Mansfield Park Chapters 25-32: Summation, Musings & Discussion: Day 9 Give-away!


Fanny’s last feeling in the visit was disappointment: for the shawl which Edmund was quietly taking from the servant to bring and put round her shoulders was seized by Mr. Crawford’s quicker hand, and she was obliged to be indebted to his more prominent attention. The Narrator, Chapter 25 

Quick Synopsis 

Sir Thomas notices that Henry is paying particular attention to Fanny as they dine at the parsonage. Henry visits Thornton Lacey, Edmund’s pending parish, and would like to improve the parsonage and live there himself. This talk reminds Mary of Edmund’s looming ordination. Sir Thomas will host a ball in Fanny and William’s honor at Mansfield. Fanny receives two gifts of chains for her amber cross. Which one should she wear? Fanny realizes that Edmund is seriously in love with Mary. Mary tells Edmund that she does not dance with clergymen in a last attempt to dissuade him from his profession. Fanny thinks “in spite of everything, that a ball was indeed delightful.” William departs for London with Henry. Henry returns informing Fanny that William has been promoted to lieutenant by his hand through his uncle the Admiral. She is delighted, until he proposes marriage. She will not accept, even though Sir Thomas drills and badgers her for reasons, condemning her as “Self-willed, obstinate, selfish, and ungrateful”.  Fanny is wretched and miserable and made to speak to Henry one last time. 


Everyone notices Fanny at last! She has matured into a beautiful young woman and is being invited to visit the parsonage and dine, much to the amazement of her aunt’s who can only wonder why anyone would want Fanny, and lecture her on her manners and deportment. On reflection, it is really Mrs. Norris’ repeated putdowns that established her lowly position in the Mansfield household. If Lady Bertram’s passive indifference had been only the reverse, Fanny’s life and outlook could have been so much different. By nature she was a shy child, but a positive environment could have drawn her out. Mary Crawford seems to be her complete opposite in temperament and attitudes. I was struck by this telling quote. 

“There, I will stake my last like a woman of spirit. No cold prudence for me. I am not born to sit still and do nothing. If I lose the game, it shall not be from not striving for it.” Mary Crawford, Chapter 25 

And she is playing her game to win Edmund’s heart and persuade him to change his profession like a master. It seems in every one of their meeting, she is working away at his resolve in pursuit of her goal. He is charmed by her spell, blind to her faults, and ready to forgive her by rationalizing her indecorous behavior by blaming her upbringing. One wonders what kind of minister he will make if he does not read personalities or see human failings so easily? The one question that he deliberates over and over is, does she love him enough to give up her essentials to happiness, – money and freedom. He doubts it, but continues in his delusion all-the-same. I can not think of two people so far apart on principles and life goals than Mary and Edmund. Today, they would definitely fail one of those compatibility tests that young couples take before they marry! My heart went out to Fanny though when she truly understands how much in love with Mary he is. 

He was gone as he spoke; and Fanny remained to tranquillise herself as she could. She was one of his two dearest- that must support her. But the other: the first! She had never heard him speak so openly before, and though it told her no more than what she had long perceived, it was a stab, for it told of his own convictions and views. They were decided. He would marry Miss Crawford. The Narrator, Chapter 27 

My greatest surprise is in Henry Crawford! Has the callous cad found principles and virtues from his nearness to Fanny? If so, she may deserve sainthood! Ha! He has undergone such a material change from rogue to gallant savior with his attentions, manner and proclamations of his honorable intensions to Fanny, that I am all amazement. 

“I care neither what they say nor what they feel. They will now see what sort of woman it is that can attach me, that can attach a man of sense. I wish the discovery may do them any good. And they will now see their cousin treated as she ought to be, and I wish they may be heartily ashamed of their own abominable neglect and unkindness. They will be angry,” Henry Crawford, Chapter 30 

His timing with his offer of marriage to Fanny is off though, and blew my slight softening to him. Helping Fanny’s brother William to obtain a promotion was a sly manipulation to win her gratitude which she graciously bestowed. Never-the-less, how little he truly knows the woman that he wants to marry, judging her against other women of his acquaintance such as Julia and Maria who would have succumbed to his ploy and accepted him without hesitation. Our Fanny Price has principles and can not be bought or badgered by her uncle into submission. Bravo Fanny! 

Further reading 

Online text complements of Molland’s Circulating Library
Cast of characters
Chapter 25-32 summary
Chapter 25-32 quotes and quips 

Mansfield Park Madness: Day 9 Give-away 

Leave a comment to by August 30 qualify for the free drawing on August 31 for one copy of.

Mansfield Park: Barnes & Noble Classics

Barnes & Noble (2005). Revised edition. Novel text and introduction and notes by Amanda Claybaugh. Hardcover, 427 pages, ISBN 978-1593083564 

Upcoming posts
Day 10 – Aug 24          MP 1999 movie discussion
Day 11 – Aug 25          MP Oxford book review
Day 12 – Aug 26          MP novel discussion chapters 33-40
Day 13 – Aug 27          MP 2007 movie discussion

12 thoughts on “Mansfield Park Chapters 25-32: Summation, Musings & Discussion: Day 9 Give-away!

Add yours

  1. The pages and font are really nice, too.
    Within these chapters I feel pity for Fanny whose love of Edmund is invisible to him as he is now very much in love with Mary. I somewhat admire Henry for proposing to Fanny. At the same time, feel bad for him because Fanny rejects him and while he loves Fanny now, he would never be able to be constant if he married her.


  2. My copy is a Barnes & Noble classics, I got it a few months ago, but the pic has a big houss, sheep and 2 ladies and little girl in the corner. I’ve not really paid too much attention before, but is this and other books offered by diferent distributors, but it is the same woring, right? Do you know what I mean?

    Thanks. :)


  3. Well in a weak moment I have agreed to go camping with my husband and son. Hey they agreed to go see 5 musicals with me this year. It seemed like a fair trade. We tomorrow we are heading to the campgroup. Hmmm would Jane Austen go camping? As I was trying to decide which Jane Austen book to take with me I checked your site for the day and saw the Mansfield Park posts. So you made the decision for me. Edmund would go camping I am sure of that!


  4. I agree with Fatima’s comments. Edmund is so blindfully in love of Mary Crawford that he can forgive her spiteful words, her attitudes, etc and treats her like a goddess. At the same time, we definitely feel sorry for Fanny as she silently listens to Edmund’s praising of Mary Crawford. Then, after Edmund and William have left Mansfield Park, Henry Crawford proposes to Fanny and she has no one to turn to to tell about her feelings and dilemma and her uncle keep on bullying her into marrying Henry. I admire her resolve for speaking out to her uncle as she knows what she wants in her life.
    Even if Fanny marries Henry, he may never be constant in his marriage and make seek the pleasures of married woman or single woman as well.


  5. Reading these chapters I was reminded of a quote from Emma

    “My idea of him is, that he can adapt his conversation to the taste of every body, and has the power as well as the wish of being universally agreeable.” Emma about Mr. Churchill, Emma, Chapter 18

    This could also be used to describe both Mary and Henry. Henry is really good at the art, managing to make everyone like him (when he wants to) and changing behaviour to match. His reading of Fanny is actually rather good and if she hadn’t seen him with Maria and Julia before and hadn’t been in love with someone else it might have been successful. I some ways I really fell that the idea about helping with the promotion and then proposing is very bad. On the other hand I was reminded of Mr Darcy and his “I thought only of you” followed up by a proposal. I might think very differently of the two men, but the actions are more or less the same.

    Mary on the other hand is not so skilled in the art of being agreeable everywhere. It’s very clearly shown in the ball scene where she talks with Sir Thomas, Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris. While she succeeds with Sir Thomas and Mrs. Norris, she has not read Lady Bertram correctly. She also clearly has some problems adapting her behaviour to Edmund (and unlike Henry she has had him as an object for almost all the time).


  6. I also have many of the Barnes & Noble books of Jane Austen’s. The covers are beautiful.

    In regards to Fanny, she is so cool because she is not taken in by anyone’s false charms or motives. I am more emotional and work hard at not wearing what is on my heart on my face! One of the things I love so much about so many of Jane’s heroines are the way they handle themselves in the situations throughout her novels. Like I said, I just think that Fanny’s ability to be so calm and collected is admirable from someone such as myself.

    As others have said, Edmund is so blind to Mary’s true personality and ways. I have to laugh, though, because of many instances in life where I have witnessed these roles play out in the real world. I have often wanted to say to friends/family, “wake up!”, but fortunately find a little bit of restraint and don’t. I am sure my family/friends had many opportunities to feel the same way when I was young!

    To me, one of the endless joys to Jane’s writing is to delve into the stories and see how it all plays out.


  7. i’ve fallen behind a bit on my reread, so i can’t add much to conversation except that my downloaded digital version doesn’t have a lovely cover…which is so very sad.


  8. Hello Mansfield Park participants day 9

    Dina – sweetie, I think that you have the softcover edition and the image is of the cover of the hardcover edition by Barnes and Noble. Not to worry. The text is identicial, now start reading it, ok?

    Karen in Maryland – oh my, you made me laugh! Yes, take Edmund camping, though Maria and Julie might be put out! LOL

    Fatima & Luthien84 – I must admit, that I get a bit put out by Edmund’s intense cluelessness to Mary’s indecorous ways and Fanny’s virtue. Wake up dude!

    Kiragade – excellent comparision and quote of Frank Churchill. Well done!

    Marsha – I am sure that the book deisgner for Barnes and Noble thanks you for their job security. let’s hope their boss is reading.

    Jane Layton – I too learn something about reading and understanding human personalities ever day from Jane Austen. She was the best at reading human foibles and assests.

    Felicia – it is amzing that humble meek Fanny said no. It gives me strenght in my own life to have such an excellent example.

    cheers to all, Laurel Ann


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