Category Archives: Mansfield Park

Family squabbling

I’m actually headed out today to North Carolina for a long Thanksgiving break.  Can’t wait to have everyone together.

Today’s quote is from my Jane Austen Society desk calendar:

“Family squabbling is the greatest evil of all. . . “

Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 13

I expect a lot of merriment, actually (and an awful lot of eating) and not so much squabbling, except among the little ones, who can’t really help themselves.

I’ll be taking a break from posting here for the rest of the week, back on Monday.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers!


Filed under Family, Mansfield Park

On pugs and children

My little girl (my English Lab) Bess was up sick all night last night, so we made many trips outside in the wee hours.  (No pun intended.)  She’s such a love, but sick or not, she seems to love sleeping during the day and not sleeping so much at night, which is leaving me rather incoherent.  Then I had to drop her off at the vet to be spayed, and it’s so quiet here, without her snoring at my feet.

At any rate, here’s to the love of dogs, even if Lady Bertram’s Pug is ridiculously spoiled.

“She was a woman who spent her days in sitting, nicely dressed, on a sofa, doing some long piece of needlework, of little use and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children…”

Of Lady Bertram
Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 2


Filed under Character description, Dogs, Lady Bertram, Mansfield Park

Jane on Mansfield Park

“Henry’s approbation hitherto is even equal to my wishes; he says it is very different from the other two, but does not appear to think it at all inferior.  He has only married Mrs. R.  I am afraid he has gone through the most entertaining part.–He took to Lady B. & Mrs. N. most kindly, & gives great praise to the drawing of the Characters.  He understands them all, likes Fanny & I think foresees how it will all be.”

letter to Cassandra
March 2, 1814 [97]

Jane had just come to London with her brother Henry, and they had read Mansfield Park along the way.  The previous two books she refers to are Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, which were published first.

Jane was writing from Henry’s home here at Henrietta Street in Covent Garden — now a clothing store.

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Filed under Austen family, brother Henry, Letters, Mansfield Park, Writing

On the subject of marriage

“‘I pay very little regard,’ said Mrs. Grant, ‘to what any young person says on the subject of marriage.  If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.'”

Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 4

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Filed under Mansfield Park, Marriage, Mrs. Grant

A match-making sister

“She had not waited her arrival to look out for a suitable match for her; she had fixed on Tom Bertram; the eldest son of a Baronet was not too good for a girl of twenty thousand pounds, with all the elegance and accomplishments which Mrs. Grant foresaw in her; and being a warm-hearted, unreserved woman, Mary had not been three hours in the house before she told her what she had planned.”

Mrs. Grant matchmaking for her sister Mary
Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 4

Of course, Tom Bertram was a fool, in addition to being the eldest son of a baronet.  (And, of course, Mary proves to have her own foolish tendencies as well.)

The image is from the new version of MP starring Billie Piper, which will run on the Masterpiece Theatre Complete Jane Austen Season starting in January.

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Filed under Mansfield Park, Marriage, Mary Crawford, Money, Money and Marriage, Mrs. Grant, Tom Bertram