Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 44

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 44

  • Fanny has been in Portsmouth for seven weeks and finally gets a letter from Edmund. Things are still unsettled between him and Mary. Edmund wasn't happy with what he saw of Mary in London, especially her fashionable friends. He's now especially confused about what to do.
  • He loves Mary and wants to marry her, but he still has problems accepting her London society ways.
  • Edmund decides he just has to go for it and ask her – he remains uncertain whether she'll accept his proposal or not.
  • He also says he risks losing Fanny and Henry if he loses Mary since he sees them as all connected.
  • Edmund notes that he still thinks that Henry is great.
  • He says Maria and Julia seem happy in London and that Henry and Maria barely spoke when they met in London.
  • Edmund adds that Sir Thomas won't be able to come get her until after Easter, so she'll have to hang out in Portsmouth a bit longer.
  • Fanny is very stressed out by this letter because of Edmund's unwavering feelings for Mary.
  • Lady Bertram starts writing Fanny too. She reports that the Grants have gone to Bath for a while and updates her on other Mansfield Park news.
  • Then Lady Bertram sends a distressing letter: Tom has gotten sick and Edmund has had to go get him and bring him back to Mansfield Park.
  • Fanny's worried about Tom and the rest of the family.
  • Lady Bertram updates Fanny continually once Tom arrives home. He is dangerously ill.
  • Fanny longs to go home to Mansfield to help out.
  • Fanny is distressed that the Prices don't really seem to care at all about Tom, except for Susan who always wants to hear about Mansfield and who sympathizes with Fanny.

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