by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park Chapter 46 Summary
- Another letter from Mary arrives, but this one is uncharacteristically short and vague.
- Mary tells Fanny that if she's heard any rumors about Henry and the Rushworths and Julia to please just ignore them.
- Fanny is really confused. She's also surprised because she was starting to finally think that Henry actually loved her and now it seems he's done something scandalous with one of the Bertram sisters. Apparently, she assumed that Henry would just love Fanny forever with no encouragement or warm feelings from her at all.
- The next day Mr. Price tells Fanny that there's news of the scandal in the newspaper.
- Turns out, Mrs. Rushworth has left her husband and run off with Henry.
- Fanny is stunned and her moral sensibilities are totally horrified.
- Fanny thinks about how awful and evil and terrible everything is, and how the news of this will crush the rest of the family.
- Finally a letter arrives from Edmund confirming that Maria has had an affair and has run off with Henry, which was apocalyptic levels of scandal for this time period. This is a scandal to end all scandals.
- It gets worse, though: turns out Julia has eloped with Mr. Yates. At least she's married, though.
- Edmund tells Fanny that he'll be in Portsmouth tomorrow to bring her home and invites Susan to come back with her as well.
- Susan and Fanny busy themselves with packing.
- Edmund arrives and looks terrible – he's very depressed and stressed out.
- The ride back to Mansfield Park is pretty subdued.
- Susan is excited and nervous, but Fanny and Edmund are mainly just stressed out.
- Edmund offers his condolences to Fanny over her loss of Henry, but then whines that she should think of how much worse it is for him to have lost Mary. We get no details on the loss at this time.
- Fanny is happy to be back at Mansfield Park even with all of the drama, and is greeted warmly by her aunt and uncle.
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