What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Fanny Price vs. Mary Crawford – The Fallout In the Jane Austen News last week, we mentioned that a Fanny Price vs. Mary Crawford debate would be taking place this week between two Austen-inspired novelists, Kyra Kramer and Lona Manning. The question up for discussion each day this week is different, and given the first two days of debate, there’s at least a week’s-worth of discussions to be had when it comes to Team Mary vs. Team Fanny. On Monday the question was simply one of whose side are you on and why? Who was the real heroine and moral victor in Mansfield Park? Kyra was definitely Team Mary: “Fanny Price was a wet hen with all the vivacity of a damp dishcloth.” “He [Edmund] spoke to Mary like she was filth, just because she had more mercy on Maria than he did. Even though Mary was willing to sacrifice her own brother’s happiness to save Edmund’s sister from ostracization, based on nothing more than Mary’s warm feelings for the Bertram family, he threw her offer back with excessive rudeness and condemnation.” While Lona was quick to defend Fanny and retorted that Mary was using Fanny for her own ends: “Fanny is an audience, not a confidante, for Mary.” “I would argue that Mary is often insincere.” Then, on Tuesday the question was – “Was Fanny Price sweetly timid, or a backstabbing brat?” Lorna argued that Fanny had no choice but
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