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Mansfield Park


Mansfield Park by Jane Austen



  • Setting: The novel is set in early 19th century England, focusing on the Bertram family of Mansfield Park.
  • Main Character: Fanny Price, a young girl from a poor family, is sent to live with her wealthy uncle and aunt, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram.

Plot Overview

  1. Fanny's Arrival: Fanny Price, at the age of ten, is sent to live with her wealthy relatives at Mansfield Park.
  2. Growth and Observation: Fanny grows up in the shadow of her richer cousins but becomes an integral part of the Mansfield household.
  3. Arrival of the Crawfords: Henry and Mary Crawford, siblings with charming personalities, arrive at Mansfield and stir emotions and attractions in the Bertram family.
  4. The Play: The young people, influenced by the Crawfords, decide to put on a play, 'Lovers' Vows', leading to moral dilemmas and increased tensions.
  5. Sir Thomas's Return: The arrival of Sir Thomas Bertram halts the play and restores order, but the interactions have already complicated relationships.
  6. Romantic Entanglements: Henry Crawford flirts with the Bertram sisters, creating heartache and scandal. Meanwhile, Fanny's love for her cousin Edmund, who is infatuated with Mary Crawford, remains unspoken.
  7. Henry’s Proposal: Henry Crawford proposes to Fanny, who rejects him despite pressure from her family and his genuine affection.
  8. Fanny's Visit Home: Fanny is sent back to her poor family in Portsmouth, where she contrasts her life at Mansfield Park.
  9. Scandals and Revelations: Maria Bertram elopes with Henry Crawford, leading to a family scandal. Julia Bertram also elopes, further disgracing the family.
  10. Resolution: After much emotional turmoil and the resolution of various misunderstandings, Edmund realizes his love for Fanny. They marry and become the new moral center of Mansfield Park.


  • Class and Society: The novel explores social classes, highlighting the struggles and moral values across different societal levels.
  • Education and Morality: It discusses the importance of proper education and moral upbringing.
  • Marriage and Family: The dynamics of marriage, family, and the influence of relatives are central themes.
  • Love and Courtship: The complexities of love, flirtation, and courtship are depicted through various characters' interactions.


  • Fanny Price: The protagonist, known for her integrity, kindness, and moral strength.
  • Edmund Bertram: Fanny’s cousin, who she secretly loves. He is moralistic but sometimes blind to others' flaws.
  • Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram: Fanny’s uncle and aunt, representing the upper-class gentry.
  • Maria and Julia Bertram: Fanny's cousins, whose romantic pursuits and elopements cause family distress.
  • Henry and Mary Crawford: Charming siblings whose arrival at Mansfield Park sets off a series of romantic entanglements.
  • Mrs. Norris: Fanny's other aunt, who is often cruel and dismissive towards her.

Literary Significance

  • Narrative Style: Austen’s use of free indirect discourse allows insight into Fanny’s perspective.
  • Social Commentary: The novel offers a critique of early 19th century British society and its values.
  • Feminist Reading: Fanny Price’s character can be viewed through a feminist lens, highlighting her quiet strength and resilience in a male-dominated society.


"Mansfield Park" is a complex exploration of morality, family, and social structure, with Fanny Price emerging as an unlikely heroine whose quiet strength and moral integrity triumph over more flamboyant characters.