Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park Chapter 43 Summary & Analysis

Henry travels back to London the next day, and a few days later Fanny receives a letter from Mary saying that Henry told her of his visit. Mary then updates Fanny on the social scene in London, writing about courtships and balls. She mentions that Edmund has been looking handsome. Mary reiterates Henry’s offer that they will come bring Fanny to Mansfield whenever she wants, and she mentions a party where they will see Maria and Mr. Rushworth.
Mary’s letter keeps Fanny updated on the social dynamics far away in London. Though Mary has previously talked about letters as straightforward windows to the soul, Fanny must decode the writing in front of her, determining from Mary’s comments about Edmund that she still loves him.
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Fanny is gratified to learn that Edmund has not yet proposed to Mary, but dislikes that it seems that Mary, despite the distractions of London, is just as in love with him as ever. Fanny thinks, again, that Mary does not deserve Edmund.
Fanny had hoped that London would remind Mary of her preference for city life, and that the social distractions of London would make Mary forget Edmund.
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In the days following, Fanny waits for a letter from Edmund, but receives none. Eventually she gives up waiting and focuses on mentoring Susan, who adores her and loves to hear about Mansfield. Fanny wishes she were in love with Henry so she could marry him and have an estate and take Susan to live with her.
When Fanny wishes she could marry Henry and take Susan to his estate, it shows how society leaves women with no options for supporting themselves outside of marriage (Fanny cannot just, for example, buy a house for them herself).
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