Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 26

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 26

  • Sir Thomas decides to throw a ball at Mansfield Park in honor of the Price siblings.
  • Though Mrs. Norris isn't thrilled to have a ball for the Prices, she is thrilled to be planning everything.
  • The young people are psyched for a ball and they set a date for it that falls right before William has to leave again.
  • Fanny has a cross from William that she wants to wear but she doesn't have a chain for it.
  • Everyone is busy preparing for the ball.
  • Edmund is even busier since he's getting ordained a few days after the ball.
  • Edmund decides that, while he and Mary don't agree on a lot of things, he does love her and hopes to marry her.
  • He's doubtful about her feelings for him, though, which causes him anxiety.
  • The big question is whether or not Mary loves him enough to compromise and to give up some things for him.
  • Edmund goes back and forth on whether or not Mary loves him.
  • Fanny's still uncertain about what to wear to her first ball so she reluctantly goes to the Grants' house to ask Mary's advice.
  • Turns out, Mary was already heading out to call on Fanny but heads back to the Parsonage when Fanny explains that she needs help. Mary is happy to assist.
  • They figure out what Fanny should wear and Mary asks about William's cross.
  • Fanny confesses that she lacks a chain for it and Mary insists that Fanny take one of her old ones since she has so many.
  • Fanny, of course, flips out and refuses to take it about 80 times before Mary successfully pressures her into picking one.
  • Fanny tries to choose one that she thinks Mary wants her to have.
  • This turns out to be a chain that Henry gave Mary and Mary tells Fanny to think of Henry whenever she wears it.
  • Fanny finds this whole thing suspicious but she accepts the chain and goes home, embarrassed and agitated.

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