vows
John Yates, a friend of Tom, visits Mansfield Park. His thoughts are of dramas and dreams of being an actor 🎭. Yates decided to stage a drama 📑 titled Lovers’ Vows. The scripts are provided but Edmund and Fanny warn 🤐 them not to perform it as Sir Thomas Bertram is against theatricals. But eventually, Edmund too takes a role as he is fond of Mary 😍 and has got his role as her lover. Mary and Edmund rehearsing love scenes 👩❤️💋👨 hurts Fanny.
Sir Thomas Bertram is Back
Sir Thomas Bertram returns early 🚤 and the play is stopped from enacting. Later, Yates leaves the estate followed by Henry. This upsets 😔 Maria but she still accepts 🙂 to marry Rushworth even though her father is ready to free her from this engagement💍. The marriage is held 💒 and the couple move to an estate in London 🏡 accompanied by Julia. Meanwhile, Mary and Fanny establish their friendship 🙌.
Edmund Proposes Mary
Edmund who has fallen in love 😍 with Mary proposes to her which she rejects 🙅♀️as she doesn’t find him suitable for her. She realises 😬 that his commitment to the church will be an obstacle 🙄 to lead her dreamy luxurious life in London. Edmund, disappointed at being rejected, finds comfort 😕 in sharing his worries and troubles with Fanny. Fanny comforts 😔 him by hiding her love for Edmund.
Will Fanny ever say that she loves him? Edmund is hurt for being rejected, is she getting hurt hearing how deep Edmund loves Mary and not her?
Henry in Love with Fanny
Henry returns to Mansfield Park and finding no 🙃 women to flirt with, tries his luck at flirting 😘 with Fanny. Henry who does this for fun finds himself fallen in love ❤️ with Fanny. Henry decides to propose to her. Meanwhile her brother, William Price, a midshipman in the Navy 👨🔧 pays a visit to his sister. The Bertrams arrange a ball 💃 in Fanny’s honor.
Henry Proposes Fanny?
He was in love, very much in love, and it was a love which, operating on an active, sanguine spirit, of more warmth than delicacy, made her affection appear of greater consequence, because it was withheld, and determined him to have the glory, as well as the felicity, of forcing her to love him.
Mansfield Park |Narrator|Chapter 33
Henry grabs his chance to impress ☺️ Fanny by promoting her brother Williams with the help of his uncle 🤝who is an admiral. Henry, who now seems to be set to propose to her, does it but is rejected. Everybody is shocked 😲. Each and everyone persuades her to marry 😌 as he would his best choice and questions her the reason for rejecting 😣 him. She doesn’t reveal it but he reminds her of his flirtatious 😉 behaviour towards Maria and Julia.
“I was quiet, but I was not blind” .Mansfield Park
Is the rejection of Henry’s proposal just because of his flirtatious behaviour or because of a hidden love for Edmund 🤨?
Fanny Leaves Mansfield Park
“Let him have all the perfections in the world, I think it ought not to be set down as certain that a man must be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself”.Mansfield Park|Chapter 35
Every one including Sir Thomas Bertram and even Edmund persuades her to marry 🤗 him as he is rich and can get herself occupied to a comfortable living 💶. But she is helpless 😞 and is unable to reveal the reason to Sir Thomas Bertram. Sir Thomas Bertram decides to send her off to her poor living conditions 😟 in Portsmouth for a long visit so that she can realise how adapted she is to a comfortable 😩 living and the benefits of getting married to Henry 😚.
“I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of”.Mansfield Park|Chapter 36
Fanny in Portsmouth
“Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions”.Mansfield Park
Fanny reaches Portsmouth but she desires to return to Mansfield Park. In the time ⌚ period, she gets attached 😘 to her kind and intelligent sister Susan. Back in Mansfield Park, Edmund takes his vows 🤝 as a clergyman which disappoints 😞 Mary. Mary reaches out to her friends in London for advice. Surprisingly, Henry visits Fanny in Portsmouth and proposes 😒 to her again.
Fanny! You are killing me!” “No man dies of love but on the stage, Mr. Crawford.Mansfield Park
Maria and Henry Elope 🙄
Fanny is informed ✉️ that Henry and Maria eloped shortly after Fanny’s rejection 🙅♀️ to Henry. They had met in certain social events in London and refreshed their love 💏. But this shameful 🥺 act has raged the Rushworths and destroyed the 😡 reputation of the Bertrams. Meanwhile, Tom, who has fallen ill 😓 from London, is brought to Mansfield Park for treatment. Edmund is sad that the shameful act of Maria has blocked the path of his 😶 love for Mary.
Fanny is Back to Mansfield Park
Fanny along with her sister Susan 👭 is brought back to Mansfield Park by Edmund. Edmund, disappointed 😞 in his sister’s act, gets frustrated 😡 when Mary thinks that Maria can marry Henry after their divorce 📄. Edmund feels disgusted 🤢. He finds comfort 😕 again in sharing his troubles with Fanny.
“I was so anxious to do what is right that I forgot to do what is right” .Mansfield Park
Edmund and Fanny Get Married
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to”.Mansfield Park |Fanny Price|Chapter 42
Edmund, who hates 😡 Mary, feels an affection for Fanny. All of them are happy 😚 that Fanny had rejected Henry. Sir Thomas Bertram has rejected Maria for her disgraceful 😑 act and thrown her out of the house while Fanny is accepted 🤗 as their own daughter. Julia also disgraces 😐 her family eloping with Yates, the friend of Tom. Both of them repent 😔 and join the family 👪. Eventually, Edmund and Fanny get 💍 married and move to the Parsonage 🏠 and live happily ☺️ after the death of Dr.Grant in London.
“Mansfield Park is perhaps the first novel in history to depict the life of a little girl from within”.Paula Byrne
‘Mansfield Park’ as most of Jane Austen’s novels blends irony ✖️ with social commentary and humour which helped 😊 her earn her acclaim among the critics. This novel has brought the issue of slavery 🙍🏿♂️ pointing out the visit of Sir Thomas Bertram to Antigua where slaves trade is done. This states how people in London earned money 💰 during the period even when slave trade was prohibited. Most of her novels have been adapted to movies.
“Let us have the luxury of silence”.Mansfield Park
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