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  • Writer's pictureIzzy Meakin

Ep 6: Fanny Price, Heroine or House Elf

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Welcome to the sixth episode of the What the Austen? podcast! I'm your host Izzy, and I am joined by my friend and fellow Janeite Naomi from @naomi.not.niomi. In this episode, we discuss Jane Austen's novel Mansfiled Park and focus on the character of Fanny Price. Fanny is a very different protagonist to Jane Austen's other heroines, resembling Jane Eyre more than Elizabeth Bennet. We will go through the book looking at the her pros and cons of her character, making reference to the constant comparison between her and Mary Crawford that is evident in the novel. We will also explore her relationship with Edmund and whether their marriage is one of love or connivence.



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Episode Transcript


0:17 Izzy

Welcome Janeites to episode number six, of the, what the Austen podcast I'm joined by Naomi. So hi, Naomi, how are you?


0:25 Naomi

Hi, I'm doing pretty well. Thanks. Thanks for having me.


0:28

Yeah, wonderful. Yeah. I'm really excited for you to be on with me today. And, um, it would be great to just hear a little bit about your Instagram page, um, and what you do on that. And then also how you got into Austen.


0:39

Naomi

Yeah, sure. So, uh, my Instagram is Naomi, not Naomi, uh, because everyone gets my name always wrong. And I sort of, I took a lot of things on that, but, um, books and reading is one of like my main interest is what I spend a lot of time doing. So I try and put out sort of a lot of posts about what I'm reading and stories about what I'm reading. Um, and yeah, Jane Austin features quite heavily in those as I'm sure you you've seen Izzy, um, but yeah, in terms of how I got into Jane Austen, I think I've always read like, even as a child, I was a really active reader. And then when I was probably about 11 or 12, uh, my mum brought me home a copy of the 1995 pride and prejudice, the BBC one. Yeah. We know the one and I just loved it. I thought it was amazing best thing I'd ever seen. So that weekend I sort of went out and I bought the book and, um, loved that as well. And then it sort of started this Austin cycle and, you know, I'd be sort of in bookshops and sort of what was them HMV getting the DVDs.


1:49

Izzy

Right. That used to be the place to go. Now everything's just online.


1:54

Naomi

Yeah. I had like a whole period shelf that was sort of my books and my DVDs and I just sort of at the weekends ‘oh which Jane Austen should I watch this weekend?’


2:03

Izzy

Right. I love that. That's amazing. It's funny. The 1995 version was how I got into it as well and also through my mum. So that's so funny. So in this episode, we're going to be focusing on Mansfield Park and in particular Fanny Price as a character and coming into this I think we were kind of both feeling like we weren't too sure about Fanny, like thinking that she's quite passive, quite dull. Um, but we're going to like explore her a bit more here. I'm not going to say that we're going to come to the end of this and think that she's like the best heroin. I can't see that happening, but, um, I think it's good to kind of dive into a character a bit more yeah. For your thoughts as well.


2:42

Naomi

Yeah, absolutely. I think, yeah, we'd definitely very much went into this thinking. Why do we not like you?

2:51

Izzy

Right. Absolutely. So we're going to probably do it chronologically through the book. We think that's the easiest way to kind of pick up on some key, key parts where Fanny’s character really shows or when her character is maybe not shown in the best light, et cetera. So, um, I reckon a great place to start is the fact that, um, we see Fanny as a child, which is really unusual. Um, she, I think she's the only heroin that we are introduced to as a child.


3:20

Naomi

Yeah. It's a really odd, really odd thing to read as well. Cause it's quite a short sort of section of the book that we, that we see her as a child, but we get quite a lot from it quite a lot happens in that I find. Um, and yeah, as I was rereading it, I felt so sorry for her just reading those, you know, all the things that like, so Thomas says, when he says, you know, oh, we must prepare ourselves for gross ignorance.


3:43

Izzy

Right. It's like, they already are just like preparing for the worst.


3:49

Naomi

Yeah. They’ve cast her in this role already, before she's even arrived.


3:53

Izzy

Right. Absolutely. And I actually saw a great quote from CS Lewis actually when he's kind of like being critiquing the book. And, um, he said that, um, Fanny, um, is a Bronte heroine in a Jane Austen situation. Yeah. I think that's so true because often with like Bronte novels, like Jane Eyre, for instance, we do see them as a child and it is this like gloomy, um, child whose in like a dire situation, um, their journey. And it's like, everybody's thinking the worst of them. Um, yeah. I was like, that's actually such a great way to describe, especially how the book starts, but then maybe the book as a whole as well.


4:37

Naomi

Yeah. That's such a good point, actually. That really is that, that vibe of just, you know, her being the poor relation and like being left out and being the outsider. Yeah. It's very Bronte.


4:49

Izzy

Right. Absolutely. Um, so I thought we could pick up on like how she's originally described and I know obviously she's a child, so like we can't go off it too much. Like maybe she's not as pretty - she is a child, so we have to bear that in mind. But when they first describe her, um, she isn't described in the best light it is that she isn’t very pretty. Um, I think the only positive they say that she's got like a pretty voice, which seems like kind of a weird compliment. Yeah. I did do what you think about you kind of how we're introduced to Fanny. She's obviously very sad because she's being removed from her family. Um, but it seems, it does seem a little bit dire from the offset.


5:32

Naomi

Yeah, it definitely does. Yeah. Like she was smooth for her age, no glow of complexion, those striking beauty, all of these things. And you just have this picture of this poor little girl sort of on this journey, like far from her home, far, from everything she's known. So confused.


5:49

Izzy

Right. Absolutely. In that it just says like no striking beauty, which is really interesting because then when you look later on, when we're introduced to Mariah and Julia say there's so much emphasis on their beauty, I think even later when Mary comes in, they make a point of saying that actually that beautiful, but other women's beauty doesn't vex them because they're too, I mean, they're so confident in their own appearance, they're.


6:14

Naomi

Just so gorgeous


6:17

Izzy

Right. Exactly. So I feel like, yeah, all around when you first introduced a funny, it's kind of grave and you thinking where's this going to go? And I think it sets up as maybe like a Cinderella story, but I really think it's that at all at the end of the day.


6:33

Naomi

I know definitely at the beginning it does feel very Cinderella and you, you do sort of have this when you first come to it, you think what's going to happen here? Is she going to be made to, is it going to be very Cinderella? She's going to be made to be, you know, a servant what's what's happening.


6:47

Izzy

Right. No, exactly. It's so true in, I suppose to an extent she kind of is


6:53

Naomi

She’s in a weird, position isn't she, because I think maybe they have a sort of clear idea in, you know, Aunt Norris has this idea of where she thinks that Fanny will fit in this thing, but it doesn't play out very clearly.


7:07

Izzy

No, no, absolutely not. And um, oh God Aunt Norris. That's a character for you right there. Oh, she's awful. She's so cruel.


7:18

Naomi

I, yeah, I don't like her at all. I've never met anyone who's sort of gone yet. Aren't nice. Yeah. Aunt Norris, I don't mind how she's okay.


7:26

Izzy

Right, right. Absolutely. It's very hard to like all nurse. She's really just not the nicest cards up. So saying that, so now you've met funny. It's not long after that. That then with introduced to Mary Crawford who for the majority of the book is basically funding's rival. Um, and does also takes, I'd say more of a centre stage position to funny. Yeah.


7:52

Naomi

Like she, I've definitely had people say as well that she's the real heroine of this novel, which is a really interesting point because, you know, I, I'm not sure I totally agree with it, but I can see where that comes from. You know, she's got all these features that like a typical heroin and she's got, you know, the beauty and she's really sort of pleasing everyone likes her and she's lovely. And she's sort of, she's got this like quality about her that she just sort of like glides through.


8:18

Izzy

Right? No, absolutely. And I think what's really interesting about Mary Crawford is she is more likely to be a heroines and the fact that she can speak her mind, like the other heroines are so comfortable in them. So for instance, I'd say Emma and Elizabeth are really good examples. They're so comfortable in themselves and in society. And Mary's very much like that. She's so confident she speaks her mind. Like you can admire him more than Fanny because of that. I think.


8:48

Naomi

Yeah. I think definitely with Fanny throughout, I'm sort of, I feel like I'm just urging her to do something, say something, you know?


8:53

Izzy

Right. No, absolutely. And I don’t know if you notice this. But even when she does say something and we think, oh, this is great Fanny’s, really speaking out here, if one of the Bertram disagrees or they put their point across, she's so quick to be like, oh yes, I agree with you.


9:08

Naomi

She shrinks right back. Doesn’t she?


9:10

Izzy

So, and I think from that, um, I think, I don't know what you think about her relationship with the Bertrams, but I think it's very strange, i don’t know if this is the right thing to say, but she gives me house elf vibes from Harry Potter. But what I was reading, I was like, is she comes across like a house elf. She’s like, so loyal to them, even though they're often quite mean to her. Well, she wants more than anything for them to like, love her and admire her. And it's so bizarre to me. I was like, yeah, I feel like funny would be a health health in another life.


9:53

Naomi

Definitely see that.


9:55

Yeah. It's at night. Do you have any of the thoughts and that kind of area with the Bertrams do you think it's a healthy relationship or a toxic relationship?


10:03

Naomi

I feel like it's, I don't know if it's just sort of to a modern readership, it feels very toxic and that sort of, of the time it would have not been so toxic and it would have been sort of a loving sort of family engagement that was at play, I think, to a modern readership though. We definitely read it and we think, you know, Fanny’s on the back foot, always, always trying to sort of please them make them sort of happy with her presence there. And she's always the person who's not meant to be there. If that makes sense. Like she's always the poor relation.


10:38

Izzy

Right. Absolutely. And when she does get involved with things like, um, Mrs. Norris is so quick to be like, oh, you really like indulge yourself today. So you need to kind of go and spend some time in solitude or even a room itself is borderline servant quarters. Isn't it.


10:54

Naomi

Attic bedroom, isn't it?


10:55

Izzy

Yeah. It's like, um, there's like, no file that she's always out with like a shawl and she loves it because she has all of her stuff back. But it's yeah, she's definitely, I think at the start of the novel, they do actually say that they don't want her to feel that she is like, like Julia and Mariah, but she, she has to see that she's different.


11:17

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I think that's that, that never closes that gap never goes away. Does it?


11:24

Izzy

Right. Absolutely. And I think from that it then embeds that thought within the children. As that growing up, obviously Edmunds slightly different and there's obviously the nicest of the Bertrams he obviously just naturally is quite a caring person. Um, but for the rest of them, I think it's is kind of embedded in their thoughts, but you know, Fanny as the poor relation and that's it, then that is the narrative.


11:50

Naomi

Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, I think is it, towards the beginning of the book, the sisters are like sort of shocked by how little Fanny knows and like how uneducated she is and they just think she's, you know, just really ignorant. Um, and yeah, I think that's sort of embedded in them before they've even met her.


12:08

Izzy

Yeah, absolutely. And I think by obviously getting to the end of the book, um, I think Mr. Bertram realises the mistake of doing that because it has made them given them this superiority, which in the end they don't necessarily deserve. So sorry. I was like, jump right back to the, kind of the start of the novel. But to Mary Crawford at her description is like polar opposite.


12:30

Naomi

Uh, yeah. Here's the one about the beauty Ms. Crawford's beauty, did her no disservice with the bathrooms, they were to handsome themselves to dislike any women for being so too.


12:41

Izzy

Oh my gosh. See that in itself. Um, like funny is modest in, I feel like the only time that her beauty is called back into question is when those characters are removed, which I think is so interesting.


12:58

Naomi

Yeah. She was always compared to them. They are sort of like the gold standard and she falls far below that. But when, when they removed, you know, she can sort of come forward.


13:09

Izzy

Yeah, exactly. Suddenly they can see her again. And I think it's so unfortunate. It's so funny to once again, be compared to somebody who's had a better, better education, better opportunities because obviously Mary Crawford, one of her big, big perks about Mary Crawford for everyone is the fact that she plays the harp.


13:27

Naomi

Of course.


13:28

Izzy

Everybody loves that about in particularly Edmund. Cause he's like such a big fan of the harp and there’s like times, I think where he's described as staring at her, that just watching her play very much like Colonel Brandon Maryann style, just admiring her.


13:43

Naomi

Same energy.


13:45

Izzy

Yeah. It's the same energy is kind of borderline creepy staring at somebody vibe. Um, and I think also what makes Mary Crawford, like he was saying that some people think she's the actual heroin is because for Fanny, she doesn't really consider matrimony. Like we don't hear her talking about it. She is in love with Edmund. Yes. And we all know she cares about Edmund more than anything, but she never forces. I can end result for that. Do you know what I mean? She just privately loves him. She's not that like, I want to marry him.



14:16

Naomi

Yeah. She's very sort of about her feelings and about sort of the insular, how she feels about Edmund. Yeah. You're so right. She never is sort of part of this outward societal. I must get married and I want to marry you and you know, that kind of thing that's milling around with everyone else.


14:31

Izzy

Right. Which is so different to Mary Crawford, who, it literally says much money was her object provided she could marry well, and then obviously it goes on with the fact that she originally wanted to marry Tom Bertram. That was her first object. She was like, yes, I'm going to go for him because he was the air. Well, is the, I, he doesn't die, close to it, but doesn't Yeah, exactly. So I think that's really interesting about Fanny as well in I know there's a conversation later on, I think it's between Mary and Edmund where they discussed actually, is she out or not?



15:07

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. I remember that. And that, yeah, that sort of wondering like what, what's her situation what's going on with her.


15:14

Izzy

Right. And it's like that questions like, oh, I should into a ball when he's like, no, she doesn't go to balls. It's like, oh, well she's not out. Then I'm like out in society. And um, I just think that's so interesting that it's, it is weird. I do really what she was expecting. Fanny, like going through life, like it was obvious somebody else was going to come along for Edmund . Cause she's obviously, I mean, it's not like she can turn around to Edmund and be like, I think we should get married.


15:39

Naomi

Yeah. No, absolutely. That's so true. And then there's even that sort of section at the beginning where there's, that that worry about, you know, what if one of the brothers, you know, takes a liking to Fanny, you know, there's a whole thing that's discussed, isn't it? Sorry, I'm laughing back to the child the child had, but again, but it really does, even in those couple of short chapters, it permeates through to the rest of the book, doesn't it? Wow.


16:01

Izzy

And also isn't that so strange because at the time it wasn't unusual for cousins to Marry. Um, obviously like there's like Mr. Collins and Elizabeth situation, it isn't other books and it isn't looked upon in the same light. Whereas this book considering they get married at the end, it's spoiler. Obviously I thought he'd be, most people would probably probably seen, probably read the book, but, um, yeah, it's strange that that emphasis on cousins, not marrying is kind of forced at the start and then is filtered through. It's like, well, what ones, if they like each other and then that they even keep mentioning like cousins marrying like that terminology.


16:40

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. It's a really interesting one in this book, the way it sort of approached.


16:46

Izzy

Right, right. It's almost like it's coming to a stage where it's not as acceptable.


16:52

Naomi

Yeah. And then it sort of questions of like, is it just because it's Fanny if it was somebody else, would that be absolutely wonderful if you had sort of a different cousin that was the wealthiest, you know, the wealthiest woman in England, would that be suddenly fabulous? Yes. They can get married.


17:10

Izzy

That's such a good thought actually. Yeah. It's funny was the, like a rich heiress, the rich relative, how different would test different with this story?


17:21

Naomi

Like an alternate, um, world Mansfield park.


17:26

Izzy

Right, right. Going on from that, if we move further into the book, um, I know we keep flipping between Mary Crawford and Fanny, but I think the key with that is that they are compared throughout the book it's is that it's, it's almost like are a rivalry that isn't outwardly spoken because obviously Mary has no idea that Fanny loves Edmund in that way. She thinks that she loves him, like a younger sister would love a brother kind of thing. So, um, and I think the relationship itself is really interesting because from the most part, Mary is quite kind of Fanny.


18:01

Naomi

Yeah, for sure. Like I, when I first read it, I remember sort of really liking them as a friendship and being like, you know, it's really nice to see two characters that like get on and it's quite a nice relationship.


18:12

Izzy

Right? Absolutely. I think that is a little bit, if that same pity love the Edmund has for Fanny, it's like the, it's almost like a younger sibling spending time with, uh, a couple that are getting to know each other. Like they want to look after her, et. And, um, but I do think it is really interesting because I think Fanny’s obviously Fanny’s jealousy towards Mary grows as the book continues and she realises Edmunds attachment to her. I feel like it's so clear that Fanny keeps picking out Mary's faults, which is really interesting because like you were saying, when you first think about funding, you do think about this passive character he's really innocent and all of that. But then when I was reading this time, I was like, actually, she really does have this, a deep rooted envy for people taking the attention of the Bertrams from her.


19:00

Naomi

Yeah, for sure. I think she, yeah, she's in this position, I think where she's been sort of removed from her home. She doesn't really know her own direct family anymore. This is her family now. And even though she's sort of the lowest rung on the ladder, I think she feels still very loyal to them. And like we were saying, she's got that house elf vibe. She, she wants to please them. Then, you know, she wants them to like her and.


19:22

Izzy

Right. It's so important to her that they have love and admire it. It's yeah, it seems so strange. Um, but obviously, like you said, she's being removed from her environment and she's so isolated with them because she's not allowed kind of out in society that all she knows. So is it even surprising that she should fall in love with one of them? Who else is she exposed to?


19:46

Naomi

That's such a good point, isn't it? Because, yeah. Who else would she have seen really?


19:51

Izzy

Right. Exactly. And I think even later on, obviously I'm just skipping forward slightly, but when, um, Mr. Bertram brings up the fact that, why would you not marry Henry? And then it's like, he's like, it's not like you could be in love with somebody else. And then he even backtracked himself and goes, of course you won't be in love with somebody else. Could you be exposed to anybody else?


20:13

Naomi

Who else is there?


20:14

Izzy

Right, exactly. So, and I think that is maybe what clouds, my feelings between Edmund and Fanny, because I feel like it's almost a relationship of convenience, even if she doesn't realise it. Yes. Her feelings are very strong for Edmund and don't waiver, but where would they waiver to?


20:35

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I agree with you. And I also think that I find it, um, and I know this is sort of a modern readership and modern eye, reading it, but I do find it sometimes grates on me a bit because I read the bit when Edmunds really kind to Fanny as a child. And I remember reading that and thinking, oh, that's really nice that she's got a brother figure to replace William. And then obviously, you know, that she falls in love with him and they ended up getting married. And that I think in my head jars a bit, because I always read it as sort of, he takes the place of William.


21:07

Izzy

That's such a good point. Absolutely. I feel the exact same way because it's also set up that way because they're talking about William, the importance of William in her life, how they were the closest siblings. And then it's like Edmunds comes in just straight after that is kind to her shows of this affection.


21:26

Naomi

Just a bit unusual.


21:28

Izzy

It is again yeah. There's like that weird thing between, is this right or not? Yeah. Like straight from the offset. And um, but even from, even from the offset, Edmond's like concern for funny is so deep rooted on her health. I don't know if you noticed that, but it's all the time. And then that just makes Fanny, look like this sickly character, like Ms. Sanda Berg or something, you know, sniffling on the carriage.


21:58

Naomi

Yeah. No, definitely. That's so true.


22:02

Izzy

I just think it's so it's so bizarre. Um, cause there's so many instances it's actually one way that have dinner table and Edmunds asking Mrs. Bertram. And uh, I think it's Mrs. Norris as well. Like, oh, well it's Fanny you talk to you today. Cause he's like, oh funny, do you have a headache? And, and she's like, she did have a headache, but she didn't want to like come out and say yes, because that's so Fanny. Um, So she's just that. And he's like, well, has she been doing? They're like, oh, well she picked roses and she went for a walk and she did all this and that. She's doodle less than that. And he's just, he gets so angry about it. He says, well, we have an exclamation mark. And then he's like, how can you make her do all of this stuff? Like she's, she's not like healthy enough to be walking this distance. No wonder she's got a headache. It's a strange compassion.


22:54

Naomi

Yeah. I think it's another thing that sort of clouds my vision. Sometimes as I, sometimes I'm thinking of the funnies from the film adaptations in my head when I'm reading and I keep forgetting it, I find he's not this robust Billy Piper type. She is meant to be, you know, a bit sort of she's small and she's, she is a bit sickly and she does get these headaches when she goes for a walk.


23:20

Izzy

Yeah. It's like, she can't be in this sun. She can't walk for too long. Is this just various things going on that like, she isn't the healthiest of character. They it's probably because they just put her in this Arctic again, very Bronte. Um, so yeah, so what's interesting is there's a couple of scenes I want to pick up on one of them being, um, which kind of links to her health. One of them being the horse riding scene, where Mary Crawford learns to ride and the other being, um, when they go for this walk, can they see the chapel, et cetera. So, um, where I’ll start with that is before that happens. Um, I think it's before that happens anyway, that Edmunds questioning Fanny on Ms. Crawford. I think this is after the dinner party. He's like, he says, well Fanny. And how do you like Ms. Crawford now? It's really interesting. And what's really funny about this is Fanny. He thinks he's asking just in a general sense as this is just an acquaintance they have, but actually we find out later that Edmunds asking because he's, he's becoming attracted to Ms. Crawford and he wants to see how Fanny feels about her.


24:30

Naomi

It's interesting because that, again gives that sort of sibling, uh, vibe. Doesn't it? Because it's like, you know, what do you think of Ms. Crawford? Because if you like her, then that's all good.


24:40

Izzy

Right? Absolutely. And it's really interesting because it's chapter seven, but the, um, the first, the start of chapter seven, when this is first introduced to Fanny, she is like, yeah, I like Ms. Crawford. You know what I mean? She's really nice about it. And they talk about, um, how wonderfully she like plays a conversation. Um, they do discuss the, kind of the fact that she talks about uncle. Not, not the nicest way about his profession, I believe. And, uh, the clergy.


24:05

Naomi

Hasn't, she, she doesn't like the clergy.


25:10

Izzy

Right, right. Yeah. That's absolutely all throughout the book she never drops up. Um, and yeah, it's interesting. And then as that chapter progress is when she starts to realise that actually Edmund likes Ms. Crawford like may have feelings for Ms. Crawford. Um, then it seems to change slightly. Um, and she even says she was a little surprised that he could spend so many hours with Ms. Crawford and not see more of the sorts of fault, which he had already observed and of which she was almost always reminded by something. So it's really interesting that you can see right there that Fanny is, um, kind of highlighting in her mind, the negatives of Ms. Crawford.


25:57

Naomi

Yeah. And once again, that's so funny. She won't say that.


26:01

Izzy

Bright. She just has it all. It's all inward. I mean, I'm surprised I'm going to wonder if she has it it's the headaches are probably caused by all this jealousy. She has her running around ahead. Well, these, all these feelings that she doesn't express, um, and it's really interesting because then a few lines later, it actually says the first actual pain, which Ms. Crawford, Ms. Crawford occasioned her. So it's like, this is like setting up, like as if there's going to be a list of reasons. Why reasons, why Ms. Crawford as caused her harm.


26:33

Naomi

Is going to be a pain for you Fanny.


26:35

Izzy

Right. And then it's not long after that, that we do have this Horse scene. So Edmund obviously goes and speaks to Fanny about this, he doesn't just go steal her horse. And this is a horse that he is, um, like basically petitioned for her to have, he was really adamant that she had to have her own horse.


26:52

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. He made a big, a big point of that didn’t he.


26:55

Izzy

Yeah, absolutely. It was like, she has to have her own horse, so that she can take the exercise she needs that doesn't give her the headache.


27:04

Naomi

Pain.


27:06

Izzy

Right. Exactly. And then he asks like, oh, I want to teach Mary Crawford to ride, can I borrow your horse? Um, and Fanny being Fanny, it's like, yes, of course you do it. Even though she did want to ride, she's just like, yes, take my horse. That's fine. Whatever you want. Yeah. Anything you want, I will do. So they take the horse and they’re out for a really long time. Um, and there's a line actually. I think this is really interesting. It's so Fanny is just sit around, waiting for the horse to come back so that she can go for her ride. And it says, um, right. It was a sound that did not make her cheerful. She wondered that Edmund should forget her because I think she can hear like how much fun that they’re all having. And she's that like, how can Edmund forget me?


27:51

Naomi

It's interesting. Because on the one hand, she clearly sees herself as having some significance to Edmund because of things like that when she's like, how could he forget me? But at the same time, she also gives off such these like inferior vibes always. And she always feels that she's inferior and playing catch up and all this, and they sort of go in opposition to each other.


28:13

Izzy

Oh, that's such a good point. I feel like Fanny if the herons has such insecurities. Yeah. I feel like she can't shake them. She has this, this like deep rooted one, obviously that she's the poor relation. Um, and then it's also against other women. She, she is constantly concerned that, um, she's kind of inferior when she's placed against other women. And I didn't know whether the narrative just tried to mirror that, and that is why we have the, kind of the almost caricatured version of like these beautiful women. Like, they're so beautiful, like other people, other women's beauty doesn't vex them. Um, yeah. And I didn't know if the narrative just try to follow Fanny’s insecurities in that sense. I don't know if you've kind of had those thoughts?


28:57

Naomi

I, the same kind of thing I've found it quite sort of interesting to think, are we meant to be sort of in Fanny’s head or are we meant to be a layer above? Like where are we as a reader?


29:09

Izzy

Right. I actually think that's maybe why it's so difficult to place this book and themes because on one hand, I think maybe that is the case. Maybe we're following Fanny. And then on the other hand, I think, is this even Fannys story?


29:22

Naomi

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. For sure. Fanny sometimes just seems like an accidental character in her own novel and it's really strange.


29:30

Izzy

But the point is she actually does. Sometimes it's like, well, I noticed that she's sometimes, well, quite often actually she's the observer, she's almost like a second pair of eyes, the narratives, like looking down, and then looking through funny's eyes and then looking at what's going on.


29:46

Naomi

Yeah, definitely. Yeah.


29:48

Izzy

It's almost quite strange because she's never invited to things. Well, she's invited to some stuff, but not much. And when she's not invited, it's like, we just have to hear about what other people have been up to since she's just being like helping out.


30:04

Naomi

Getting headaches.


30:05

Izzy

Exactly. Yeah. Getting headaches picking roses, so right. With staying on that same chapter and when they come back, this is another example of how Mary Crawford actually, she, she must be used to be so oblivious. I mean, I, I understand why she would be, but she's so oblivious to Fanny’s true feelings for Edmund that, um, when they comeback she's, she's so lovely and she's, well, she's not so lovely, but she's as lovely as Mary can be. And she's like, um, I've come to make my own apologies for keeping you waiting so she doesn't look down. On Fanny. I don't think, um, I think she knows Fanny is not her equal, but she doesn't place herself a superior. It's a funny.


30:49

Naomi

I think she's very like aware that she doesn't want Fanny to feel inferior even though she is.


30:57

Izzy

Right. And I don't know if that's because Mary Crawford notices Fanny’s, insecurities. Fanny’s not a threat and I don't think anyone finds her a threat. And so it's so easy to just be so, um, obviously cause in the marriage market is really competitive. And so, um, I don't know because she never appears a threat. I didn't know whether that's why Mary so quick to be her friend and kind to her and just take her in.


31:23

Naomi

Yeah. And I think there's also a bit of a sort of, I think she does also see her a bit sort of under her wing a bit, um, yeah. Comes in and sees, you know, this sort of ready-made family with Fanny a bit on the edge. Um, and yeah. And sort of takes her sort of under her wing, like, you know, we could be friendly.


31:43

Izzy

Right? Absolutely. And if you were to play devil's advocate, you could also say, but it's just because of the fact that she likes Edmund, that she wants to be close to funny because obviously funny, such an important character like person to Edmund. Yeah.


31:59

Naomi

It's like when you sort of, you start dating someone that’s got siblings and you want their siblings to like you, that kind of thing, same thing.


32:06

Izzy

And then it carrying on from that scene. Cause I think this chapter is so important. I think it brings out a lot. I think they start talking about Fanny’s health, which seems to be topic of conversation so often. And, um, Mary Crawford in comparison is always considered being so strong. She even says, I am very strong, nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like. Yeah. And it's so interesting that kind of the balanced between, like Fanny’s this sickly character who can't walk like a mile and then there's Mary Crawford. You can’t sit down for five minutes.


32:37

Naomi

Yeah. I think, yeah. Throughout the book we see these really close contrast don't we between Mary and Fanny and that's like a really good example.


32:47

Izzy

Right? Exactly. Yeah, absolutely. Um, and then I feel like there's another scene, which is really, um, really like shows that as well in that later on, it's very similar to the horse scene, but um, I think it's Edmund, Fanny and Mary they're walking together, all of the Bertram’s are on this walk, but they're working together and um, Edmonds notice that funny, oh, if she's gotten a headache or she's just tired. Um, cause that's quite often another thing she's just tired and um, they say, oh, you like, you need to sit down. Um, even says again, I'm sure you have a headache. He keeps trying to force these headaches upon her. So, um, yeah. And they they're like, oh, you need to sit down so that, you know, you can rest or what have you. And so she sits down and then Mary keeps going on about, um, this path and she's like, oh, I think it's this long. And Edmunds like, oh no, it's this long. And um, then they decide to walk it and they leave Fanny like, oh, we'll be back for your Fanny, you just stay there and we’ll come back for you. And then they're like, gone for ages. Yeah, yeah. To the extent that Fanny starts to feel neglected. But I think that word itself is quite key because it is this like parents will child.


33:07

Naomi

Yeah. It really is. It's exactly the attitude you get from that whole exchange because you know, I don't know if you've ever been in this situation where you've been sort of like in a group and there's been someone who's got a child there as well and the child does fatigue easily and you do sort of think, oh, well I guess someone's go to stay with the child and the rest of us will go forward. It really is the same thing. It's exactly the same situation.


34:30

Izzy

Right? Absolutely. And what I started to feel was I think Fanny likes being in that position. I think she likes being, because I mean this again, might be playing devil's advocate, but what would Edmund think about Fanny? And this is going to sound really harsh. I'll probably reword it after I say it but, think about Fanny if it wasn't the fact that she wasn’t sick, do you know what I mean, when, when Edmunds constantly talking about Fanny, it's always to do with her health. If Fanny, if Fanny, wasn't so sickly, what would be there for him to care about?


35:03

Naomi

Yeah. That's such a good point because she, like, I hate to say it, but she is such a nothing person. There's nothing that she hasn't got interests or hobbies or she's not that good at anything in particularly, you know, she's, she has a bit of a nothing person.


35:17

Izzy

And there’s even little conversation there at times? I, if you notice, like, I think they do mention that, that they have good conversation, but often their conversation is Edmund going to her for advice.


35:30

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah.


35:32

Izzy

And sometimes it’s not even advice cause he's already made up his own mind. It's just to validate his own thoughts.


35:38

Naomi

Yeah, definitely.


35:40

Izzy

And that's so interesting as well. The end of that chapter as well, Mary Crawford says again, I must move resting, fatigues me. Um, yeah, Fanny. It's just that like I'm too tired to walk on, but it isn't ever Fanny, never complains and says, I want to sit down. I have a headache. It's always Edmund go in. Do you have a headache? Fanny, sit down. You too tired. Fanny. I should've thought about that. And it's, it's strange. I N but I do think the fact that she doesn't, I think sometimes she says like, she doesn't have it all do it. Sometimes she says, well, I wasn't gonna, I wasn't gonna say, or she'll say, oh, I'll come with you. And he's just like, no, no, you stay that.


36:15

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. He's always thinking about her and how well being, and again, it seems to so brotherly to me.


36:23

Izzy

Right. Exactly. And I think it's so interesting how long it takes like, I don't even think she ever lets it go. But she always, Fanny’s always still thinking like, oh, how strange that he's forgot me. It says here, she began to be surprised that she’s being left so long surprised she was surprised that he'd left her. Like, he's obviously loves the company of Mary Crawford. He spent so much time with her. Yet Fanny is still surprised that she should be left. Yeah.


36:49

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. It's a, it's a really odd, um, odd situation that walk as well. Isn't it? Because it's, you know, she is surprised that she's been left and surprised that she gets forgotten with the horse ride and everything, but it's almost like she sort of doesn't see past herself sometimes. You know, she doesn't think, okay, well he's with Mary Crawford. He likes Mary Crawford. He'll probably be, be a while.


37:13

Izzy

Exactly. Yeah. I think that is that she's that she can be so inward at times. Like she doesn't express thing. So she just sits there thinking things through to herself and she thinks, um, like Edmund's concerned for her health, et cetera, is I think this is because all of the other Bertrand's don't care for her health. Don't, couldn't give, couldn't give a flying fig what's going on with her, but that they, um, the daft that Edmund does means so much to her. And I don't know whether this then comes into the fact that their relationships very, I don't know how I feel about it. I'm kind of borderline, I'm not sure if it is a good relationship or not, but he is the only one who shows this affection. So she's, she's almost bonded to him because of that.


37:58

Naomi

Yeah. She sort of latched onto that. I think since that sort of moment where he, it doesn't, he'd get her sort of some letter writing stuff she can write to William, I think from then onwards, she sort of latches onto him as her sort of protector and her, you know, her look, somebody who looks after her and looks out for her.


38:17

Izzy

Right. Exactly. And that's so different than the relationship he has with Mary Crawford, which is very much one of equals to start with. But then also, um, it's so flirtatious and playful and yes, they do disagree quite often, particularly obviously with the clergy situation, but they still, really love each other's company. There's so much passion there. I don't know if you, you feel that.


38:45

Naomi

Definitely. Yeah. It just seems so fun. Like it just seems like a much more fun relationship to be in. I think if you sort of isolated some sections that were about Edmund and Mary Crawford and then some sections that were about Edmund and Fanny and just asked a random person on the street, which one do you think is the heroin? I think it would be the Mary Crawford one. It sounds like the more exciting relationship. It sounds like the one that feels more right.


39:09

Izzy

That's so true. Yeah. And what's really interesting in, in most of the other novels and the other heroines, they do take centre stage, they are outspoken. Um, and they, they have these playful flirtatious banter with the hero. Fanny doesn't have that and it is strange. And like you said, it is almost like Mary Crawford should have been the heroine. I think the only reason why she couldn't is because of her like that she's materialistic because money is so important to her and she can't shake that. I think that's her downfall.


39:44

Naomi

It's like such a product of society. Whereas like funny is true to herself and her own like sense of identity and self within.


39:54

Izzy

Yeah, absolutely. I feel like the only instance that Fanny mirrors the other heroins is in turning down Henry Crawford. Yeah.


40:04

Naomi

Yeah, definitely.


40:05

Izzy

That she can kind of turn away from money. So I think Fanny in that instance stays true to an Austin heroine in the sense that she can turn away what would be a great opportunity for her and would give her comfort and well, really good confinement because Henry's pretty, pretty wealthy and the grants can't use kind of on Bingley's level. Um, so she would be a pretty great situation for her, but she's able to walk away from it because she doesn't love him.


40:31

Naomi

Yeah. That for me is like the one sort of redeeming moment for Fanny as a heroine.


40:38

Izzy

Right, right. Yeah, absolutely. Um, and we'll definitely going to come back to that scene cause I think it's, it's, it's so important the whole Henry Crawford situation, and I'd love to touch slightly as well on the fact that his character is flipped so much. I don't know how you feel about that, but if we can talk about just before we get to that is the play, because I feel like this is such a significant scene in the novel.


40:58

Naomi

Yeah. The play is a really, I remember thinking it was really odd that there was sort of this play in the middle, you know, it's, it's very sort of play within a play. A play within, a book kind of, it's a lot of layers isn't it, but it's, um, I think a modern audience find Fanny’s issues with the play a bit much. And I think that people sort of think of for goodness sake, Fanny, like you're being a bit ridiculous, but I think it, I looked into the play itself. It's a very touchy feely kind of smuty play.


41:30

Izzy

Interesting. Actually that's such a good point that would explain Edmunds aversion to putting it on in the first place.


41:38

Naomi

Yeah. And of course the place meant to be this like this moment where you think, oh, well funny disapproves that the plan Edmund disapproves of the place or therefore that perfect for each other kind of attitude. But, um, but yeah, I think a modern audience definitely finds it quite, quite jarring that that Fanny is sort of so resistant.


41:58

Izzy

Right. I feel like this is such a cringy moment as well. The fat, um, cause Fanny, um, obviously feels that way and she knows Edmund feels that way. And I feel like she gets so excited that they're, they can bond over the fact that they're both against the play and they want to stay true to, you know, what Edmunds father is going to want. But then there's the bit when Edmunds like, I can't let somebody else act with Mary Crawford, so I must be in the play. And it was like a 360 on what you was saying before. And um, and then Fanny is like, how can you be in the play where you're so against it.


42:38

Naomi

It's really interesting. I think it really shows the sort of hole that Mary Crawford has over Edmund at that point, because that's like a strong moral conviction of his and just because of Mary, he totally flips it around.


42:47

Izzy

So yeah. I feel like the play really speaks a lot, but I think what the play demonstrates about funny is she is true to herself because I think what's interesting. I actually did a post on this, how it's like a lot of the characters are acting throughout the novel and that Fanny doesn't even though yes, she is a bit dull, a bit boring. She's consistently that it's not the other, the other characters. Um, specifically like Mary and Henry Crawford, I think a quite key to this is they do flip and change who they are. Mary Crawford is pretty consistent all the way through it. Isn't till the end. It suddenly she's like changes and she's having a go, When her bothers honour, like, comes into question. And then she, she kind of flipped slightly and you begin into question who she was all the way through. Um, Julia and Mariah, they come across like these sweet, innocent girls. And yet they, they both, well, they both alone basically. Well, one of them runs off with another man when she's married, she runs off of Henry. I mean, it's, it's most bizarre thing. So it's like, they all are acting in a sense.



43:54

Naomi

That's such a good point. Yeah.


43:57

Izzy

And Tom as well, he's a really good sign because when he speaks to his father, he's always like, oh no, I'm not going to gamble anymore. I'm going to be upstanding citizen. The next thing you know, he's like gambling and obviously it nearly even kills him because he's different than what they thought. And I think it dawns on them at the end when they're like, gosh, like my children are not who I thought they were.


44:19

Naomi

Yeah. The way that they sort of ended up is so far removed from what I think they ever wanted for there children.


44:26

Izzy

Yeah, absolutely. So I think the play almost mirrors the fact that, um, they are always acting whatever you can get about it's the Henry Crawford situation, which is so weird.


44:39

Naomi

There's just so much about Henry. He's just so layered as a character. And he's, I was trying to think like, is Henry the hero, like, you know how we say, some people say that, you know, Mary is more of a heroine than Fanny, is Henry more of a hero than Edmund? Because you know, funny is the most boring heroin. Edmund is definitely the most boring hero. Right. Uh, very suited. Um, but yeah, obviously the elopement puts him in more of a Wickham Wickham category. Doesn't it?


45:11

Izzy

That's so true. I feel like the Crawford's downfall is literally at the end of the book, they just make these mistakes and it completely just like shatters their potential. Yeah.


45:23

Naomi

Because the whole way through, I remember the first time I sort of read this, I was like, I really quite like these Crawfords that they're quite nice. And then obviously that right at the end just flips like.


45:36

Izzy

Right. That's also that really weird situation there where Henry kind of admits that he likes to make women fall in love with him. Um, and he seemed to Mary about it. And obviously that's how he first initially gets into the whole Fanny situation. Yeah. It's all almost, he's like, oh, I want to make her fall in love with me because obviously she is so modest and innocence, innocence and shy that he's like, oh yeah, that'll be a good target. But then obviously he actually ends up falling for, do you believe that or not?


46:09

Naomi

This is something that I like go back and forth on because sometimes I do think, oh, it's all just a game. But then other times I think he does seem to really care. Yeah. What, I'm not, I'm not sure why, I think what do you think.


46:27

Izzy

On this reread? I thought, yes, he does. He does love her. And he does have strong feelings for her because I thought, um, like originally, if it was just at month's field, I thought maybe it was just a game, but then he does follow up. So I feel that is effort, right. That is serious effort. He's actually going and traveling to be near her. Um, he starts planning for their future. The fact that he even tells his sister, he's like, I'm in love with Fanny. He suddenly like, like we were saying, we find it difficult to find pros on Fanny. Somehow Henry Crawford seems to have an abundance of them out of the blue.


47:06

Naomi

Yeah. That's so true. Actually. It's like, he, he sees this whole other Fanny.


47:13

Izzy

And I'm confused as to where.


47:15

Naomi

I know. Like what, where does that come from? I wonder if it's partly as well, that sort of idea that we were saying that we sort of see through and see things a bit through Fanny’s perspective, is it that we're missing things because we are on that side of things.


47:38

Izzy

Or is it that we're missing those sections because we don't follow Fanny. Yeah. Um, I suppose wanting instance that would suggest that Henry Crawford really does love Fanny is the fact that he gets, um, her brother, William, that promotion.


47:50

Naomi

Because that ends up being sort of almost when you read it, you read that as a sort of leverage as a reader when he proposes, you're sort of thinking, but look what he did for your brother and look what he did here and here. And he followed you and all this sort of stuff. And those things Mount up a really good case for Henry Crawford. You know, as I was reading it the first time I was thinking, you're absolutely ridiculous turning him down.


48:15

Izzy

Right. Which is actually the point that, um, Sir Thomas makes isn't, it he's literally, they're like, she's like, she's like crying when you speak to her. She's like you're mistakenly sir. Um, and then she said she was full, um, forced by the anxiety of the moment even to tell her uncle, that he was wrong. She's like, I cannot like himself well enough to marry him. Um, and it is so strange because in this moment, like you were saying, that is a, you think, oh great. This is Fanny speaking to her mind, there's the heroine we were missing. But then it says, yes, said Fanny in a faint voice and looking down with fresh shame. Essentially just like, boom, it's gone. And you know what I mean? But it is that it's that promotion that makes her feel that, that bad about it. And I can understand that I feel so awkward if somebody I'll be thinking, oh my gosh, if he's going to take it off my brother, because I don't want to marry him or.


49:12

Naomi

Yeah, no, exactly. And it's, yeah, it's really interesting because even so Thomas says, you know, there is something in this, which my comprehension does not reach. Like, it seems so far fetched that you can't even comprehend that she would turn him down.


49:24

Izzy

Right. And I think in the end, all you can think of is that she so innocent and not been exposed to so much that it's almost frightening to her. She's almost like on a nun level.


49:40

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. He just lists out this. He puts everything sort of in that list. Doesn't he? Sir Thomas and he goes like, you know, he's interested in you and you've got no money, no fortune, all this sort of stuff, you know? Uh, he's not an acquaintance of today. You've known him some time. His sister's your intimate friend. He did that for your brother. He just gives this list sort of probably each one's like a gut punch to Fanny. Cause she's like, but I'm not, I'm not in love with him. And sir Thomas is going, but this, this, this, and she's probably feeling each thing very acutely.


50:12

Izzy

She would, she'd be like, oh gosh, this is so awkward because he's done all this for me. And like they said they are close connections. Now I think it does speak to her character that she is able to stand her ground and be like, I don't love him, but what's also interesting. It's not just Edmund that makes her not want to marry Henry it's this. She doesn't want to leave them like the whole house Elf vibe again.


50:34

Naomi

Yeah. It really is. And I think, yeah, she, she gets that really strong when she goes to Portsmouth. Doesn't she, she gets that really strong, tied to Mansfield park. And she really does start to see Mansfield park as a home. Even though, like we say, it's not maybe the most happy environment.


50:53

Izzy

That's such a good point. I feel like, you know, it's interesting out of all of the scenes within Mansfield, when she goes to visit her family, those scenes are really great. I think it's the first time that Fanny lets go of her insecurities.


51:08

Naomi

Yeah. I really love this bit. The book. I think it's really interesting because it, every time I read that bit, I sort of think differently about Fanny. So when I first read it, I thought, you know, you sound so superior thinking that your family are like beneath you. And now that you're this, you know, this person is gonna get Mansfield park, you think you're all that. And then I read it again. And I think, you know, I feel sorry for her because it's that whole thing of you can never return home. Like it's homes, not as you left it. It's not what she's been picturing in her mind for all these years. It's not this loving household that she remembers it's different and her dad forgets her. Doesn't her.


51:45

Izzy

Hers dads a weird character. But um, yeah, again, it's funny is the outside is she, she doesn't fit anywhere. It's so sad. She doesn't truly fit with the Bertrams in the sense that she's that equal. And then she goes home and she doesn't fit with her family because she's obviously been changed by living in this better situation.


52:06

Naomi

Really interesting question of like, was it in fact helpful to take Fanny in the first place and put her in Mansfield park or have they just sort of taken her from a home where she might've had just as much, you know, loving siblings and all that kind of stuff and just plunked her somewhere where she now doesn't feel that she belongs really in either.


52:25

Izzy

In either a place yeah. So true. I've actually just had another thought about another scene, which is really interesting actually to do again with this female comparison. I feel like this, I feel like all of the novels do have this, this element to them because I feel that that is that comparison between, um, Elizabeth and Jane. There's the comparison between Elizabeth and um, Caroline Bingley. There's I mean, there is always that comparison between the women and I think that's just to emphasise what the marriage market's like. Yeah. Um, but what I find in this one is what's interesting is there's that comparison throughout and then when Fanny’s birthday turns up and obviously, um, the Bertram girls are actually away. It's the first time that people start to notice Fanny, even make comment like, oh, Fanny’s, never looked prettier.


53:13

Naomi

Yeah. And it's like, I think she's just not standing next to someone who's got this unparalleled unparalleled beauty.


53:20

Izzy

Right. And I think Mary Crawford actually even says that to Henry Crawford when he starts to say like, oh, like Ms. Price is actually really attractive, blah, blah, blah. Mary's like we should just because you've not got any of the pretty women's to look up.


51:31

Naomi

Yeah. I think, yeah. I think it's, um, it's interesting. Cause that seems to be a bit of a theme in a lot of, a lot of sort of male Austen characters have a bit of a, what if I can't have that then, you know, and I think that's sort of what happens with Henry a bit is this sort of elopement. And I wonder if, if he is really in love with Fanny to such a great extent that when she does sort of reject him, he feels so wounded by that, that he then sort of starts acting out.


53:58

Izzy

Right. Cause she just, it's not just like a Mr. Collins situation. No, I'm going to marry you, he goes and does something else. He does keep trying, he keeps coming back. I mean, it's pretty unbelievable. Um, I don’t think I've ever seen such like resilience there, persistence that isn’t like, like obviously the Mr. Collins or, um, Mr. E in, in Emma where it's like, oh, you said no about no beings. Yes. It's not like, kind of persistence, like persistence. That makes no sense. It's like he gives his space. Then he goes back and tries again, gives us some more space, goes, back to try it again. There's like little things to try and encourage, encourage her feelings for him. And, um, yeah, it's, I, I, I am inclined to think that he does love her, but I think the fact that she keeps rejected, rejected, rejected, and then I can imagine that Mariah being flirtatious as she is probably just kind of draws him back in. There's like almost a few chapters where the entire Mansfield situation it's completely flipped on its head. Everything's off in like chaos. Um, I believe Julia runs off with the, the actor at Mr. Yates, is it? Yeah, but he pops back up, but he. He's like, does that play with them? And the next thing you know, she's run off with him. Tom's dying somewhere.


54:19

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot. There's a lot. I think I, I was thinking this the other day. Like I would love just a whole book just about Tom.


55:30

Izzy

What he's up to, because he's got like a really crazy situation going on.


55:38

Naomi

He gambles. He drinks and all this.


55:40

Izzy

It's a bit of a rake. Yeah. Yeah. So interesting. And he seems so uninterested in his like, um, commitments or anything like that. He doesn’t care. He just want to have a good time.


55:52

Naomi

Yeah, absolutely.


55:54

Izzy

Until obviously he nearly dies and then he's like a changed person. It's almost like the Louisa Musgrove hits ahead. And then suddenly it's changed. I feel like people need like these near death experiences to.


56:07

Naomi

Change that the ways.


56:09

Izzy

But with everything turning upside down in Henry, then running off with Mariah, um, it then leaves the whole. And obviously at this point, Edmund and Mary are things spending a lot of time together still considering that he might want to marry Mary.


56:26

Naomi

Yeah. Yeah. That was still in that sort of, um, in between stage, isn't it, it's still early, early days for them.


56:34

Izzy

And again, Fanny’s been neglected. She doesn't really hear from Edmund. I think she gets one kind of dreary letter, um, where he's just like, I think it, is it the end where she's literally like, everything's going terribly. We're going to come and get you.


56:49

Naomi

Yeah.


56:51

Izzy

Which is so interesting. But I feel like this is the catalyst for Mary's downfall.


56:57

Naomi

Yeah. I agree.


56:59

I think she. Tries to say like, oh, it's not true. What you've heard.


57:02

Naomi

Its a sort of don't believe everything. You hear kind of vibe, isn't it. So it's a really like a cryptic letter.


57:09

Izzy

In the newspaper. Isn't it? There don't believe what's in the paper.


57:15

Naomi

That that'd be what you read.


57:18

Izzy

And then Mary turns, she is like. She turns on Fanny for one. And she's saying like, Fanny’s a fool for not marrying herbrother. And if she married a brother, then her brother would not run off with Mariah or whatever.


57:32

Naomi

Yeah. Oh yeah. For sure. Yeah. They flip moment for Mary.


57:38

Izzy

Right. Which is then when Edmond's like, okay, maybe you're not the person I thought you were.


57:45

Naomi

Yeah. And it's sort of, I feel like it's meant to be this sort of fog clearing glass smashing kind of moment for Edmund where he's just suddenly click like, oh, I was wrong. I had you all wrong. That's not who you are. You're not the right kind of person for me.


58:01

Izzy

That's such a good point. Yeah. But he feels that this isn't like, um, click, oh, I've realised like an Emma click log. Find out who I love now. It's like, he goes into this deep, like the depression. He is like, he mourns this, this like romantic loss. Obviously we know Fanny loves Edmund but Edmunds feelings for Fanny, literally come in the last few chapters. Yes.


58:22

Naomi

It's very sort of like, it almost feels like it's on the back foot for me. It's like, oh, well, if I, if I can't have Mary, then I guess you'll hear Fanny.


58:31

Izzy

This is, this is the point is, is Fanny and Edmunds relationship, one of love or one of convenience. Um, yeah, I think we should really just, as we kind of finish off the episode is really look into this because, um, I'm not sure, obviously he can't get back to Mary Crawford now. Um, and I've got this like a quote that says scarcely, had he done regretting Mary Crawford and observing to Fanny how impossible it was that he should ever meet with such another woman. So he's obviously stating that, you know, he, he doesn't think you'll ever meet someone that you likes as much as well. I don't know. You can read this two ways. You could read it that he's never going to meet somebody he likes as much as Mary or you could read it that he's so disgusted by her.


59:19

Naomi

Horrifically immoral.


59:22

Izzy

Right. I've always read it that he means that he's never going to have the same affection for a woman again. But then he says before he began to before it began to strike him, whether a very different kind of woman might not do just as well. Don't know how I like that wording. It just does well. But then it says, oh, a great deal better. Whether Fanny herself, we're not growing as dear as important to him. And now all her smiles and all her ways. Um, so that's interesting. So it starts to be that unraveling. Oh, maybe I like funny. Um, but then it says that her warm and sisterly regard for him will be foundation enough for wedded love. And then it's like, oh, that sounds fun.


1:00:02

Naomi

And you saw the face I just made there. I was like, Ooh, not sure about that sisterly foundations.


1:00:10

Izzy

Right. It just totally just takes all of the passion out of it. Right. That it's very straight. And it does just make it feel like that convenience. I'm sad. I basically courted this woman for like a year who I was really, I mean, I believe that he was in love with Mary, whether or not that was kind of a lasting level of fleeting love. He did have really strong feelings for her and that's gone and now he's just there, like, um, what do I do now? Almost rebounding.


1:00:40

Naomi

Yeah. There's a bit of a rebound, isn't it? Because he's literally, it's in the same conversation that he's saying, you know, oh, I'm so hung up on Mary. I'm never going to meet anyone like that. And then right then that he's, that he's sort of having this thought.


1:00:54

Izzy

Right. And I feel like I'm quite sad of how this ends for Fanny, because she's so quick to be like, yes, Edmund, I I've always loved you and just jumps off without thinking, like, hang on a second. I just spent a whole year listening to him uming and aring over this other woman,.


1:01:05

Naomi

No, I know it'd be an entirely different thing if, sort of, um, the option of Mary hadn't almost been removed. Um, if he'd sort of come to this realisation and nothing had changed with Mary, then I'd feel a bit better about it, but it really does seem like Mary's off the scene. And now who's left looking around who's left at Mansfield park was literally no one it's just Fanny.


1:01:39

Izzy

Oh my gosh. That is exactly how I feel. It's it's like if we’d had that he chose Fanny over Mary, it would have been so different, but it is almost like just Fanny it’s fine. Yeah.


1:01:57

Naomi

It seems like a second best


1:01:55

Izzy

But to look how it's on the other side, because I know some people may read it the opposite way and they think, obviously they're Fanny and Edmund are this great match. Um, and it's great that they end up together is, um, the way that that kind of marriage is then described, okay. With so much tree merits and true love and no want for fortune or friends, the happiness of the married cousins. Again, cousins, I wish they would just be coupled don’t remind us that that they’re cousins, it was not unusual at the time, but even in this book, they make the point that it's, it's slightly strange. Um, must appear as secure as earthly happiness can be. So, I mean, it sounds like a good situation.


1:02:33

Naomi

It just sounds, I think I said this to you before. It just sounds so boring. And I read something that said, you know, if you were going to have any of the couple round for tea, they'd be the most boring one. If you were going to go and stay with anyone, it would be them that was the most boring. They'd be sort of a really dull household to be in. And I really feel that when I read that section, because it just sounds it's that sort of calm, bliss, isn't it like, they're happy and life's moving on and it's just nice, but it's nice, you know, that's, that's the word I use. Nice. It's not like passionate or anything like that.


1:03:11

Izzy

Yeah. I think that's the key. What is the passion? Well, some of the other, the couples, so like Elizabeth and Darcy, I think there's some real passion there and they almost have a bit of a Mary Edmund banter backwards and forwards don’t they. And, um, I'll not please also comparing across adaptations. I mean, I've only watched the 2007 Billy Piper version, um, which I do really, like my boyfriend has such a crush on Billy Piper. It's so funny. Um, yeah, but she seems in that, I feel like she plays Fanny too playful and energetic.



1:03:51

Naomi

Yeah, I agree. Um, I, yeah, I find I've seen the 1999 version as well. And I find in that as well. It's a playful Fanny and we see her sort of running around and everything and you sort of look at it and you think, well, she'd have a headache by now if she was running around like that, um, but yeah, it's just not like that.


1:04:11

Izzy

No, she isn't. But yeah. I mean, yeah, if you've got any last thoughts that you want to bring up.


1:04:18

Naomi

No, I think just, yeah, it's just been really interesting to deep dive into this and to really look at Fanny, closely and chronologically, I think has been a really good way to do that to see her unfold.


1:04:30

Izzy

Yeah. It's like, I'm a coming of age novel, isn't it again, why it's, it's very similar to a Bronte as opposed to an Austin.


1:04:38

Naomi

Yeah, definitely.


1:04:39

Izzy

So yeah, no, this has been like really fun though. And it's been a while since I've already for months field. So it's been a great opportunity to, to do that, but I'd love to hear like what the listeners think as well about Fanny, because I feel that you can just read you're in different ways. I'd love to hear it from somebody who loves Fanny.


1:04:55

Naomi

Yes. Yeah. Definitely if you love Fanny, let us know.


1:05:00

Izzy

Absolutely. That'd be good. Um, so just to like wrap things off, do you want it to let us know, let people know where they can find you and um, yeah. Connect you.


1:05:09

Naomi

Yeah, sure. You can find me on Instagram. It's at Naomi dot, not dot Naomi.


1:05:17

Izzy

There. That's fine. I'll pop it underneath this episode on my website anyway, so that people can easily, easily connect with you. Um, but yeah, I think that's everything. Thanks so much for joining me.


1:05:27

Naomi

Thank you for having so much fun.



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