Miss Fanny Price: The heroine of Mansfield Park. She is the eldest daughter of Lieutenant and Mrs. Price and the niece of Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris. When she is ten years old, she is moved to Mansfield Park, the home of her uncle, Sir Thomas, where she grows up. She has “good sense, and a sweet temper, and … a grateful heart.” She is often ill-used, but, though mortified, thinks “too lowly of her own claims to feel injured by it.” She is timid, with warm affections, and a patient temper. She has “beauty of face and figure, … graces of manner and goodness of heart,” as well as “gentleness, modesty, and sweetness” of character. “Then, her understanding was beyond every suspicion, quick and clear; and her manners were the mirror of her own modest and elegant mind,” She is “firm as a rock” in the “excellence of her principles.” She is courted by Henry Crawford, but is in love with her cousin Edmund, the only one of the Bertrams who takes the trouble to be actively kind to her.
The Bertrams & Norrises:
Sir Thomas Bertram: Married Miss Maria Ward. Father of Tom, Edmund, Maria, and Julia. He is “a truly anxious father” though “not outwardly affectionate”, his reserve of manner represses the flow of his children’s spirits before him. He is Fanny Price’s uncle and he takes her in, “fully resolved to be the real and consistent patron” of her. He has a “high sense of honour and decorum” and is described as “ all that was clever and good”.
Lady Bertram: Formerly Miss Maria Ward, she married Sir Thomas Bertram. She is the sister of Mrs. Norris and Mrs. Price. “She was a woman who spent her days in sitting, nicely dressed, on a sofa … thinking more of her pug than her children”, yet with “ the sweetest of all sweet tempers”, “guided in everything important by Sir Thomas, and in smaller concerns by her sister.” “Lady Bertram did not think deeply, but, guided by Sir Thomas, she thought justly on all important points.”
Tom Bertram: Eldest son of Sir Thomas Bertram. He is “careless and extravagant” until he falls gravely ill and his sister runs away. He “gradually regained his health, without regaining the thoughtlessness and selfishness of his previous habits….He became what he ought to be: useful to his father, steady and quiet, and not living merely for himself.”
Edmund Bertram: The hero of Mansfield Park. He is the second son of Sir Thomas and is Fanny Price’s cousin. He is to be a clergyman. He is a young man of “upright principles, unsuspicious temper, and genuine strength of feeling.” He is the only one in his family that goes out of his way to be kind to Fanny. He falls in love with Mary Crawford. After his eyes are opened to Mary’s true character, he falls in love with Fanny.
Maria Bertram: Eldest daughter of Sir Thomas. She is a young woman of “high spirit and strong passions.” She marries Mr. Rushworth, “being prepared for matrimony by an hatred of home, restraint, and tranquillity; by the misery of disappointed affection, and contempt of the man she was to marry.” She later runs away from her husband with Mr. Henry Crawford, the man she loves. She lives with him until persuaded that he will not marry her. Her father then forms an establishment for her “remote and private.”
Julia Bertram: The second daughter and youngest child of Sir Thomas. She is “quite as eager for novelty and pleasure as Maria, though she might not have struggled through so much to obtain them, and could better bear a subordinate situation.“ She has an easier temper than her sister and “her feelings, though quick, were more controllable, and education had not given her so very hurtful a degree of self-consequence.” She elopes with Mr. Yates, but, later, “was humble, and wishing to be forgiven.”
The Rev. Norris: The husband of Mrs. Norris (née Miss Ward). He is a friend of Sir Thomas Bertram’s, “with scarcely any private fortune,” but Sir Thomas is “happily able to give his friend an income in the living of Mansfield.” Continuing rector of Mansfield, he dies when Fanny is fifteen.
Mrs. Norris: Formerly Miss Ward, she is the elder sister of Lady Bertram and Mrs. Price. She moves from Mansfield Parsonage to the White House when her husband, the Rev. Mr. Norris, dies. She encourages Sir Thomas to undertake the care of Fanny, but has “not the least intention of being at any expense whatever in her maintenance,” and is, in fact, actively unkind to her. Nobody “knew better how to dictate liberality to others; but her love of money was equal to her love of directing.” She loves to direct, dictate, and “fancy herself useful,” but, when “really touched by affliction, her active powers” are “all benumbed.” She is very fond of her niece Maria and helps arrange for her marriage to Mr. Rushworth. She removes from Mansfield after Maria Rushworth leaves Henry Crawford to “devote herself to her unfortunate Maria,” leaving “bitter remembrances behind her.”
The Grants & Crawfords:
Dr. Grant: Married to Mrs. Grant who is fifteen years his junior, with no children. He becomes Rector of Mansfield when Mr. Norris dies. He is “a hearty man of forty-five,” “an indolent, stay-at-home man,” “kind and obliging … really a gentleman, and, … a good scholar and clever, and often preaches good sermons, and … very respectable,” but also “an indolent, selfish bon vivant” who “was very fond of eating.” He later succeeds to a stall in Westminster, and lives in London until his death of apoplexy, caused by “three great institutionary dinners in one week.”
Mrs. Grant: Wife of Dr. Grant, she has “a temper to love and be loved.” She is the older half-sister of Henry and Mary Crawford “the children of her mother by a second marriage.” She and her husband show “a disposition to be friendly and sociable.” She provides a home for her sister after the death of Mary’s aunt.
Henry Crawford: Mrs. Grant’s half-brother and Mary Crawford’s brother, “a young man of sense, of character, of temper, of manners, and of fortune,” “with more than common agreeableness, with address and conversation pleasing to everybody.” (Or, at least almost everybody.) He and his sister have lived with their uncle and aunt, Admiral and Mrs. Crawford, since their parents’ death. He has “a good estate in Norfolk,” and “though not handsome, had air and countenance.” “He had vanity” and is “thoughtless and selfish from prosperity and bad example”—“he would not look beyond the present moment.” He flirts with Maria and Julia Bertram, finding them “an amusement to his sated mind.” He falls in love with Fanny, and tries to get her to marry him. Later he runs away with Mrs. Rushworth (née Maria Bertram), thereby losing Fanny, “the woman whom he had rationally as well as passionately loved.”
Mary Crawford: Mrs. Grant’s half-sister and Henry Crawford’s sister. She is a “remarkably pretty” young woman with “lively and pleasant” manners and twenty thousand pounds. She takes refuge with her sister when, after the death of her aunt, her uncle decides “to bring his mistress under his own roof.” She is a young woman with “cold-hearted ambition.” She falls in love with Edmund Bertram, her “attachment to Edmund had been … the most respectable part of her character,” for she has “faults of principle, … of blunted delicacy and a corrupted, vitiated mind.” After Edmund marries, she remains with her sister until her own marriage.
The Rushworths & Mr. Yates:
Mrs. Rushworth: Mr. Rushworth’s mother, she is “Mrs. Rushworth, senior” after her son’s marriage. She is “a well-meaning, civil, prosing, pompous woman, who thought nothing of consequence, but as it related to her own and her son’s concerns.” She is very fond of her son, but does not get along with his wife. When her daughter-in-law runs away, she uses all her power to expose her.
Mr. James Rushworth: Son of Mrs. Rushworth. He becomes engaged to Maria Bertram, marries her, and later divorces her after she leaves him. “He was a heavy young man, with not more than common sense” but with “nothing disagreeable in his figure or address.” Edmund thinks that, “If this man had not twelve thousand a year, he would be a very stupid fellow,” and Sir Thomas finds him to be “an inferior young man, as ignorant in business as in books, with opinions in general unfixed, and without seeming much aware of it himself.” He is “always guided by the last speaker, by the person who could get hold of and shut him up.”
The Hon. John Yates: A friend of Tom Bertram’s, he is “well-bred and easy,” “trifling and confident, idle and expensive.” He visits Mansfield Park and suggests that they act a play. He flirts with Julia Bertram and later elopes with her. He is “not very solid; but there was a hope of his becoming less trifling, of his being at least tolerably domestic and quiet” and Sir Thomas is comforted “in finding his estate rather more, and his debts much less, than he had feared, and in being consulted and treated as the friend best worth attending to.”
Lieutenant Mr. Price: A “lieutenant of marines, without education, fortune, or connexions.” He marries Miss Frances Ward. Eleven years later he is “disabled for active service, but not the less equal to company and good liquor.” He is Fanny’s father. “He did not want abilities but he had no curiosity, and no information beyond his profession; he read only the newspaper and the navy-list; he talked only of the dockyard, the harbour, Spithead, and the Motherbank; he swore and he drank, he was dirty and gross.”
Mrs. Price: Formerly Miss Frances Ward. Fanny’s mother, wife of Lieutenant Mr. Price, and the younger sister of Mrs. Norris and Lady Bertram. “Her days were spent in a kind of slow bustle; all was busy without getting on, always behindhand and lamenting it, without altering her ways.” Her favorite child is her eldest son: “William was her pride; Betsey her darling; and John, Richard, Sam, Tom, and Charles occupied all the rest of her maternal solicitude.” “Her daughters never had been much to her,” except Betsey. “To her she was most injudiciously indulgent.” She is “ a partial, ill-judging parent, a dawdle, a slattern, who neither taught nor restrained her children, whose house was the scene of mismanagement and discomfort from beginning to end, and who had no talent, no conversation”.
William Price: Eldest child of Lieutenant and Mrs. Price. He joins the Royal Navy and serves first as Midshipman and later as Second Lieutenant. He is Fanny’s favorite brother, and he keeps up an “excellent” correspondence with her from the time she leaves for Mansfield Park. Fanny is “the first object of his love.” William is a young man of “good principles, professional knowledge, energy, courage, and cheerfulness, everything that could deserve or promise well” and “of an open, pleasant countenance, and frank, unstudied, but feeling and respectful manners.”
John and Richard Price: Second and third sons of Lieutenant Price. One is “a clerk in a public office in London, and the other midshipman on board an Indiaman.”
Susan Price: The second daughter of Lieutenant Price, “A quick-looking girl … all eyes and ears”. She and Fanny become friends when Fanny visits her family. “Susan saw that much was wrong at home, and wanted to set it right. … Fanny soon became more disposed to admire the natural light of the mind which could so early distinguish justly….Susan tried to be useful.” Susan returns with Fanny to Mansfield Park, eventually replacing Fanny as companion to Lady Bertram.
Mary Price: The third daughter of Lieutenant Price, “a very pretty little girl” with “something remarkably amiable about her.” She dies a few years after Fanny moves to Mansfield Park. “Fanny in those early days had preferred her to Susan; and when the news of her death had at last reached Mansfield, had for a short time been quite afflicted.”
Sam Price: Son of Lieutenant Price, he is “loud and overbearing” but “clever and intelligent.” At age eleven he is about to “commence his career of seamanship” in the Thrush. He is “influenced by Fanny’s services and gentle persuasions.” Fanny finds him to be “the best of the three younger” boys.
Tom and Charles Price: The two youngest sons of Lieutenant Price. Fanny soon despairs of “making the smallest impression on them; they were quite untameable by any means of address which she had spirits or time to attempt. Every afternoon brought a return of their riotous games all over the house; and she very early learned to sigh at the approach of Saturday’s constant half-holiday.” Charles was born after Fanny moved to Mansfield Park, but Tom Fanny “had often helped to nurse” and had had an “infant preference of herself.”
Betsey Price: The youngest child of Lieutenant Price. She is her mother’s darling, “the first of her girls whom she had ever much regarded”–“a spoiled child, trained up to think the alphabet her greatest enemy”.
Nanny: A servant to Mrs. Norris who calls her “my chief counsellor.” She is sent to London to meet Fanny Price and bring her to Mansfield Park.
Admiral Crawford: The uncle of Henry and Mary Crawford (he is their father’s brother). “Admiral and Mrs. Crawford, though agreeing in nothing else, were united in affection for these children, or, at least, were no farther adverse in their feelings than that each had their favourite, to whom they showed the greatest fondness of the two. The Admiral delighted in the boy, Mrs. Crawford doted on the girl.” When his wife dies, Admiral Crawford, “a man of vicious conduct” chose “instead of retaining his niece, to bring his mistress under his own roof.” He remains on good terms with Henry, however, and when Henry brings Fanny Price’s brother William to dine with the Admiral, he exerts himself to get William a commission.
Mrs. Crawford: The wife of Admiral Crawford. She had “knowledge of the world” that made her “looked up to by all the young people of her acquaintance”. Fanny and Edmund, knowing that Mary Crawford “has been entirely brought up by her”, conclude “the faults of the niece to have been those of the aunt”. Her death obliges Mary Crawford to find another home.
Lord Ravenshaw: The owner of Ecclesford, where the private theatricals of “a large party assembled for gaiety at the house” are abruptly ended by “the sudden death of one of the nearest connexions of the family,”–a grandmother. Lord Ravenshaw was to have played the Baron in the play, the role coveted by Mr. Yates, who was of his party. Mr. Yates wanted the news of the death suppressed until after the play was completed, but Lord Ravenshaw, who he supposes “is one of the most correct men in England, would not hear of it.”
Lady Ravenshaw: The wife of Lord Ravenshaw, she was to have portrayed Agatha in the play.
Christopher Jackson: A carpenter employed by Sir Thomas Bertram. He builds a theatre for Tom Bertram and does a “neat job” which does him credit. When Sir Thomas returns, Christopher Jackson is “set … to work in pulling down what had been so lately put up.”
Charles Maddox: When Tom Bertram finds that it is impossible for him to undertake the part of Anhalt in the play, he says that he “should not be afraid to trust either of the Olivers or Charles Maddox. … and Charles Maddox is as gentlemanlike a man as you will see anywhere.” Miss Crawford prefers him, as she has met him, and remembers him as “a quiet-looking young man.” However, he does not end up with the part as Edmund Bertram takes it, to avoid “the excessive intimacy which must spring from his being admitted among us in this manner.”
Tom Oliver: When Tom Bertram finds that it is impossible for him to undertake the part of Anhalt in the play, he says that he “should not be afraid to trust either of the Olivers or Charles Maddox. Tom Oliver is a very clever fellow.”
Mr. Owen: A friend of Edmund Bertram’s and the son of a clergyman, he is also going to be a clergyman. Edmund stays with him during Christmas, and they receive their ordination together. He has three sisters grown up.
The Misses Owens: The three grown up sisters of Mr. Owen. They are “pleasant, good-humoured, unaffected girls.” Miss Crawford becomes jealous of them when Edmund Bertram defers “his return, having promised to remain some days longer with his friend,” their brother.
Mrs. Fraser: Formerly Miss Janet Ross. She is the wife of Mr. Fraser, the sister of Lady Stornaway, the step-mother of Margaret Fraser (whom she tries to get Henry Crawford to marry), and the intimate friend of Mary Crawford. She is “as unhappy as most other married people.” “There is a spirit of irritation which, to say nothing worse, is certainly very ill-bred.” Miss Crawford stays with her in London during Easter. Edmund dines with the Frasers when he comes to London, and Mrs. Fraser is “very much struck with his gentlemanlike appearance.” Edmund is afraid that if he writes to Miss Crawford to ask her to marry him, that she will consult Mrs. Fraser whom he considers “ a cold-hearted, vain woman, who has married entirely from convenience … and is the determined supporter of everything mercenary and ambitious, provided it be only mercenary and ambitious enough.”
Lady Stornaway: Formerly Miss Flora Ross. She is the sister of Mrs. Fraser and a “most particular friend” of Mary Crawford. She was “dying for Henry the first winter she came out” and then “jilted a very nice young man in the Blues for the sake of that horrid Lord Stornaway” who has a “blackguard character.” She is more affluent than her sister. Miss Crawford goes to visit her after Easter. Miss Crawford says “she seems in high spirits, and very happy. I fancy Lord S. is very good-humoured and pleasant in his own family.” Edmund’s eyes are opened to Mary Crawford’s true character when he meets her for the last time while she is staying with Lady Stornaway.
Rebecca: The very unhelpful and lazy servant of Mr. and Mrs. Price, she is even louder than Mrs. Price and Betsey, “thoroughly without a single recommendation,” and “never where she ought to be.” She is, however, alert “in going to the door, a duty which always interested her beyond any other.” Fanny Price finds it difficult to inure herself to “Rebecca’s cookery and Rebecca’s waiting.” Rebecca discomposes Mrs. Price by wearing “a flower in her hat.”
Mr. Harding: An “old and most particular friend” of Sir Thomas Bertram, “who hearing and witnessing a good deal to alarm him” in Maria Rushworth’s behavior, “wrote to recommend Sir Thomas’s coming to London himself, and using his influence with his daughter to put an end to the intimacy which was already exposing her to unpleasant remarks, and evidently making Mr. Rushworth uneasy.” This letter is “followed by another, sent express from the same friend, to break to him the almost desperate situation in which affairs then stood with the young people. Mrs. Rushworth had left her husband’s house: Mr. Rushworth had been in great anger and distress to him (Mr. Harding) for his advice; Mr. Harding feared there had been at least very flagrant indiscretion. … He was doing all in his power to quiet everything, with the hope of Mrs. Rushworth’s return, but was … much counteracted.”
Pug: Lady Bertram’s pet dog, of whom she is very fond “thinking more of her pug than her children”. Some apprehension is felt by Lady Bertram when the idea of bringing Fanny Price to Mansfield Park is being discussed, “I hope she will not tease my poor pug … I have but just got Julia to leave it alone.” However, Pug, too, can be troublesome, as Lady Bertram observed, “Sitting and calling to Pug, and trying to keep him from the flower-beds, was almost too much for me.” Lady Bertram, however, kindly welcomes Fanny and makes “her sit on the sofa with herself and pug”–though this, unfortunately is not enough to put the homesick Fanny at her ease. When a party is made up to visit Sotherton, they depart amid “the barking of Pug in his mistress’s arms”. When Lady Bertram’s husband returns from Antigua she is “so sensibly animated as to put away her work, move Pug from her side, and give all her attention and all the rest of her sofa to her husband”. When Lady Bertram finds out that Fanny has an admirer, she is so enlivened that she declares, “And I will tell you what, Fanny, which is more than I did for Maria: the next time Pug has a litter you shall have a puppy.”