Fanny Price is the poor niece of the rich Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. They take her in, but she is not treated well, except by her cousin Edmund. When Sir Thomas leaves for Antigua, the young people are left to their own devices. Add a couple of worldly young people from London and some private theatricals, and things start to get messy.

Full Synopsis

(Contains significant plot spoilers)

Mansfield Park (1814). A novel by Jane Austen. Fanny Price is adopted into the family of her rich uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram. Brought up with the four Bertram children, she is condescendingly treated as a poor relation by Aunt Norris. Of her cousins, only Edmund, a young clergyman, appreciates her fine qualities, and she falls in love with him. He unfortunately, is irresistibly drawn to the shallow, worldly Mary Crawford. In the meantime, Mary’s attractive, unscrupulous brother Henry flirts violently with Maria Bertram, Edmund’s sister, who is already engaged. Realizing his intentions are not serious, the disappointed Maria goes through with her marriage as planned. Henry turns his attentions to Fanny, falls in love with her, and proposes marriage. She refuses him. Henry then induces Maria to leave her husband and elopes with her. Mary Crawford takes this scandal very lightly, opening Edmund’s eyes to her true nature. He turns to Fanny for comfort, falls in love with her, and marries her.

The Reader’s Encyclopedia, Second Edition, by William Rose Benét (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1969), p. 631.



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