That’s Vol. 3, Chapters 3 – 13, or regular chapters 34 – 44. Oy with the multiple editions, Jane!
So. Last week, everybody was horrible to Fanny about refusing Henry Crawford’s proposal. This remains the case. HOWEVER. There’s knowing you’re not into a guy who’s kind of a tool, and then there’s doing everything you can to AVOID being into a guy who maybe acted kind of like a tool once but has since proven pretty stellar. Guess which one our dear Fanny chooses?
And look: I know a little of what’s coming. This is not my first Jane Austen rodeo, and I know that in her world, handsome gentlemen who look too good to be true usually are. But for just this shining moment, when he comes to visit her and get her out of the hovel and walk arm in arm along the waterfront and say nice things to her little sister, would it kill her to get over herself and think maybe? Isn’t it possible that a guy could be kind of a jerk, then have a change of heart and prove his excellence? Wait, I think I read a book once that went kind of like that. IT WAS CALLED PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
Also, let’s talk about Fanny’s Stockholm Syndrome. On one hand, of course her parents’ house is cramped and crowded and noisy; that’s why she was shuttled off to Mansfield in the first place. Nobody (except Fanny herself) expects her home visit to be all puppies and rainbows and high degrees of female accomplishment. But it’s not only the shrubberies that she misses—she loves Lady Bertram! She misses Mrs. Norris! This is the talk of a crazy person, which I might have thought was my newfangled modern brain talking, had not half the characters in the novel tried to point it out to her as well. Apparently the occasional fire in the East Room means true love.
And finally, a few assorted points:
- It is my dearest hope that Susan Price will accompany Fanny back to Mansfield, take one look at the whole situation, and drag her sister off to become pirate queens on the Thrush or something.
- “Fanny requires constant air and exercise”? REALLY, JANE? The girl who can’t make it past the cattle guard?
- Heh, Mr. Price is gross.
I am pleased to announce that the official Austenacious Mansfield Park read-along will, barring unwanted advances from a handsome scoundrel or a particularly vexing ha-ha, conclude Wednesday, April 18! Get your final chapters in now, folks, and bet on who Fanny ropes into marrying her with the power of her deep passivity.Fanny Price, Henry Crawford, Jane Austen, Lady Bertram, Mansfield Park, Mr. Price, Mrs. Norris, Pride and Prejudice, Susan Price on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 · 6 Comments »