Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 47

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 47

  • Mrs. Norris is totally changed – she's crushed over what happened with Maria, who was always her favorite. Mrs. Norris is noticeably much quieter now, with it all.
  • Everyone at Mansfield Park has been suffering alone.
  • Mrs. Norris is furious with Fanny, though – she blames her niece for everything. If Fanny had married Henry when he first asked, none of this would have happened!
  • Mrs. Norris isn't happy that Susan is there either, though the rest don't seem to have much of an opinion either way.
  • Luckily Susan is just fine exploring by herself and is much more confident and self-sufficient than Fanny.
  • Fanny learns that Maria met up with Henry at the country house she visited over Easter. The two ran off together from there.
  • Sir Thomas tried to keep a lid on things but Mrs. Rushworth Senior (a.k.a. Mr. Rushworth's mom) was so mad at Maria that she and her servant spilled the beans and ruined Maria's reputation.
  • Maria's reputation was done for anyway, since she had no intention of going back to her husband and now hopes to marry Henry. The two are off together still.
  • Sir Thomas is devastated and feels that he's totally failed as a father. But he also blames Mrs. Norris for how his daughters turned out, and admits that there was something lacking in his daughter's characters.
  • Days later, Edmund finally fills Fanny in on what happened with Mary.
  • He's heartbroken. Basically, Edmund and Mary were talking about the scandal but had completely different opinions on the matter.
  • Mary was upset because Henry and Maria behaved like idiots and got caught having an affair. She said that perhaps they could convince the two to get married and so save some face. Maria would eventually be re-accepted back into society since she'd have money with Henry.
  • Edmund was appalled by this and said that Mary had no morals. He thought she should be upset by the fact that Maria and Henry did what they did at all, not just that they got caught.
  • So Edmund gave Mary a piece of his mind about morality and Mary was pretty much broken-hearted by his attitude.
  • Edmund laments that Mary didn't have a stronger upbringing and better principles.

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