A Woman of Worth, A Mansfield Park Short Story

A Woman of Worth, A Mansfield Park Short Story

Happy Tuesday to you all! I am doing a different sort of post this time, and it will be a bit lengthy. I do hope you will forgive me for that. 🙂

In January, I wrote about my plans for this year.  As part of those plans, I mentioned wanting to write some Austenesque stories. I haven’t started one of those yet, but I have started thinking and making notes about Mansfield Park — summarizing the plot into a trope, jotting down important things about main characters, that sort of thing. While I was thinking about MP and since I was taking a forced (and much needed) break between large projects, I decided to tackle an idea I had about a year ago for a what-if scene.  Below are the resulting short story and the reason that this post will be longer than most.

This scene answers the question “What if, instead of going off to find the wayward Maria, who has climbed that gate and gone galavanting with Henry, Mr. Rushworth found some of that fury he has later when his wife leaves him and decides to spend the afternoon with Fanny?”

A Woman of Worth


Fanny stretched out her legs and tipped her head back to look up at the branches above her.  She had been sitting on this bench with only the birds to keep her company for nearly three-quarter hour.  There had been a brief respite when Mr. Rushworth, Maria, and Mr. Crawford had joined her and again when Julia had sat for the briefest of minutes, but eventually, she had been abandoned by them all.  First, Edmund and Miss Crawford, then Maria and Mr. Crawford after Mr. Rushworth had gone to fetch the key for the gate, and most recently Julia who did not wish to be left behind by her sister for any more of the day than she had already endured.  Fanny sighed and shifted her gaze to that gate — her current object of distress.  She glanced quickly toward the path.  At least the gate gave her reason to forget how Edmund had left her to rest for a few minutes a prodigiously large number of minutes ago.

She rose and walked the few short feet to that gate which stood locked against the entry of nobody but those who preferred to use a key.  The eagerly-sought-after and curious knoll rose in the distance, but strain her eyes as she might, Fanny could not see Maria, Julia, or Mr. Crawford on it.  She stood for a few moments, resting against the gate and looking beyond on the prospect of rolling hills and copses of trees.

She bit her lip and sighed.  It was a beautiful piece of nature, and if she had her grey mare rather than her weak legs, she might be able to survey it as it begged her to do.  She shook her head and returned to her place on the bench.  A small scowl touched her lips as she looked down the path.  Mare or no mare, she would be abandoned here by herself, no matter what Miss Crawford said about not monopolizing Fanny’s mount.  Fanny knew how it would be. Miss Crawford would wish for the delight of the ride. Edmund would petition Fanny for the use of the horse for a short period of time.  Fanny would feel obliged to comply, and then, here she would sit with only her eyes and imagination to provide her enjoyment of the view beyond the fence.  She would be good Fanny, most kind Fanny, and completely forgotten Fanny as she always seemed to be when Miss Crawford asserted a wish.

She shook herself. It was completely ungrateful of her to be feeling so.  She should be pleased that her cousins and the Crawfords were enjoying the fine weather, but she was not, and that feeling increased her current state of distress.

“Miss Price,”  Mr. Rushworth called as he hurried toward her, “are you alone?”  He stopped next to the bench and drew out a handkerchief to dry his brow.  His breathing was pronounced due to the effort he had put into returning as quickly as possible.

“I am,” said Fanny.  “Miss Bertram wished me to tell you that they have gone on ahead and expect you to follow.”

Mr. Rushworth dropped unceremoniously onto the bench.  “Follow them? To where?”

“They went right and were destined for that knoll.”  Fanny pointed to a copse of oaks standing a half mile off.

Mr. Rushworth huffed.  “I have had enough of walking. I know that if I were to attempt to find them, I would not, for by the time I reached where they are supposed to be, they will have moved on once again.”  He shook his head and lapsed into silence.

Fanny cast a worried glance toward him. “Miss Bertram expected you to follow. They have not been gone for too very long.”

Mr. Rushworth nodded and gave her a sad but appreciative smile.  “You are very kind, Miss Price, but I think we both know that my presence is not truly wanted.”

Fanny’s eyes grew wide at the comment.  “I am certain I do not know anything of the sort.”

He gave a short laugh.  “We are not as unaware as they think.  I am not eloquent nor am I particularly at ease in a large group of people.  It makes me ramble and paints me both as a bore and insensible.”  He shrugged.  “You are timid and quiet.  I prattle too much, and you speak too little, and so we are both thought of as dull.”  He gave her another small smile.  “But we are not dull, are we?”

“I should hope we are not.  You most certainly are not dull, sir, but I fear I might be.”

His look was incredulous.  “Surely not!  As far as I have seen, you are everything pleasant, and such pleasantness cannot be thought dull.”  He rose.  “Come.  I have changed my mind.  I am not completely done with walking.  It would be silly to sit here on this bench and never stir from it. We shall take our own tour of whatever you wish.”

“But what if they return, sir?”

“Then they shall find an empty bench and eventually return to the house.”  He held out his hand to her.  “And if they worry that something grave has befallen you, my dear, that would be a most fitting chastisement for their negligence.  How long have you been here?”

“Another fifteen minutes will make it an hour I am sure,” said Fanny.

Mr. Rushworth flapped his hand in invitation to her. “Then you have done your duty.  I promise to see you well and safely returned to the house. My cook does make a lovely glass of lemonade.”  He smiled encouragingly at her.

Fanny took one last look down the path in the direction in which Edmund and Miss Crawford had gone.  They would likely not miss her until they stumbled upon this bench. The thought stung, but it was doubtlessly true. “Very well, Mr. Rushworth. I will accompany you back to the house.”  She placed her hand in his, and he tucked it in his elbow, drawing her to his side.  “I do find I have been longing for a drink for the last several minutes.”

“Then it shall be my first duty to find you a glass of lemonade.”  He patted her hand as he added, “And nothing will entice me away from that duty.”  There was a hint of bitterness in his voice.

“I did not mind sitting on the bench. The view was quite pleasant. Your grounds are lovely.”

He patted her hand again.  “It was not right for Miss Crawford and Mr. Bertram to leave you so long, nor is it right for Miss Bertram and Crawford to have left me.”

Fanny could not refute his statement without speaking untruthfully.  And so, she and Mr. Rushworth walked on silently for nearly five minutes.

“Those Crawfords are the cause of it, you know,” Mr. Rushworth said at last.  “They with their pretty tongues and knowing ways.”

Again, Fanny could not dispute his claim.

“I will allow that Miss Crawford is temptingly pretty and could cause a sensible man to act thoughtlessly, but her brother? ” He shook his head. “Short and plain and still a temptation.  It is his words, Miss Price. He knows how to please with his words.  Do you find him attractive?”  Mr. Rushworth looked to her expectantly.

Fanny shook her head.  “I do not. He is pleasant but not handsome.”

“And I dare say your discerning mind has found fault with his behaviour.”

Fanny shook her head again. “I cannot say.”

Mr. Rushworth sighed.  “Would that more ladies were of your acumen.”  He gave a sharp nod of his head.  “But enough of that.  Things are not set in stone. Sir Thomas has not yet returned.”

Fanny’s stomach lurched.  “Oh, Mr. Rushworth, I am certain it is not so dire as to think along those lines. It is so easy to think a moment a full five when waiting.”

“My dear, Miss Price, I admire your concern for your cousin, but I will not have a wayward wife.”  He clenched his jaw and looked toward the back of the house, which they were now approaching. “It would be far better for she and I to part ways now rather than after we are married, do you not think?”

Fanny mumbled an agreement.

“As I said before, enough of that. It is unpleasant and unsettling and not at all conducive to an agreeable visit.  I must apologize, Miss Price.  I should not have aired my grievances to you. Here I am condemning those who take advantage of your good nature and find myself doing the same thing.” He shook his head.  “Reprehensible.”

“I was happy to hear it — not the content, of course, but to provide an ear, ” Fanny assured him.  “And you have done just as you promised. I am returned to the house safely.”

He patted her hand.  “You are too kind, Miss Price. Now, allow me to find you a comfortable place to recline and send for some lemonade.”  He led her to a sofa.  “And then, perhaps we could have a game of chess or read a few sonnets, whichever you prefer.”

And it was here, tucked up together on a sofa, taking turns reading sonnets, where the other found them a little more than an hour later.

Having been interrupted by the boisterous arrival of so many, Mr. Rushworth excused himself to retrieve a fresh glass of refreshment for Fanny as Edmund with a most puzzled look on his face, took a chair near her.

“You did not wait,” he began.

Fanny looked up from her book. “I waited an hour, Edmund.”

“It could not have been an hour,” he retorted.

“I assure you it was.”  She looked past him to where Miss Crawford was being told all about the lovely knoll and whatever other views Maria had seen.  “You should return to your companions before you are missed.”

Edmund blinked.  “You do not wish my company?”

Fanny sighed and closed her book with her finger holding her place.  “I did, and I suppose I still do but do not offer what you do not intend to give.  Mr. Rushworth and I are having an enjoyable time.  There is no need for you to leave your entertainment on my account.  I shall be well.”

Edmund’s brows furrowed.  “Are you certain?”

Fanny laughed lightly, trying desperately not to let it sound cold or bitter.  “I have survived quite well these past two hours without you. I think I might withstand a few more.”

Edmund’s expression fell from its normal look of contentment to one of sorrow, and for a moment, Fanny thought to repent of her words.

“Very well,” he said, rising uneasily.

“Edmund,” Fanny called to him as he turned.

“Yes,” his face was hopeful as he looked at her.

“You may wish to speak to Maria.  Mr. Rushworth is rather put out with her.”

A deep furrow formed between Edmund’s brow.  “Why is he put out with her?”

Fanny opened her book as if preparing to read.  “It seems she left him behind to walk with Mr. Crawford.”

Edmund’s brows rose in surprise.

“It is a good reason for censure, is it not?” Fanny asked it softly and attempted to sound only concerned, but from the sadness that entered Edmund’s eyes, she knew she had not been successful in hiding her own pain at being abandoned.

“Fanny, I –”

Fanny shook her head and did little to try to cover her own sadness this time as she spoke.  “Go, Edmund.  Miss Crawford is looking for you.  You must be missed.”

Edmund stood for a moment looking between Fanny and Miss Crawford as if uncertain which way he should go.

“Go,” Fanny whispered.  And he did.

“Your glass of lemonade, Miss Price,” said Mr. Rushworth handing her a glass before taking his seat.  “Did you make your point?”

Fanny sipped her lemonade.  “I believe I did.”

“Very good,” he replied, taking the book from her.  “Now allow me to read to you so that we can put an exclamation to your point and make one of my own.”

Fanny bit her lip.  “Are you positive this is the best way?”

He smiled at her.  “Miss Price, I am a man, and as such, I assure you that being somewhat uncertain of your standing with a lady you have always thought in your sphere of influence is precisely the type of unsettling that will work best.”  He ran his finger down the page.  “He has always had you.  Now, he must fear losing you.”  He lifted his eyes to look at her.  “If he can face that fear and still chose a Crawford, then he was not what you thought or worth your tears.”  He smiled at her.  “If I were a free man, Miss Price, I would not be across the room.  I would still be right here.”

Fanny ducked her head and blushed.  How many times had Mr. Rushworth reiterated over the course of the last hour how much he held her in respect as a woman worthy of being pursued in earnest by a man of good character?  She had attempted to rebuff him, but he had persisted, and soon she had resigned herself to accepting his praise. It was an odd but not unwelcome feeling to be spoken of and to in such a fashion.  Fanny silently expelled a slow breath.  It was time to believe his word instead of belittling herself, and so she lifted her head and attended to Mr. Rushworth’s reading.


Is this the end or a beginning? My mind has not decided but has been considering just how these new events might reshape the rest of the Mansfield Park story.  What do you think?  Leave your thoughts in the comments. I look forward to hearing them.


LOGO_email header (2)


Feature Image Source: Charm, Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned. “Gallery – Mansfield Park (1999).” Austen Efforts. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 06 Mar. 2017. 

37 Responses to A Woman of Worth, A Mansfield Park Short Story

  1. Just reread this post. I think you should lengthen it. I like this Rushworth. I think the story from this point on could prove interesting. Does he still marry Maria? Can he play to Fanny and draw Edmund to her sooner?

  2. Oh, I like this. Of all the alternate pairings I have read, I like this Rushworth with this Fanny the best

    • I wasn’t using them as a pairing for anything more than to help Edmund look at Fanny in a different light. I see MP as the classic best friend romance trope where the couple that end up together are friends. One likes the other more than a friend but says nothing while the other pursues some “hot” guy or girl until something happens to prove the hot guy or girl is not all that and/or they begin to see the friend as more important to them than just a friend. Slowly, they realize that what they really needed was right under their nose all this time. So, Rushworth in this one is that something that happens to wake up the friend. 🙂 Personally, I think Rushworth is not clever enough for Fanny. She’s actually a pretty smart cookie — she’s just quiet.

  3. I love this! I am a huge MP fan, so it is always good to see a well-done variation. One thing I loved was the masterful way that you changed Mr. Rushworth’s personality in just a few sentences : “I am not eloquent, nor am I particularly at ease in a large group of people. It makes me ramble and paints me both as a bore and insensible…. ” And now we have a totally different view of Mr. Rushworth!

    I have always approved of the Edmund-Fanny pairing in JA’s original story, unlike some, because I think they understood each other and the lifestyle Edmund offered matched Fanny’s personality and preferences. But I would love to watch them travel a different path to get there, so I hope you will continue with this story.

  4. I love this start! I always thought Edmund was not good enough for Fanny. Fanny would be wonderful for Mr Rushworth and his mother, and a kind mistress for Sotherton. If only Mr Rushworth would see Fanny truly as a woman of worth, and not be fooled by her lack of fortune or her appearance. As for how this match would affect the others in Mansfield Park, that is up to you, dear author. Go for it!

    • I’m so glad you liked the story! If it continues, Fanny will end up with Edmund for a few reasons. For one, I don’t think Fanny and Mr. Rushworth would suit very well. He not only has his estate, but also a home in town and circulates in that society as well. He is there when his wife runs off. It also seems that he must be fairly well connected as he is actually granted a divorce — not a particularly easy thing to obtain in those days. Fanny dislikes being noticed at Mansfield. I can’t imagine her ever being comfortable in a society that has more than its fair share of Mary Crawfords. More than even Elinor in Sense and Sensibility, I think Fanny with her tender heart and desire to do right, is perfectly suited to the life of a parson’s wife. There she may be noticed, but it is a place to serve others — and she had definitely been good at that all her life. As for Edmund, I tend to go against the popular belief on him. I think he is not as horrid as some think. Yes, he is stupid in falling for Mary, and he nearly ends up with a life more miserable than Mr. Bennet’s by being tied to a wife that is so very unlike him and only wishes to see him change to be what she wants. But, who is it that puts in the work to see to the business of the estate when Sir Thomas is gone? It isn’t the heir. It is the second son who has his own “career” path to see to and has lost part of his livelihood to the extravagances of his brother. Edmund has also been the only one to truly see the value or potential that Fanny has throughout her youth. It was not the Aunts or Sir Thomas who saw to her education or even well being — how long had Fanny been at Mansfield before her uncle even knew she did not have a fire? Edmund is young, but he knows what is right within himself. He is just temporarily blinded by a dazzling woman. I find it interesting how often he considers marrying her but cannot quite bring himself to do so. I think he knew she was not right for him, but giving up such a pretty thing is not easy. Perhaps he kept hoping she would change? Sorry. I can get carried away when discussing this book. 🙂 I love it! And, because of how Austen tells us how happy Fanny and Edmund are together (as she is rewarding those who deserve happiness), I would not be able to break them apart. I think Austen had it right. 🙂

  5. Like everyone else, yes please…more! I realize you want to keep Edmund and Fanny together, but please find someone better for Mr. Rushworth. He definitely deserves an HEA too! What about Julia? Can you bring her up to snuff or is she too young. I haven’t read MP in a long time so I can’t remember how old she is and if her character is worthy…or if she truly has been appreciated by her family as well. Ha! Wouldn’t that upset Maria’s apple cart!

    • I had to look it up because I could not remember how much older the Bertram girls were than Fanny. (And I am bad at remembering numbers and my curiosity would not be satisfied until I looked 😉 ) At the beginning of the story, Fanny arrives at the age of 10 and it says Maria is 12 and Julia a year younger (so 11). The brothers are 17 and 16 respectively. Then when we get a couple of chapters further into the book, It says Fanny has just turned 18 and Maria is in her 21st year and thinking that she should marry. This would put Julia at 19 or 20 depending on when the birthday’s fall — which I suspect could account for the seeming incongruity of Fanny having aged 18 years and Maria 9. 🙂 (My older sister and I are 22 months apart so for 2 months each year it appears by our ages that we are only 1 year apart) And I did not look to see if it said or not, but I assume then that Edmund has turned 25 (proper age for taking orders) and Tom would be 26. So, all that to say, Julia is not too young. LOL However, I have always kind of liked Yates character, so I’m not sure I would break that up either. Julia is full of herself but I don’t think quite so much as Maria. I would not care to see Maria a spinster or sent off to live somewhere — if the engagement is broken or falls through there will have to be gossip, but Rushworth does not deserve to be punished forever with her. IMO So, that would mean I might have to create some new characters to enter the neighborhood. That could be fun. I love creating new characters. 🙂

      • To clarify that one sentence there about Maria — I don’t care if she ends up a spinster. I would be quite happy to see that. (The sentence sounded like I might be saying the opposite, so wanted to make sure you knew I have little love for Maria and her snootiness.)

  6. Oh, my gosh, I love this variation of Mr. Rushworth. What a creative twist. I believe you should go for it. I want this book… if you write it, I’ll buy it.

    Poor Fanny, always neglected by her family. OK, I’d like to see her family get what they want and deserve.

    Edmund with Miss Crawford. Heaven help him in that quarter. She’ll never be happy unless Edmund’s brother died and Edmund inherited the title. She liked the sound of Sir Edmund… witch.

    Maria with Henry Crawford… that would be a match between two of the most selfish, self-centered people on the planet. It’s very doubtful they would ever be faithful and would probably have a scandalous marriage of affairs and seductions. Who knows, it might work.

    In all fairness… Maria and Crawford threw down the gauntlet when they went off together. This visit was for Maria to see Rushworth’s property and she goes off with another man???? This was a deal breaker. Things should not have progressed from there.

    Fanny and Mr. Rushworth… I never considered it. Edmund clearly wanted Mary Crawford from the first and took Fanny second. Dang, I always hated that. Poor Fanny had to first help heal his broken heart before he even considered her.

    In your variation, Mr. Rushworth clearly saw her as a woman of worth. She would also get along well with his mother; that’s important to him as they would be kind to each other. Poor Fanny never had that [kindness] from her family. They used and abused her every day of her life and Mrs. Norris was a wicked witch bent on destroying any happiness Fanny might enjoy. This connection would be the most excellent revenge on Mrs. Norris. Rushworth could also help Fanny’s brother William in advancing his naval career. Yeah, it would work. I like this idea of yours.

    • I let Rushworth see Fanny as a woman of worth based on his ability to see the wrong in Crawford. He is painted as a fool in the novel and Fanny is thought to be dumb by the same people and yet, Rushworth and Fanny are the only ones who are not duped by the Crawfords. Too bad Rushworth was not as observant about Maria in the novel! But then, a man seems be swayed by a pretty woman often in Jane Austen’s novels. I’m not sure I could separate a main character couple that Austen put together because I tend to trust her judgement there, and if feels wrong to me to do it. So, I would likely match Fanny and Edmund after working on each a bit with these new circumstances.

      You know, I have always wondered if Henry Crawford would have like Maria as much as he did if she were not an engaged woman. I think he liked trying to have what he could not have. It was a game to him and if he “won” the prize he would soon get bored and find a new “game” to play.

      • Excellent comments and I see your point. So, I like the idea of letting Rushworth help Edmund open his eyes to the woman of worth right under his eyes. Rushworth could also scare the pants off Maria, when Sir Thomas returns, by having a ‘serious discussion’ about her behavior while her father was away. He could threaten them with a long engagement until Maria came to terms what she really wanted. This would effect the contracts and settlements… sort of like a prenup… restricting her pin money and ‘free rein’ with his money. His paying attention to Fanny might show Maria she could lose Rushworth… maybe a little cousin jealously. Sir Thomas could confront Crawford with his intentions. That should put him on the spot with a little fear that perhaps he may have gone too far in his flirtations. Wonder if anyone had ever confronted him before? If would probably send him running to the hills.

        But, having said all this, you are the author with the final say. We were just speculating and brainstorming. What fun that you have shared this with us. Thank you for doing that. Take the ideas you want and do what you will with them. Have all the fun you wish and we will be happy with the end result… another JAFF to enjoy and the fact that we were there in the very beginning of an idea. Excellent!

        • I have really enjoyed hearing all the thoughts on this! I may have to do this again sometime. 🙂 Thank you for participating and adding your thoughts! And you know, even if an idea does not get used, I find it tends to start the mind thinking on other scenarios. 🙂

  7. I love this and that Rushworth is helping her to “make her point”. Fanny needs friends that encourage her to be stronger and find her voice. I think Edmund might be a better solution to us all if it had not felt like Fanny just did as she was bid until he lost all other options and then decided she was the best choice. I think this would be a fun story if we can get Fanny in possession of a bit more gumption and Edmund in possession of a little bit of jealousy or even just no longer being blinded by Mary and seeing Fanny as THE choice.

    • I’m glad you liked it. I agree that Fanny needs some good friends — at least one or two who will help her feel like she is of value beyond fetching this or that. And Edmund needs the blinders ripped off. He has good potential but, being a boy, he is enamored with the pretty girl giving him attention and does not see that she is not as nice as he imagines and needs to stop making excuses for her. It seems to very much be a cute boy has a nerdy friend who he counts on all his life and then meets the new cute girl and is flattered by her attention until some big event happens and he finally sees the pretty girl’s ugly core and has to re-evaluate his life — and who is there to help him, but the nerdy friend. 🙂 (So many teen movies, huh?)

  8. I agree with other comments, you should continue. I can see lots of possibilities for an interesting story. One possibility is that Fanny ends up with Mr. Rushworth and she ends up being the strong, intelligent leader in the relationship. She ends up loving him because he needs her. Another is that Edmund reevaluates Fanny on seeing her valued. A third is that Fanny stops being a doormat.

    I enjoyed your story.

    • See, I had thought of the option of her with Rushworth, but I don’t know if I can tear apart Fanny and Edmund because I trust Jane Austen here, and I don’t see Fanny ever being the mistress of an estate like his and circulating in London among his friends. She seems more well suted in temperament to staying in the country and has a heart that would be very compassionate to the needs of a parish. I also think her less than fantastic childhood and family life would help her with this. She needs to be loved and in in being loved, I think her confidence would grow. Who up to this point has told her she is worth anything more than a servant? She has a sensitive soul that wishes to please and has been conditioned (dare I say abused) into being subservient. So, initially, I think that is what would need to happen for her as Edmund begins to take a look at his own actions, and begins to see her as more than just good old Fanny. But this really could be a fun story to write. 🙂

  9. I think it’s a beginning, and very well done. I wouldn’t mind seeing Fanny end up with someone else, or a version of Edmund who had to work a lot harder to win her. She was always too Cinderella-like for me.

    • Thank you, Summer. I agree that Edmund needs some work, but he is young and there has to be some allowance for the errors of youth (if not, how can we forgive Lizzy for her listening to Wickham or Marianne for falling for Willoughby?) However, Edmund does show some real potential before Miss Crawford arrives — it is not Tom, the heir, who is tending to things of the estate while still following a career path. Edmund has some real dedication to what it honorable. I think he needs to see his actions toward Fanny from a different angle — which might be starting at the end of today’s story. I like Cinderella, so Fanny being Cinderella-esque doesn’t bother me, and I have thought they share similarities. I also see Fanny and Anne Elliot as having some similarities, but with Fanny being less easily persuaded.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! However, you will have a difficult time convincing me that there is a better man than Edmund. LOL He is one of my favourites (as are Fanny and Mansfield Park). That’s not to say he doesn’t need to smarten up and stop listening to the charming duplicitous Miss Crawford. Fanny needs some love and caring to help her gain confidence — which I think has started here in this excerpt.

    • Well, if I write more (which is likely to happen but not too soon), I cannot see me matching Fanny with anyone but Edmund. I tend to trust Jane Austen’s pairing — especially in this case when she told us that they were so happy once they got together. And I think that in personalities, they do match very well. Fanny would make an excellent parson’s wife, and Edmund actually seems to care about the role of parson, so they would match there as well. However, I think what Edmund needs is to see his actions from Fanny’s vantage point. He needs to see how he is being duped by Mary. He is being a lot like Lizzy or Marianne and allowing a pretty face and charming (witty) words to sway his otherwise good sense. So, that would mean he would need some Leenie Brown treatment. 🙂

  10. MP is the one of the six finished novels that I’ve always struggled with but a re-read last year (actually, I listened to the audio version narrated by Juliet Stevenson) gave me a new appreciation of it.

    Thanks for sharing this “what if”, Leenie. I’d love to see it expanded into something longer. Edmund’s attitude to Fanny after Mary Crawford appears on the scene has always irritated me and I’ve always thought that Fanny could do with a little more backbone. Thanks for attending to both of those points!

    • I also have it on audio book, but I am not sure who is the narrator. And I have a dramatized audible version of the book, too, that is quite fun to listen to. It takes about 2 or 2.5 hours, I believe. MP is my most reread of JA’s novels — yes, even above P&P 🙂 I think I have a slightly different take on Fanny than is the popular or seemingly popular opinion — but that’s not unusual for me, I find I don’t often fit the mold 🙂 I think she has a quiet strength that is often overlooked. She bears her circumstances well and with grace — she has relatives that make her feel lowly, she has a mother who sent her away, she has to watch another woman become the object of affection of the man she loves even though she knows the match is ill suited, and so on. However, when it comes to standing up for her own happiness in not marrying a man she does not love and does not respect, she is immovable even though it breaks her heart to be thought of as ungrateful by her uncle. What I would like for Fanny to experience, and I think has started in this little story, is acceptance and love. I don’t think she has had a lot of that. Perhaps that would give her more confidence — which is what she truly lacks and I think that is what makes her appear weak.

  11. Mansfield Park is my least favourite of Jane’s books. I have read it and have seen two versions but I much, much prefer stories about Darcy and Elizabeth. However I did enjoy reading your twist on the storyline and hope Edmund and Maria get the message.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! Mansfield Park is one of my favourites, and I love Fanny and Edmund. So, if this story continues, which it might, there will likely not be a new pairing — just a new path to the happy conclusion that Jane Austen created. 🙂

Comments are precious!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.