|Fanny Price with Henry Crawford at the dance.|
Illustration by WC Brock
50+ page goal met? Yes, to the end of Chapter XXX.
Action: Fanny's brother, William, is visiting Mansfield Park on leave from the Navy. The Bertrams attend a dinner party hosted by the Grants. Lady Bertram shows her true colors when she cannot play even the simplest card game and required Henry Crawford to tell her what cards to play every turn. As William's visit nears its end, Sir Thomas decides that it is high time for Fanny to come out and he decides to host a dance in her honor. Both Mary Crawford and Edmond give Fanny gold chains to wear with the amber cross given to her by her brother. The whole rest of the section is devoted to preparations for the dance, the dance, and the aftermath of the dance. Henry Crawford was quite devoted to Fanny the whole evening. The next day Henry and William leave for London where William will join back up with his unit. When Henry returns several days later he confesses to his sister how much he loves Fanny. He admits that he didn't start out with pure motives but he is now besotted by Fanny.
Surprises: Both Mansfield Park movies spend quite a bit of time on the dance and on Henry's attentions to Fanny Price. What surprised me was his lengthy revelation to his sister about how much he loves Fanny and how his motives toward her have changed from the beginning. I suppose that the movies don't have time for true love confessions but it explains a lot. Henry is no longer just trying to make a little whole in Fanny's heart, he is setting himself up for a broken heart himself. Of all Austen's Cads I have always liked Henry the best and after reading chapter 30 where he makes his true confessions it makes me like him even better.
Henry to his sister, Mary...
'Yes, Mary,' said he, drawing her arm within his, and walking along the sweep as if not knowing where he was---'I could not get away sooner---Fanny looked so lovely! I am quite determined, Mary. My mind is entirely made up. Will it astonish you? No: you must be aware that I am quite determined to marry Fanny Price.'