“At the centre of the book is a displaced child with an unshakeable conscience. A true heroine”.

Paula Byrne
Mansfield Park | Jane Austen | Inclined Scorpio | Book Review
Cover Page ‘Mansfield Park’ by Jane Austen

‘Mansfield Park’ is a novel ๐Ÿ“– written โœ๏ธ 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 ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ. Mansfield Park is recognised as the third novel ๐Ÿ“š by Jane Austen preceded by ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’. ‘Mansfield Park’ was first published by ๐Ÿ“œ 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
Mansfield Park | Jane Austen |Inclined Scorpio | Novel of Manners
The members in the Mansfield Park: Tom, Julia, Maria, Edmund and Fanny

The novel starts introducing its major characters, the three families ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ:

  • Sir Thomas Betram ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ผ and Maria Ward with Tom, Edmund and Maria and Julia as children
  • Mr Norris and Mrs Norris ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿ‘ฉ
  • Mr. Price and Mrs. Frances Price ๐Ÿ™Ž๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ with nine children: Fanny, William, Susan, Richard, Charles, John, Sam, Betsey and Mary who is deceased.

Where Do They Live and How?

Mansfield Park |Jane Austen |Inclined Scorpio | Book Review
The 10 year old Fanny of Mansfield Park

Maria Ward married ๐Ÿ’ Thomas Betram, a wealthy man and has got herself rich ๐Ÿ’ธ. This status of her in the society helps ๐Ÿค— 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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ and lives in poverty. This family’s little income isn’t able to feed their nine children ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ.

What will happen to the Price family ๐Ÿ‘ช? Will the kith and kin lend a helping hand ๐Ÿค?

Fanny to the Mansfield Park ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ

Mrs. Norris suggests that Mr. Bertram can ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ง guard Fanny, the eldest daughter of the Price family. Fanny is thus moved ๐Ÿ›„ to Mansfield Park where the Bertrams live. She isn’t wholeheartedly welcomed ๐Ÿ˜. Her cousins, especially Tom, Mary and Julia upsets her. While Mrs. Norris reminds ๐Ÿ˜” 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

Mansfield Park |Jane Austen |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Victorian Novel
Edmund, the only friend of Fanny in the beginning of the novel, ‘Mansfield Park’

It is only Edmund who treats her well ๐Ÿ™‚ in Mansfield Park. It becomes her comfort place in the estate. Meanwhile, Sir Thomas Betram gets angry ๐Ÿ˜ก as Tom is engaged in gambling ๐ŸŽฒ and brings debt. This puts him in a situation to sell ๐Ÿ’ฑ the Mansfield Parsonage ๐Ÿ  where Mrs. Norris lives to Dr.Grant. She too moves to Mansfield Park after the sale and her husband’s death โšฐ๏ธ.

To Antigua

Sir Thomas Betram and his eldest son Tom move to Antigua to look after the plantations ๐ŸŒ„ they own there. In his absence, Mrs. Norris teaches Maria and Julia on how they should behave in society ๐ŸŒ to be labelled as the ‘ladies’ ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿ‘’. Mrs. Norris also grabs the chance and arranges the marriage of Maria with James ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’ƒ Rushworth, a wealthy ๐Ÿ’ฐ but stupid heir who owns the Sotherton.

Is Maria really interested ๐Ÿคจin Mr. Rushworth? If not, then why does she agree to get married to him?

The Crawfords

Mansfield Park |Jane Austen |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review
Henry Crawford and Mary Crawford of the novel Mansfield Park

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 ๐Ÿ‘ซ. The Betrams hear about them and are impressed ๐Ÿ˜™ by their sophisticated behaviour.

Edmund: More Than a Cousin to Fanny

โ€œTo 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 thatโ€™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 affectionsโ€.

Mansfield Park|Chapter 22

Henry Crawford flirts ๐Ÿ’ with both the Betram sisters, Maria and Julia. Maria, who is engaged to Rushworth, is attracted to Henry. Meanwhile, Tom returns ๐Ÿ›ฅ๏ธ from Antigua before his father. Mary Crawford is attracted โ˜บ๏ธ 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 ๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš–๏ธ in the country. Between these relationships, Fanny has fallen in love ๐Ÿ˜ 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 ๐ŸŽญ. Yates decided to stage a drama ๐Ÿ“‘ titled Lovers’ Vows. The scripts are provided but Edmund and Fanny warn ๐Ÿค 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 ๐Ÿ˜ and has got his role as her lover. Mary and Edmund rehearsing love scenes ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ’‹โ€๐Ÿ‘จ hurts Fanny.

Sir Thomas Bertram is Back

Sir Thomas Bertram returns early ๐Ÿšค and the play is stopped from enacting. Later, Yates leaves the estate followed by Henry. This upsets ๐Ÿ˜” Maria but she still accepts ๐Ÿ™‚ to marry Rushworth even though her father is ready to free her from this engagement๐Ÿ’. The marriage is held ๐Ÿ’’ and the couple move to an estate in London ๐Ÿก accompanied by Julia. Meanwhile, Mary and Fanny establish their friendship ๐Ÿ™Œ.

Edmund Proposes Mary

Edmund who has fallen in love ๐Ÿ˜ with Mary proposes to her which she rejects ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธas she doesn’t find him suitable for her. She realises ๐Ÿ˜ฌ that his commitment to the church will be an obstacle ๐Ÿ™„ to lead her dreamy luxurious life in London. Edmund, disappointed at being rejected, finds comfort ๐Ÿ˜• in sharing his worries and troubles with Fanny. Fanny comforts ๐Ÿ˜” 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

Mansfield Park |Jane Austen |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review
Henry Crawford approaching Fanny in the novel, Mansfield Park

Henry returns to Mansfield Park and finding no ๐Ÿ™ƒ women to flirt with, tries his luck at flirting ๐Ÿ˜˜ with Fanny. Henry who does this for fun finds himself fallen in love โค๏ธ with Fanny. Henry decides to propose to her. Meanwhile her brother, William Price, a midshipman in the Navy ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ง pays a visit to his sister. The Bertrams arrange a ball ๐Ÿ’ƒ in Fannyโ€™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
Mansfield Park |Jane Austen |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Novel of Manners
William Price, Fannyโ€™s brother in Mansfield Park

Henry grabs his chance to impress โ˜บ๏ธ Fanny by promoting her brother Williams with the help of his uncle ๐Ÿคwho is an admiral. Henry, who now seems to be set to propose to her, does it but is rejected. Everybody is shocked ๐Ÿ˜ฒ. Each and everyone persuades her to marry ๐Ÿ˜Œ as he would his best choice and questions her the reason for rejecting ๐Ÿ˜ฃ him. She doesn’t reveal it but he reminds her of his flirtatious ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿคจ?

Fanny Leaves Mansfield Park

โ€œLet 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 himselfโ€.

Mansfield Park|Chapter 35

Every one including Sir Thomas Bertram and even Edmund persuades her to marry ๐Ÿค— him as he is rich and can get herself occupied to a comfortable living ๐Ÿ’ถ. But she is helpless ๐Ÿ˜ž and is unable to reveal the reason to Sir Thomas Bertram. Sir Thomas Bertram decides to send her off to her poor living conditions ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ in Portsmouth for a long visit so that she can realise how adapted she is to a comfortable ๐Ÿ˜ฉ living and the benefits of getting married to Henry ๐Ÿ˜š.

โ€œI cannot think well of a man who sports with any womanโ€™s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge ofโ€.

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 โŒš period, she gets attached ๐Ÿ˜˜ to her kind and intelligent sister Susan. Back in Mansfield Park, Edmund takes his vows ๐Ÿค as a clergyman which disappoints ๐Ÿ˜ž Mary. Mary reaches out to her friends in London for advice. Surprisingly, Henry visits Fanny in Portsmouth and proposes ๐Ÿ˜’ 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 ๐Ÿ™„

Fanny is informed โœ‰๏ธ that Henry and Maria eloped shortly after Fannyโ€™s rejection ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ to Henry. They had met in certain social events in London and refreshed their love ๐Ÿ’. But this shameful ๐Ÿฅบ act has raged the Rushworths and destroyed the ๐Ÿ˜ก reputation of the Bertrams. Meanwhile, Tom, who has fallen ill ๐Ÿ˜“ from London, is brought to Mansfield Park for treatment. Edmund is sad that the shameful act of Maria has blocked the path of his ๐Ÿ˜ถ love for Mary.

Fanny is Back to Mansfield Park

Fanny along with her sister Susan ๐Ÿ‘ญ is brought back to Mansfield Park by Edmund. Edmund, disappointed ๐Ÿ˜ž in his sister’s act, gets frustrated ๐Ÿ˜ก when Mary thinks that Maria can marry Henry after their divorce ๐Ÿ“„. Edmund feels disgusted ๐Ÿคข. He finds comfort ๐Ÿ˜• 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
Mansfield Park |Jane Austen |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review
Fanny and Edmund get married by the end of the novel, Mansfield Park

Edmund, who hates ๐Ÿ˜ก Mary, feels an affection for Fanny. All of them are happy ๐Ÿ˜š that Fanny had rejected Henry. Sir Thomas Bertram has rejected Maria for her disgraceful ๐Ÿ˜‘ act and thrown her out of the house while Fanny is accepted ๐Ÿค— as their own daughter. Julia also disgraces ๐Ÿ˜ her family eloping with Yates, the friend of Tom. Both of them repent ๐Ÿ˜” and join the family ๐Ÿ‘ช. Eventually, Edmund and Fanny get ๐Ÿ’ married and move to the Parsonage ๐Ÿ  and live happily โ˜บ๏ธ 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 โœ–๏ธ with social commentary and humour which helped ๐Ÿ˜Š her earn her acclaim among the critics. This novel has brought the issue of slavery ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฟโ€โ™‚๏ธ pointing out the visit of Sir Thomas Bertram to Antigua where slaves trade is done. This states how people in London earned money ๐Ÿ’ฐ 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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Naeema Jaleel

Naeema Jaleel

Writer at Inclined Scorpio

1 Comment

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Mohammad Imran · August 10, 2021 at 12:32 am

Magnificent work guys.

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