Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

  • Edmund steps up and handles his father's business while Sir Thomas and Tom are on their Caribbean vacation.
  • Life is pretty dull for everyone. Fanny spends most her time doing things for the lazy Lady Bertram and putting up with Mrs. Norris.
  • The Bertram sisters get to go to a lot of balls and tell Fanny all about them. Fanny is totally the Cinderella of this story, forced to stay home all the time.
  • Fanny's old grey pony dies and she's very sad. Fanny has no horse now and can't go riding.
  • No one else cares, but Edmund does some horse trading and gets a new horse for Fanny.
  • Fanny just falls for Edmund more, if that's even possible. She pretty much worships him.
  • Tom returns home after a few months but Sir Thomas has to stay in Antigua to handle vaguely-described business affairs.
  • Meanwhile, Mrs. Norris is determined to marry off Maria.
  • Luckily, an eligible bachelor named Mr. Rushworth enters the story. He falls for Maria, and in turn Maria decides that she'll marry him since he's rich.
  • Mr. Rushworth's family is down with the match and things seem to be progressing smoothly.
  • The two young people get engaged, but they can't marry until Sir Thomas gets back from Antigua. They also have to wait months for Sir Thomas's official consent to their engagement.
  • Fanny is now eighteen years old and it's late summer.
  • A Mr. and Miss Crawford show up. They are the neighbor Mrs. Grant's half-siblings. They all share the same mom, who had a second marriage after Mrs. Grant was born, which resulted in the Crawford kids. The Crawford kids lost both of their parents at a pretty early age so then lived with their uncle, their father's brother. This uncle is an Admiral.
  • Admiral Crawford loved his nephew and his wife loved her niece. Unfortunately, Mrs. Crawford recently died as well and the Admiral moved his mistress in to the house and basically forced his niece to move out.
  • Mrs. Grant decided that her half-sister should come live with her instead, and young Mr. Crawford decides to escort his sister to her new home.
  • Miss Crawford is nervous about moving to the country to live with new relatives, much like a young Fanny felt many years prior.
  • But Miss Crawford discovers that Mrs. Grant is cool and she's soon happy to be there. Henry Crawford also has a pretty good time, though he has no intention of staying put for long.
  • As happy as she is at the Grant home, Miss Crawford (Mary) is determined to get married soon and sets her sights on Tom Bertram.
  • Mrs. Grant, Henry, and Mary have a chat about marriage that is very witty. The Crawford siblings are rarely serious and they both make fun of marriage. The girls tell Henry they're going to find him a wife and he laughs them off. He has no intention of settling down.

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