Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 25

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 25

  • The Crawfords, the Grants, and the Bertrams start hanging out more and more.
  • Sir Thomas notices that Henry is paying quite a bit of attention to Fanny.
  • The families are all having dinner and afterwards they start playing some card games.
  • Lady Bertram, Fanny, Henry, Mary, William, and Edmund all play a game together.
  • Lady Bertram and Fanny don't know how to play the game, called Speculation. It's similar to Bridge, which was a super popular card game at the time.
  • So Henry has to teach the ladies and basically ends up playing for Lady Bertram the whole time since she never seems to get the rules.
  • Edmund and Henry then get into a lengthy discussion about Edmund's future home, Thornton Lacey.
  • They talk about improvement and landscaping.
  • Edmund says that the house isn't overly fancy but he hopes those who care about him will like it.
  • Mary resents the implication there.
  • She then boldly states that she likes to go after things and that if she loses the card game (and another implied game) it won't be for lack of trying. Mary's apparently throwing her hat back in the ring for Edmund.
  • Henry rambles on about improvement schemes some more and then asks Fanny if she's ever seen the house.
  • Fanny has not.
  • The group then recall Henry's "improvement" plans at Sotherton and Henry quietly tells Fanny not to judge him by that day.
  • Sotherton catches Mrs. Norris's attention and she rambles on about how she totally hooked Mr. Rushworth up and how everyone should congratulate her on getting Maria married.
  • No one has anything to say to that really.
  • Mrs. Norris then tries to tell William he should swing by Brighton to see his female cousins and William politely declines. Sir Thomas vetoes the plan less politely.
  • Henry then has a brilliant idea and tells Edmund that he'll live at Thornton Lacey as a temporary renter and will improve the house for Edmund.
  • But Sir Thomas overhears and says that, contrary to what other lazy clergymen do, Edmund will actually live full-time at his parish and work there.
  • Mary isn't happy to hear this. She hoped that Edmund might be a Sunday-only kind of clergyman, not a full-time one living in some dinky parish house.
  • The party is winding down and the group starts to talk about dance parties. William says he'd love to see Fanny dance.
  • Sir Thomas says he'd like to see Fanny at a ball, too, and Henry chimes in that he's seen Fanny dance before and she does it well.
  • Actually, Henry can't actually remember ever seeing Fanny dance before but he assumes he has and that she wasn't half bad.

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