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A Calendar for Mansfield Park

Young Fanny (Katy Durham-Matthews) now in Mansfield Park, sitting down to write her first letter to William
at home in Portsmouth (1983 BBC MP, scripted Ken Taylor)
Fanny Price (Sylvestre Le Touzel) in her Portsmouth room, reading her letters from home, which Mansfield Park now is.

"The only full date given is that of the ball at Mansfield Park, which was a Thursday, 22 December. 22 Dec. was a Thursday in 1808. It is natural to assume she used the almanacs of 1808 and 1809; the dates are of course the same in 1814 ... but Mansfield Park was begun early in 1811 and published in May or June 1814." -- R. W. Chapman, Appendix to 1923 edition of Mansfield Park.

"1811-1813. Mansfield Park was rewritten as we know it for publication ... Since she spent so long on it, the alterations were probably considerable, and I suspect the 1808-09 version to have been epistolary ... Our author wrote unceasingly ... Mansfield Park as we know it arrived I believe through (at least) three stages ... " Q.D. Leavis, from "Jane Austen's Writings," Scrutiny, 1941

"Fanny Price sorrowfully notes that Easter is 'particularly late this year', and according to Dr Chapman the chronology of the novel demands that Easter fall on 16 April. Now in 1809 Easter was 2 April, and in 1804 it fell on 1 April; but in 1797 Easter was in 16 April. Thus if we seek for an actual calendar in Mansfield Park that of 1796-97 seems to have the best claim ... " -- A Walton Litz, "Chronology of Mansfield Park, Note and Queries, 1961

Janet Altman: "So oriented toward the future is the epistolary present that deadlines, dreaded days, and hoped-for days assume great importance. Letters, with their date lines, provide a built-in means of marking time between the writer's present and the moment he anticipates. In Clarissa Richardson indulges in many such countdowns toward dreaded days: the Tuesday that Clarissa has agreed to confront Solmes, the Wednesday in which she fears she will be I forced to marry Solmes, the Thursday that Lovelace projects as their wedding day. Saint-Preux looks forward to the secret rendezvous Julie has given him with impatience: "Quoi! trois jours d'attente! trois jours encore!" (1:38) ...

If the present of epistolary discourse is charged with anticipation and speculation about the future, it is no less oriented toward the past. Janus-like, epistolary language is grounded in a present that looks out toward past and future. "Now" defines itself relative to a retrospective or anticipated "then." The epistolary present is caught up in the impossibility of seizing itself, since the narrative present must necessarily postdate or anticipate the events narrated ... For the letter writer is "absent" -- removed, however slightly, from his addressee and from the events to which he refers. The present is as impossible to him as 'presence' ...

Yet paradoxically, epistolary discourse has many ways of creating this impossible present. In writing to the moment, the oscillations between im- mediate future (e.g., "I'll go now to see . . . ") and immediate past (e.g., "I have just come back ... ") are so frequent as to create the illusion of a narrative present simultaneous with the events narrated. Writing to the moment in Richardson, however, is significantly different from what we might call writing to the moment in a work like Lettres portugaises. In Richardson important events take place independently of the writing ... the Richardsonian writer creates a sense of immediacy, of tension about the events themselves ... " -- Janet Gurkin Altman, Epistolary Discourse and time, Epistolarity, 1961.

Austen's Mansfield Park has in the last quarter century been the target and subject for a series of vexed and even hotly debated readings. Those debates which reach the wide public are on the subject matters under debate (slavery, colonialism, family pathologies like incest, the book's feminism) and a heroine whom many readers of romance dislike being asked to identify with. Now unless you think it a priggish, stilted outdated, or religiously edifying romance, your view of debates depends on an assessment of what is presented in the book beyond the family and love story. These subjects are intertwined with their complicated settings. Thus the book when it's regarded as a serious statement about more than love or its characters cannot be understood without the time they are set in or the time of composition.

Roger Sales in Jane Austen and Representations of Regency England says there has been no controversy about the years it is set in; he simply assumes it is set in the year it was written, and writes as follows:

"The details concerning the composition and publication of MP are relatively uncontroversial. It was probably begun in February 1811, completed sometime during the summer of 1813, and then published in 1814."
This is inaccurate. There are a number of articles on this novel which present differently calendared outlines for the novel. Further articles refer in a relaxed style to the years the novel is set in as one basis for an interpretation, and still others provide a long footnote at the back of a book for the author's calendar. Books devoted to just this novel often begin with a statement asserting this or that to be true about the date and then proceed from that (see bibliography which follows calendar), which is just what Sales does.

Not only are the years not settled but the arguments are more than a little heated. This is a novel with a wide purview, one which contextualizes its domestic or private events against larger public settings however kept to the margins, only hinted at, or suggested. Like all her texts, it also is rooted in her feelings and memories about her family member, friends, people she loved and hated. Mansfield Park is at once ambitious as well as personal.

It seems best to me to state my conclusions and then demonstrate them by the calendar, leaving the reader to compare the calendar here with the other published calendars and arguments. Like Q. D. Leavis and others I am convinced this book was not just written in stages (Henry Austen wrote that all his sister's books were "gradual performances"), but in bits and pieces or drafted parts at first (1796-97 and then again 1805-07), and then first put together in one consistent or coherent whole (1807-09), and finally rewritten in its present polished form between 1811 and 1813. Cassandra's jotted note was not meant to be a complete account of her sister's writing; she was copying out annotations Jane had written. That she was not necessarily even referring to the final stage of writing is made plain by her offering the years "98-99" for Northanger Abbey, when we know from Austen's letters, she rewrote it for publication as Susan in 1803, and had a copy by her in 1809, and then was revising again in 1816 when she put Miss Catherine, on the shelf for now as she remained unsatisfied with the text as we now have it in some fundamental way.

I've studied the text and found that MacKinnon and Chapman's calendars setting the main action of the book between 1808 and 1810 is only one year off: it's 1807-09 that is consistent with the portions of time in the novel dovetailed into hours, days, weeks, and months of a couple of years. December 22nd, the night of the ball, fell on a Thursday in 1808. The first pages when the Bertrams and Mrs Norris determined to adopt a Price child makes most sense set in 1796-97. When Austen finally landed in what she hoped would be a permanent home for a while (Letter 49, 7-8 January, 1807, with Frank as her brother, and Martha, the beloved friend, and her sister with her), it was 1807, and that's the year Mansfield Park begins its central dramatic action in. Between 1807 and 1809 she took some brief drafts she had written during the time of the Steventon theatricals in the later 1790s, had developed further between 1805 and 1807, and extended these into a first complete version of the novel, but not a finished polished one. But then in the final portion of the novel (as Chapman said), nothing less than April 16th for Easter makes sense and since in both 1809 and 1797 key days (e.g., the meeting of Crawford and Maria at Mrs Fraser's) by chance occurred on Tuesdays) Austen slipped back to some previous draft she had made early on.

What form did this 1807-09 novel take? It was only partly epistolary. The long section at Portsmouth in the later part of the book reveals the more complicated interactions of letters and events and character presentation typical of multi-view epistolary novels, but the earlier part of the novel does not read this way. Would Fanny write detailed letters to William about the goings on over Lovers Vows? A lonely girl might keep a journal. There is also the problem of the Sotherton episode which is written from an omniscient point of view and where the whole disposition of space at Sotherton and its grounds are worked out in a stage like manner. Nabokov has gone so far as to drew outlines of the Mansfield mansion as well as Sotherton and its grounds just as a realtor might who was intent on selling or renting the places to someone. The section on the play-acting feels like a play; sometimes it seems that Julia literally exits the stage, with other characters making "entrances." One scene shows Austen's fascination with plays as she has two of her protagonists act out a central scene from Lovers' Vows.

The time sequence of the present book becomes vaguer, indeterminate or inconsistent at those points where we have old material interwoven in, e.g., the theatricals, and the visit to Portsmouth (which also reflects the desperate conditions the Austens lived in in Bath after Mr Austen died) and elopement of Maria and Henry whose liaison is rooted in the psychological events of the theatricals (so 1796-98 and 1805-07). There is a sudden break at the time of the aftermath of the play. Then sequences of determinate time resume with newer material, e.g., Henry's plot to seduce Fanny's heart, the courtship, the ball and promotion of William, culminating in Fanny's refusal of Henry. The whole Portsmouth sequence, especially the semi-epistolary part cannot be made consistent with what went before unless it is shifted to 1797.

This structure represents a parallel re-weaving procedure to what she did for Northanger Abbey. At the opening of NA, we have a Bath sequence which is resumed after the later middle Gothic sequence; it has been suggested these parts were written at different times. So in Mansfield Park, after the opening of a much more complicated book, we have the theatrical sequence whose consequences (elopement and aftermath including Tome's illness) are picked up after the curve which includes Fanny as central daughter, the ball, the proposal, and her punishment for refusing the good marriage (in the middle and later parts of the book).

I have had to revise my use of the terms determinate and indeterminate time. For S&S and P&P I called anything indeterminate which did not closely follow a hour, day, date sequence that could be consistently even if approximately reckoned because determinate time was the predominant rhythm of the books and with a couple of tiny exceptions (Mr Gardiner's express letter to Mr Bennet) consistent throughout. As in S&S and P&P, MP has periods of time which are not indeterminate, but are yet reckoned by year, and within that, a season, and then we come upon unmoored conversations tied to a tick-tock paying attention to days. But determinate time is not kept as consistently nor as obsessively; time floats, and passages reflect a feeling of time passing, sometimes longer than the actual time passed in the novel (as when Austen refers to the autumn play-acting time in December in terms that make us feel it was long ago probably because she wrote the play-acting parts long before the aftermath).

So, following Austen's art, indeterminate time is time remembered in the past when the characters are in the present. These periods are made consistent with one another and the determinate periods. I call determinate time within indeterminacy when the intervals of time come close together (within the same year), when she is following time within a month or season and indicates the relationship of the days to one another (so we follow along as she moves along her almanac). Determinate time are those parts of the novels where (as in P&P and S&S), we can know what months we are in and approximate or nail down securely precise dates in a month and weekdays, and much is compressed within a small amount of time. Indeterminacy brings us back to periods where we cannot know the relationship of the days to one another. There are also sudden unmoored conversations and the novel's many letters in the Portsmouth section are undated.

This book is Austen's sixth novel. By 1808 she had written 1) a First Impressions, and partly rewritten it in 1799 and 1802; 2) a rewritten Sense and Sensibility, possibly still epistolary; 3) a version of Northanger Abbey, she called Susan whose copyright she had (mistakenly) sold to an unscrupulous man; 4) a firm thoroughly worked out version of the opening part of The Watsons, and 5) an apparently untitled wholly epistolary satiric book she wrote for the first time or rewrote starting in 1805. (In 1804 Stael's Delphine, an epistolary novel with a vicious heroine named Madame de Vernon, a cruel mother who succeeds in coercing her daughter into a marriage wholly unsuited for her was published and Austen knew and admired Stael's work: "I recommended him to read Corinne" she says in a letter). This book is so openly iconoclastic that she knew her family would not be permit her (a maiden lady to publish it), so she had made a fair confidential copy and circulated it (in the way of Renaissance women) among family and friends. Whatever working title Austen had originally given it we do not know; her nephew James-Edward Austen Leigh has titled it Lady Susan.

Two of these five were not epistolary: Northanger Abbey and The Watsons. The other three were. She could have gone back and forth between these forms as she did not think at the time she was anywhere near publication.

Place, geography matter in this novel as well as commments on attitudes towards letters, self-reflexivity over letters and juxtapositions; so I am including place, geographical configurations, and comments about letters (individual and grouped) in the calendar.

About 30 years ago

Indeterminate time which is consistent with later parts of the novel

"About thirty years ago": anytime between 1779 (were this opening 1808, the time of the central sequence of the book) and 1781 (were this 1811 when Austen is writing her final copy), so rounding off say, 1779.
Miss Maria Ward with only 7000£ had the "good luck" to "captivate Sir Thomas Bertram." "At least 3000£" "short of equitable claim"(1996 Penguin MP, ed KSutherland, I:1, 5. All references to this edition). Perhaps the first opening (if there was one) was set 1787-88 (as novel proper first began 1796) so 30 years would be 1757. The past time of S&S begins 1762.
"At the end of half a dozen years" -- say 1784-86
Miss Ward marries the Rev Mr Norris, "friend of brother-in-law;" with "very little less than 1000£ a year"; about this time Miss Frances Ward also marries. Mrs Norris then wrote "a very long and angry letter" to Fanny, Mrs Price "an answer which comprehended each sister in its bitterness ... [with] very disrespectful reflections ... " on Sir Thomas.
1787: Long estrangement begins
In 1808-09 Mrs Norris says "she has not seen her poor dear sister Price for more than twenty years" (or since 1788). (Penguin MP I, 1, )
1787-1796: "during the eleven following years" "now and then"
Mrs Norris learns enough about Mrs Price to say "in an angry voice" "Fanny had got another child" (Penguin MP I:1, 6)


Determinate periods within indeterminacy

1796: Mrs Price "addresses a letter to Lady Bertram" while "preparing for her ninth lying in". "Implores" them to be "sponsors." (Penguin MP I:1, 6)
"So much contrition and despondence, such a superfluity of children, and such a want of almost everything else" brings a reconciliation. She has "8 children, the eldest a boy of 10." Can Sir Thomas do anything ... [could the boy be] "useful" in future to his ... "West Indian property", how about "Woolwich" (a garrison town), or "out to the East" (Penguin MP I:1, 7) 1:42
1798-99: "Not unproductive ... peace and kindness" "re-established"
Sir Thomas sends "friendly advice," Lady Bertram "money and baby-linen," Mrs Norris writes "the letters" (Penguin MP I:1, 7)
1799: "within a twelvemonth": Mrs Norris brings out her plan to take "charge and expence of one child entirely out of her great number"
"The eldest daughter, a girl now 9 ... Lady Bertram agreed with her instantly" (Penguin MP I:1, 7) The unmoored conversation of Sir Thomas and Mrs Norris: she "Suppose her a pretty girl, and seen by Tom or Edmund 7 years hence" (1806?), then risk
"I will write to my poor sister tomorrow"; circuitous plan to "get the child to Mansfield" by servant Nanny, servant's sister, care of a "creditable" person "in a coach ... from Portsmouth" (Penguin MP 1:1, 9)
Mrs Norris "has [had] the comfort of making a yearly addition to an income they never lived up to" (Penguin MP I:1, 10).
Another conversion, another day
Will not take the girl ... Mr Norris "took up every moment of her time." Lady Bertram "Then she had better come to us;" so Mrs Norris, "it will be the same to Miss Lee, whether she has three girls to teach, or only two ..." "Nanny will fetch her," will be gone "3 days" (however "inconvenient" to Mrs Norris); "place child in little white attic, near the old Nurseries ... so near Miss Lee ... not far from the girls ... close by the housemaids" ... [cannot] expect Ellis to wait on her ..." "Disposition ... really bad"? Mrs Norris: "I was saying ... "only this morning" (Penguin MP I:1, 11)
"Mrs Norris did not write to her sister in vain ..."
Mrs Price "surprised a girl should be fixed on, when she had so many fine boys ... "(Penguin MP 1:1, 12)

Later Fall 1799 into 1801

Determinate periods within indeterminacy

Calendar shows it took time before plans realized: "The little girl performed her long journey in safety" (Penguin MP I:2, 13) We can work it out to be fall by sense of several weeks passing, and in January 1809 narrator says Lady Bertram gave Fanny her first piece of advice in 8 and 1/2 years (Penguin MP:III:2, 304, 308, Ch 33); OTOH, "soon" after she arrives, William sent to sea and we are told this was Xmas time (Penguin MP 1:2, 21)
Fanny is by now "just 10 years old ... " sons "17" (Tom), "16" (Edmund), "tall for age," "no one would have supposed the girls so nearly of an age ... 2 years between the youngest and Fanny ... Julia Bertram ... only 12, and but Maria a year older ... as unhappy as possible ... so long a journey ... " (Penguin MP I;1, 14) Mrs Norris: "I do not know that her being sorry to leave her home is so much against her ..." "It required a longer time"
"the next day" a "holiday" for Miss Bertrams "for getting acquainted" "she had but two sashes ... "
She "equally forlorn .. in school-room, drawing-room, shrubbery ..." "quite overcome,""mortified," "abashed," "wondered" and "sneered at ..." despondence ... severe" (Penguin MP I:2, 15"
"A week had passed in this way: Fanny "astonished, uneasy, in constant terror, so desirably sensible of her good fortune, ends every day sobbing self to sleep" (Penguin MP I:2, 16)
"One morning ... " "crying on the stairs"; Edmund with "gentleness of an excellent nature". They walk in the park, and he discovers "one ... her thoughts ran on ... William, the eldest, a year older than herself" (13) ... constant companion ... he told her to write first" (Penguin MP I:2, 16) ... "together into the breakfast room" "continued with her the whole time of writing ... assisting with penknife ... orthography". "From this day" "more comfortable [can take in] best manner of conforming"
Then "for 2 or 3 weeks" her cousins bring to adults reports of Fanny's "ignorance;" she is "prodigiously stupid."
Racked up instances: "we asked her last night ... tell how "long ago" they repeated "chronological order of kings ... dates of accession ... principle events ... Lady Bertram there is "a vast difference in memories ... " Maria agrees a great deal to learn "till I am 17 ... " Mrs Norris on the "desirability" Fanny not be "as accomplished" Lady Bertram "had not time for such cares" [daughters' education] (MP I:2, 189-19).
Fanny "was fixed at Mansfield Park" ... learning to transfer ..." She "grew up not unhappily ... From about the time of [Fanny] entering the family ... "
Lady Bertram "gave up the house in town ... in the country" Miss Bertrams continue to exercise their memories ..." Sir Thomas sees "eldest son careless and extravagant ... uneasiness ... character of Edmund strong good sense ... uprightness ... to be a clergyman (MP I:2, 21) He also is "liberal" towards "education" and "disposal" of Mrs Price's sons ...
December: "Soon after her removal" [from Portsmouth] Sir Thomas acts for William: "... the visit happened in the Christmas holidays" 7 years ago repeated in December 1808 (Penguin MP II:6, 215-216).
"Once and once only in the course of many years had she the happiness ... of William" "hours of happy mirth ... moments of serious consequence .... Edmund then there: directly "look to him for comfort" "Edmund's friendship never failed her ... Eton for Oxford makes no change, just "more opportunities" Miss Lee "taught her French," read portions of history; Edmund "made reading useful ... by talking to her of what she read" (MP I:2, 23): she loved him better than anybody but William ... divided between the two."

Indeterminate time: 1802-03: this past time is remembered later
1802, Easter" Groom says in July 1808 "it will be 6 years ago come next Easter" which would make it 1802.
Sir Thomas provided her with a horse, and despite her intense reluctance, she learned to love to ride: 'Very different from you, miss, when you first began, six years ago, come next Easter. How you did tremble, when Sir Thomas first had you put on' (Penguin MP I:7, 65)
1802 Later in year?
Maria 16 (when Fanny is 13) renamed schoolroom the East Room. In 1802 Maria is sixteen and then she called the schoolroom the "East Room" (Penguin MP I:16, 140)
1803: "spring twelvemonth before Mr Norris's death, we put in the apricot tree against the stable wall"
Fanny then 14 as we are told she was 15 when he died (see below). In July 1807 Dr Grant and Mrs Norris have their spat over it (Penguin MP I:6, 52)


Determinate periods within indeterminacy

Death of Mr Norris when Fanny "about 15"
Tom's "extravagance so great" (he must be 22) they must sell Dr Norris's living instead of reserving it for Edmund; there is still another one (Penguin MP I:3, 23). Present time conversation: Sir Thomas tells Tom "you have robbed Edmund for ten, twenty, thirty years, perhaps for life, of more than half the income which ought to be his". "urgency of [Tom's] debts" demands this. New man is 45 Dr Grant, wife 15 years younger, no children, "very respectable agreable people" (Penguin MP 1:3, 24)
"Mrs Norris removed first to the park and then into "a small house of Sir Thomas's in the village"
On her mind she might be asked to take Fanny: "she had fixed on the smallest habitation ... herself and her servants ... a spare room for a friend" (Penguin MP I:3, 25, 27)
At this time also "some recent losses on his West Indian property" ... Sir Thomas mentions his expectation to his wife that Aunt Norris will "claim her share," lives alone, Fanny older ... [he tells Lady Bertram] and "the first time of the subject's occurring to her again" Lady Bertram turns round and says "so Fanny, you are going to leave us ... live with my sister ... you have been five years with us ..."
"You must come up and tack my patterns all the same ... It can make very little difference to you, whether you are in one house or the other ... ".

Then a more distressing conversation with Edmund, as it shows Fanny his limited perception [unaware of what a bad advisor Mrs Norris is, ignores Fanny's abjection]: "I love this house and everything in it ... " "you speak as if were going two hundred miles off, instead of only across the park ("the White house") (Penguin MP I:3, 24-28). That Fanny enjoys riding though at first so afraid; "how right you proved to be ... rides for "healthy and happiness",

followed by Mrs Norris and Lady Bertram's conversation; Fanny spoken of as "a girl of 15" Lady B: "Sir Thomas says you will have 600 a year" Mrs Norris saving for nephews/nieces: "Why you know Sir Thomas's means will be rather straitened, if the Antigua estate is to make such poor returns ... 'Oh! that will soon be settled. Sir Thomas has been writing about it I know'" (Penguin MP I:3, 25-26, 28-30)

Grants arrive at parsonage (after September?): Mrs Norris takes possession of White house
Mrs Grant's rich "consumption," expensive cook, hospitality; makes garden out of heath; Mrs Norris's "invective": Lady Bertram "injuries of beauty" because Mrs Grant "so well settled without being handsome. Mrs Norris "could not find out that Mrs Grant ever had more than 5000 pounds (Penguin MP 1:3, 30-31)

Indeterminate time: 1804-06: this is past time remembered later
1804 Summer: Admiral buys cottage at Twickenham, they spend 3 months improving; in July 1807 Mary speaks of this as "3 years ago (Penguin MP I:6, 54-55)
Brought up as bad memory about experience of improvements
1805 Autumn: Miss Lee left family.
Lady Bertram first mentions it to show they are deciding on this "we need not keep Miss Lee any longer when Fanny goes to live with you." (Penguin MP 1:3, 28; 1:4, 34). Miss Lee teaches only Fanny; mentioned in autumn 1808 as 3 years ago (Penguin MP I:16, 139).
1806: Charles Anderson's sister in the room, would not speak a word ("governess being sick or run away, mother in & out with letters of business") (Penguin MP I:5, 47)
Tom remembers this as 2 years ago in 1808 (speaking about it "the other day" to Edmund).
1806 The year of the friendship beween Lady Stornaway and Mary Crawford.
Lady Stornaway was Mary's "particular friend" rather than Mrs Fraser: "I have not cared much for her these three years" (said Jan 1809, Penguin MP III:5, 333; Ch 36)


Determinate seasons within indeterminacy

Late Summer/Early Autumn: "These opinions had hardly been canvassed a year, before Sir Thomas found it expedient to go to Antigua himself ... took his eldest son with him ("better arrangement of affairs ... bad connections") Fanny now "sixteen" (Penguin MP I:3, 31-32)
On "very last morning": Sir Thomas hoped Fanny "might see William again in the course of the ensuing Winter [1806-07] ... write and invite him to Mansfield as soon as his squadron ... in England." Speaks of "many years which have passed since they parted". Edmund substitutes; Lady B has only "to direct her letters" (Penguin MP I:4, 35)
Later Autumn: "earliest intelligence of travellers' safe arrival ... after a favourable voyage"
Sir Thomas's "assurances of their both being alive and well ..."
Winter came
Miss Bertrams established as "the belles of the neighborhood (Penguin MP 1:4, 34); Fanny "no share in the festivities"; "as Miss Lee had left Mansfield," her aunt's worker and companion; "a comfortable winter" for Fanny ....


Determinate periods within indeterminacy

1807 February or winter into spring, Mary Crawford visited the house in Wimpole Street that Maria Rushworth has rented; then it was Lady Lascelles
Mary's 1st letter to Portsmouth (Penguin MP III:9, 366, Ch 40) also saying Maria's party Feb 28th
1807 Spring: Miss Mary Price dies, 2 hours before death, gives knife to Susan; godmother, Mrs Admiral Maxwell gave it her 6 weeks before.
We are told in spring 09 that Susan has been struggling for control of the knife for the 2 years since Mary's death (Penguin MP: III:7, 359, Ch 38 & 9, 369, Ch 40)
Spring: Fanny "valued friend the old grey poney" dies (Penguin MP 1:4, 34)
Aunt: Fanny "might ride one of her cousins' horses ... [ignores that they] want their horses every fine day"
April and May: the "fine mornings" her cousins take "cheerful rides"
Fanny "sits all day" with one aunt or "walks beyond her strength" at "instigation" of other; Edmund "was absent at this time" (Penguin MP 1:4, 35)
Between June and August: "Fanny must have a horse" is Edmund's cry; Aunt Norris: Sir Thoms never intended Fanny have a "regular horse" like cousins," then a "purchase in his absence," "adding to great expenses of his stable when a large part of his income unsettled ..." Lady Bertram: "wait till September" (Penguin MP 1:4, 35-36)
Edmund exchanges his "useful road horse" for a poney for Fanny; he is to her "everything good & great:" "gratitude" "no feeling strong enough to repay;" rationalizing Eros ("respectful, grateful, confiding, thener:
September comes but no Sir Thomas: "unfavourable circumstances ... very great uncertainty in which everything is involved ... awaiting final arrangement" (referring to something specific in news) (Penguin MP I:4, 36-37)
Sends Tom home "with an excellent account of his health", at which time Tom goes to Ramgates (see below): "last year" he goes to "Ramsgate" with Sneyd (see below) for "week in September," Albion place, the pier, flirts with wrong sister, all phony, Mary blames mother, and her reference to governess (Penguin MP I:5, 48-49)
Long evenings of autumn come on; Mrs Norris haunted by ideas of Sir Thomas's "demise" finds refuge dining in the park; "return of winter engagements" "quiets her nerves" by superintending eldest niece in "company of men of good fortune (Penguin MP I:4, 37)
Mr Rushworth "struck" with beauty of Maria "now in her 21st year;" "matrimony a duty, "a larger income than her father's, house in town ..." Every contrivance Mrs Norris could think of


Determinate periods within indeterminacy gradually becomes determinate time

December into January: Mr Rushworth and Maria engaged, dependent on Sir Thomas's approval. Since we are told of "some months before Sir Thomas could consent," I suggest Christmas festivities the time
Events include Mrs Norris "forced Lady Bertram to go through ten miles of indifferent roads, to pay a morning visit" Language suggests the match made between Mrs Norris and Rushworth. Edmund only one of family "who could see a fault;" "not pleased [Maria's] happiness should centre in a large income; "If this man had not 12000 a year he would be a very stupid fellow" (Penguin MP I:4, 37)
April: "Sir Thomas writes"; "strong hopes" of "settling everything to entire satisfaction;" "leaving Antigue before end of summer (Penguin MP I:4, 38)
"Truly happy;" he hears nothing but "good & agreeable;" "connection of exactly the right sort;" "marriage should not take place before his return"
The "month of July: Fanny just reached "18th year"; "brother and sister of Mrs Grant, a Mr and Miss Crawford (Penguin MP I:4, 39)
"Young people of fortune;" he a "good estate in Norfolk;" she 20,000£; Mrs Grant's marriage followed death of common parent (the mother); they went to father's brother (paternal uncle) unknown to Mrs Grant; "kind home," but now death of aunt (Mrs Crawford) obliges "girl" (aunt "doated" on) to go when her uncle brings his mistress to live in house ("Hill Street"). Mrs Grant accepts Miss Crawford's "proposal" to come to her; Miss Crawford would have preferred Henry's "country house" rather than "hazard other relations," but Henry has "a dislike to permanence of abode, limitation of society"; did "escort" her to Northamptonshire and engages "to fetch her away at half an hour's notice". Mrs Grant proud of sister's prettiness; "within three hours" of her arrival, tells Mary of her plan that Mary should marry "Tom Bertram; eldest son of Baronet" (Penguin MP I:4, 40); serious joke; Mrs Grant provided Henry with "youngest Miss Bertram, a nice, handsome, good-humoured accomplished girl". Miss Crawford regrets Mrs Grant has "not half-a-dozen daughters;" for Henry one needs the "address of a Frenchwoman." "Three particular friends dying for him in turn."
Second meeting, third interview (a "dinner visit") of young people: from forgetting Henry is plain, he becomes "the most agreeable young man" (Penguin MP I:5, 42)
Julia sees him "in equity" her property;" "ready to be fallen in love with;" Maria "did not want to see or understand" -- "no harm in her liking ... " "he allowed himself great latitude." Austen not condemnatory: he has "sense and temper which ought to have made him judge and feel better". Unmoored ironic superciliousness: marriage as take-in debated between Mrs Grant and Mary Crawford. Charlotte Lucas's point of view; a blind leap, only worse: what you thought you had is no such thing. Henry had "intended to spend only a few days ... Mansfield promised well ... nothing to call him elsewhere" Mary's pleasure in Tom's position, wealth, the house great for "collections of engravings of gentlemen's seats"
Still July: just before ("not long after") Tom leaves for races; Mary willing to "talk of" going with him, "schemes of large party," but it would not do. Family "did not, from his usual goings on, expect him back for many weeks"
Conversation among Mary, Edmund, Tom about whether Miss Price is "out," "does not like to see a girl of eighteen or nineteen so immediately up to everything." Tom sees conversation personally (Penguin MP I:5, 45-46)

A carefully timed story: Tom now 24+; he remembers 2 years ago so 1806 (speaking about it "the other day" to Edmund), Charles Anderson's sister in the room, would not speak a word ("governess being sick or run away, mother in & out with letters of business"); twelvemonth later or 1807, girl is over-bold ("I felt I must be the jest of the room"; "last year" (again 1808) he goes to "Ramsgate" with Sneyd for "week in September," Albion place, the pier, he attaches himself to one of Mrs Sneyd's daughters and finds he had "excessively offended the eldest;" Miss Augusta "ought not to have been noticed for another 6 months". Mary blames mother; Augusta "should have been with governess" (many elements in this story would grate on Austen) (Penguin MP I:5, 49)

At least middle July, week of the 17th (Sunday): a dinner at Mansfield to which Mr Rushworth comes, is introduced, for it's July and Mary says her harp arrived 10 days earlier. Here the plan for visiting Sotherton together is first broached by Mrs Norris: "go and sit a few hours Mrs Rushworth ... we could return to a late dinner or dine at Sotherton" "'2 nieces w/Crawford, me in barouche Edmund on horseback"; Fanny at home with Lady Bertram
You can begin to reckon forward from citation of July and Fanny's 18th year, and back from memories cited in November of the day they visited Sotherton. We can also count 6 weeks from this week to the week Tom returns. Mr Rushworth "now" returns from Compton where his friend, Smith, had had Repton whose terms "5 guineas a day"; Mrs Norris "and if they were 10," he could do it, she'd not "think of the expense" were she Mr Rushworth; refer to her "little half acre" "ridiculous" for her "to attempt". Here she has her spat with Dr Grant and insists the tree "a moor park", a present which cost "7 shillings" Rushworth says Smith "has not above 100 acres," while Sotherton "has a good 700 w/o including the water meadows (!) .. there were 2 or 3 old trees cut down hat grew too near the house & opens prospect amazingly ... the avenue from "west front" to top of hill "Repton or anyone of that sort" would take down. Mary remembers 3 years ago, 3 months in cottage at Twickenham in "all dirt and confusion," very indulged type; she likes to have "everything as complete as possible" but "all done without my care" Penguin MP I:6, 51-52).Further time annotations: Fanny cannot speak of "number of years" Wm away ... w/o tears in her eyes", his Captain Marshall. Brothers can write "long letters when they are "at a distance from their family: (Penguin MP I:6, 57)
July 19th, Tuesday (conjectured) "next day" Edmund and Fanny have "grave" talk (not told where) about Mary: "how did you like her yesterday" (Penguin MP I:7, 60)
"What right had she to suppose that you [Edmund] would not write long letters." Education faulty.
July 27th, Wednesday (conjectured): "harp arrived"; at the end of a week Edmund in love and Mary going that way herself
Mary plays "with expression, taste peculiarly becoming, something clever said at end of every air" "rich foliage of the summer" (Penguin MP I:7, 62) Edmund at parsonage "every day"; "one morning secured an invitation for the next" (Penguin MP I:7, 61); "when evening stroll over" Edmund walks with Mary and Mrs Grant to parsonage, Crawford with Bertram sisters and Fanny to Mansfield. Edmund "So many hours" in Mary's company and doesn't see fault
Then say July 29-31st, Thurs-Sun: "Soon after coming to Mansfield" Mary had envied the Bertram sisters riding (early July).
As "acquaintance increased" Edmund "offers his own quiet mare for purpose of [Mary's] first attempts to learn to ride" (Penguin MP I:7, 63). Plan to take mare to parsonage "half an hour" before Fanny's ride to begin. Returned in time
July 30th, Saturday: "2nd day's trial not so guiltless"
"Aunt beginning to scold for not being gone" .. Fanny goes out; houses "scarce half a mile apart": "50 yards from hall she could look down the park"; scene of Edmund guiding, Fanny's feeling for "poor mare" doing "double duty;" Mary: "I knew it was very late ... behaving extremely ill;" Fanny "extremely civil;" Edmund: "time enough for my cousin to ride as far as she ever goes ..." "preventing her from setting off an hour an hour sooner .. clouds coming up" He worries about Mary's "walk home" (Penguin MP I:7, 65). She sees others walking "down the hill to the village." Groom's memories of Fanny "trembling when Sir Thomas put her on a horse "6 years ago come next Easter". All praise Mary for taking to it quickly. Edmund to Fanny "whether she meant to ride the next day". "A whole morning" needed for Miss Crawford to see "Mansfield Common." "Any morning will do ... Fanny: "I shall not ride to-morrow ... out very often lately .. rather stay at home ... strong enough to walk very well" (Penguin MP I:7, 66)
July 30th-Aug 2nd, Sat to Wed: "Next morning" "morning" partly included all young people but herself ... doubly enjoyed in evening discussion ... " "4 fine successive mornings" all ride together "heat" only "inconvenience". (Penguin MP I:7, 66-67 )
Aug 4th, Thurs: 5th day dinner at Parsonage, Maria "excluded" because Rushworth expected "at the park," he did not come.
"between 10 and 11 Edmund and Julia "fresh with evening air, glowing & cheerful", Maria "ill humor at book, Mrs Norris "discomposed;" where is Fanny, on "sofa at other end of room," Edmund "You have the headache ... since a little before dinner ... the heat ... such a fine day as this ... " Lady Bertram "out above an hour;" Fanny "cutting roses 3/4s of an hour;" she's had Lady B's "aromatic vinegar ever since she came back from Mrs Norris's house "the second time" "walking across the hot park twice" Fanny "forgot to lock door" & "bring away key." Mrs Norris in 2 places; house "not much above a 1/4 of mile; she paces it 3X a day" (Penguin MP I:7, 68-69) Edmund's mind: "she had been left for 4 days together w/o any choice of companions or exercise ... for 4 days together ... not had the power of riding" Fanny: "her heart as full as the 1st evening at the Park" (Penguin MP I:7, 70)
Aug 5th, Friday: "Fanny's rides recommenced the next day ... a pleasant fresh-feeling morning, less hot ..." (Penguin MP I:8, 71)
That my conjecture is close can be seen when we are told that the same day Mr Rushworth brought his mother, Mrs R and she came to urge the "execution" of "plan for visiting Sotherton" which "had been started" a "fortnight earlier" (week of July 17th, middle). "Early day named" "agreed to," provided Crawford can come ... "would Wednesday suit him or not?" "Mrs Grant and Miss Crawford came in," "out sometime" "another route." Mrs Norris has to tell Mrs Rushworth (who thinks everyone longs to visit and remembers "Miss Price who had never seen the place ... " Lady Bertram really does not mean to come, "10 miles there, and 10 back you know" ... "companion in Fanny Price ["time enough before her ... we can see it's far enough for her never to go]... Edmund on horseback ..." Edmund appears "just in time to learn what settled ... for Wednesday," walks ladies back ... Mrs Norris over whether Mary "desirable ... Miss Bertrams ... barouche would hold 4 ... independent of the box, on which 1 ..." Edmund: "why not carriage of family?" Maria sees Aunt's meanness but "no inconvenience from narrow roads on Wednesday" (Penguin MP I:8, 73). Edmund: if "barouche box" so desirable, room for Fanny; he will stay home with mother "I know she wishes it very much"; overrides aunt, Julia aware, Maria how odd Fanny replace Edmund; Fanny "more pain than satisfaction," Sotherton nothing w/o him (Penguin MP I:8, 74-75)
Aug 8th or 9th, Mon or Tues (again conjecture): "Next meeting of 2 Mansfield families" which seems to be close to Wedesday; before dinner which Mr Grant joined.
"Mrs Grant offered herself as companion." We are to guess Mary behind this.
Wednesday, Aug 10th: Remembered (Ch 25): "Only think what grand things were produced there by our all going with [Crawford] one hot day in August to drive about the grounds, and see his genius take fire" -- he actually contributes nothing (Penguin MP II:7, 226, Ch 25), said by Mary after Henry's grandiose description of what he'd do to Thornton Lacey
Stages or phases of a day: 1st: "barouche" with Mrs Grant alighting saying "as there are 5 of you," directing Julia to take place by Henry, Fanny "soon beyond her knowledge", gathering much; she & Mary alike only but "value for Edmund". "1st 7 miles" Maria has no "real comfort;" "elation of heart" from her "Rushworth feelings", reactions to place & space: "cottages really a disgrace ... I am glad church is not so close ... nearly a mile through the park still ... down hill for half a mile ... a pity ... " (Penguin MP I:8, 776-78) Fanny: "where is the avenue? The house fronts the east ... avenue must be at the back of it ... Mr R talked of the west front" Maria: "exactly behind ... a little distance ... ascends for half a mile to the extremity of the grounds ... oak entirely" (Penguin MP I:8, 77-78)

2nd phase: after "collation" in "appointed dining parlour," carriage arrangement too risky for Bertram women so house tour: "a number of rooms, all lofty, furnished in taste of 50 years back ... family portraits ..." Fanny "delighted to connect any thing with history already known ... warm her imagination with things of the past". Absurdity of Henry's grave looks at "windows ... West front looked across to a lawn ... avenue beyond tall iron palisades & gates". Chapel: "a spacious oblong room, fitted up for purpose of devotion" Family left off regular prayers: Mary: when men and women might lie another ten minutes in bed, when they work with a head-ache w/o danger of reprobation ..." Edmund of "influence of place and of example ..." Miss Crawford learns Edmund "to take orders soon after my father's return ... at Christmas" ... "left to silence & stillness ... throughout the year". "Lowest part of house," Mrs R proceeding to "principle stair-case" son stops her ... "it is past 2 and we are to dine at 5" They slip out an "outward door."

3rd phase: Mr Crawford followed by Maria & Rushworth onto terrace to consult ("good spot for fault-finding"); Julia stuck w/Mrs Rushworth & Mrs Norris; politeness controls her. Mary, Edmund, Fanny into the wilderness, not locked, "considerable flight of stairs," "planted [intricately regulated rows of trees] wood of 2 acres" Mary endeavours to persuade him to give up life as clergyman: he "may blunder on the borders of a repartee for an half an hour altogether without making it out .." Fanny: "the next time we come to a seat ... sit down for a little while". He has one on each arm: "the connection ... for the first time ..."

Game with time over watches and felt distance: M: "we must have walked at least a mile ..." E: "not half a mile ..." Narrator: "he was not yet so much in love as to measure distance, or reckon time ..." M: "how much we have wound about ... such a very serpentine course ... wood itself ... half a mile long in a straight line .. since we left the first great path ..." E: "before we left, we saw directly to the end ... whole vista .. not ... more than a furlong in length ... " M: " ... nothing of your furlongs ... it is a very long wood ... we have been winding in and out ever since we came ... we have walked a mile in it ..." E: "exactly a quarter of an hour ... Do you think we are walking four miles an hour ..." M: "Oh do not attack me with your watch ..." Narrator: "a few steps farther ... the bottom of the very walk ... standing back, well shaded & sheltered, & looking over a ha-ha into the park ... a comfortable-sized bench ..." E: "Every sort of exercise fatigues her ... except riding ... " (Penguin MP I:9, 85-89)

How could he "let her engross her horse as I did all last week ... " F: "I shall soon be rested ... " Narrator: "After sitting a little while" Mary "up again." They look through "iron gate" to view, but turn to "determine dimensions of wood ... by walking a little more about it ... to one end in the line they were in ... turn a little way in some other direction if it seemed likely to assist them ... back in a few minutes ... Edmund urged [Fanny] remaining with an earnestness she could not refuse ... " (Penguin MP I:9, 90).

4th phase: Fanny as observer: "quarter of an hour, 20 minutes, passed away ... left so long ..." Maria, Crawford, Rushworth ... issued from the same path ... seats herself with a gentleman on each side ... some minutes spent in this way" Maria wants to "pass through iron gate" to get to park; H: "a knoll a half a mile off ... requisite command of the house ... " but the gate was locked ... [repetition of word] key ... " Rushworth gone. He: "Another summer will hardly improve it to me ... my memory of the past [not] under such easy dominion ... " M: enjoyed ... your drive ... this morning ... you & Julia laughing ... " He: "I have not the least recollection ... Irish anecdotes during a 10 mile drive" M: "I cannot get out ... that iron gate ... " H: "you might with little difficulty pass round the edge of the gat, here ... near that knoll, the grove of oak on the knoll" F: "you will be in danger of slipping into the ha-ha ... a circuitous ... very unreasonable direction ... soon beyond her eye ... for some minutes longer ..." Then hears "a quick pace [Julia] hot & out of breath ... Mr R here in a moment with key J: "[Mr R] posting away as if upon life & death ... could be just spare the time to tell his errand ... immediately scrambled across the fence ... " Mr R: "within 5 minutes ... interval of silence ... another pause ... He is not 5 foot 9 .. not more than 5 foot 8 ... I went the very moment ... F: "some distance from this spot to the house, quite into the house ... people waiting ... bad judges of time ... every half minute seems like five

5th phase: Fanny "follows [E &M] steps along the bottom walk ... turned up into another ... a few more windings ... just returned ... from park, to which a side gate, not fastened, had tempted them ... very soon after leaving her ... across a portion of the park ... the very avenue [Fanny] had been hoping the whole morning to reach at last ... " "Edmund had wished for her very much ... " "left a whole hour, when he talked of only a few minutes ... " ["disappointment & depression"]

Close: Mrs Norris and Mrs Rushworth "at top [of terrace] just ready for the wilderness ... at end of an hour and half from leaving the house ... " " Mrs N: "a morning ... of complete enjoyment ... [housekeeper ... receipt for a famous cream cheese ... gardiner presented her with curious specimen of heath ...] "Lounge away the time with sofas, chit-chat, Quarterly Reviews" Julia, Mr R, Crawford & Maria "not more than partially agreeable ... nothing useful ... all walking after each other". "No waste of hours as "dinner, tea, coffee, ten mile drive ... a quick succession" ... Crawford contrives to seat Julia by him; Mrs N: "Fanny, this has been a fine day for you ... obliged to Aunt B & me ... Maria "discontented enough to point out what Mrs N "spunged." a cheese, 4 beautiful pheasant's eggs ... [plans to make hens] "beautiful evening mild & still ... a silent drive to those within ... " (Penguin MP I:10, 97-99]

August 14th, the week of: "soon afterwards" letters from Antigua: November the black month fixed for his return", "business nearly concluded, take passage in September packet so "early in November" Sisters' minds: can "hardly be early in November as he writes; must be the middle of November, "3 months, 3 months comprise 13 weeks, much might happen in 13 weeks."
Crawfords come the "evening" the letters arrive; Crawford, Bertram sisters, Mr R "busy with candles at piano-forte"; Miss Crawford "excited" as she stands at open window with Fanny & Edmund "looking out at twilight scene:" Mr R ... happy ... thinking of November. "Old heathen heroes ... after performing great exploits ... offer up sacrifices ... " E: no "sacrifice;" her "own doing;" his as "voluntary". Mary's slur on his motives since he has a "very good living kept" for him (learned from Mrs Grant); his defense, Fanny's analogy of sons in navy or army ... Henry & she driven out "this very evening" because Mr Grant so disappointed by a "green goose," but his wife had to "stay and bear it" Fanny again defends profession, "teaching others every week ... church twice every Sunday ... must make him think ... M: "preach himself into good humour every Sunday ... quarrelling ... Monday morning till Saturday night". The contemplative speech before "unclouded night ... deep shade of the woods" His citation of "Arcturus ... Casiopeia" forgotten as he is lured to piano, mortified and scolded ...(Penguin MP I:11, 101-5)
Aug 21st (Sunday), week of: again Austen insists on November as the time Sir Thomas is to return, but "duties" call Tom home "earlier."
The "approach of September brings a letter from Tom to gamekeeper, a letter to Edmund (Penguin MP I:12, 107.
Aug 28th (Sunday), week of: Tom Bertram arrives "by end of August"
He tells of "races and Weymouth, & parties & friends, to which she might have listened six weeks before with some interest ... 6 weeks ago is week of July 17th so calendar consistent. Looking forward to Yates's story Tom at Weymouth during weeks of Sept 4th - 12th (10 days in there). Mary now cannot miss Tom's "indifference" and feels her own(Penguin MP I:12, 107)
Sept 1st-4th, Thurs-Sun: "Everingham cannot do w/o [Crawford] in the beginning of September.
"He went for a fortnight" ... narrator says "dullness" should have put Miss Bertrams on guard, made Julia admit jealousy, and feel distrust; "fortnight of leisure ... shooting and sleeping" ought to have convinced Crawford "to keep away longer ... "an amusement to his sated mind" (Penguin MP I:12, 108)
Sept 19th, Mon, say: Crawford "returns at the time appointed"
Crawford returns, as essential situation between Maria & Rushworth, Mrs Grant's & Crawford's encouragement the same, previous "channels" of emotion resume. Fanny expresses surprise Crawford "should come back again so soon," as he stayed "full 7 weeks before." Again working back to a week before July 17th, that's 7 full weeks he stayed. If we are to see him staying another 8 weeks (till later October when Sir Thomas interrupts) that is a long enough time for a love relationship to emerge (Penguin MP I:12, 108) it at a ball in which Fanny in her conversation with the obtuse Edmund talks of Crawford having originally been there for 7 weeks 12:141

Sudden vagueness: just "one evening" and again "one day" in lieu of the usual situating of narrative through numbered days (e.g, two days later, or "a few days") so we cannot know we were are precisely in September and October until very end of sequence; but now and again time kept in the day-to-day fashion

Between Sept 22nd-24th say as "a few days later" formula would have made it; but we are not given such a formula. Just "One evening" (still September): Fanny's first ball. Occurred as "thought only of the afternoon," a "violin player" now among servants
we are told that "a new intimate friend of Mr Bertram's has just arrived: Mr John Yates. Mrs Grant had said she could "raise five couple" (trying to please her sister, Mary, keep her entertained).
basically two unmoored conversations. Introduced as occasion Fanny hears Mrs Norris's and Mrs Rushworth's stupidities about Julia and Crawford [4000£ a year] (Penguin MP I:12, 109-11). This indirect movement reminds me of the way Mrs. Dennison's party inserted into S&S in order to place Ludy at the Dashwoods' London apartment.
Second is one where Tom asks Mr Grant about "this strange business in America" which has been dated 1805-7 as well as 1809, and 1812, depending on what external troubles the writer choses. There are many. This is said by him to deflect Mr Grant's attention from Tom's contemptuous dismissal of Mr Grant as a lover for Mrs Grant and his offer to dance with Fanny to deflect aunt's wanting "to nail" him to card table for "two hours" ("though we play but half-crowns, you may bet half guineas with him [Mr Grant] (Penguin MP I:12, 110-12)


Determine periods within indeterminacy

Oct 4th (say, and it is a Tuesday): Earliest days in October (?). Dated by Tom's later statement to his father when he says he was not able to go out shooting after Oct 3rd (Penguin MP II:1, 168, Ch 19): Sufficient time passes for Yates's thwarted theatrical adventures to be told, spread, and action taken. Earliest days is another formula, also found in S&S where Dashwoods arrive at Barton Cottage earliest days of September and new material (the first six chapters) was added in as a preface to where novel proper began: at Barton with Willoughby & Marianne romance.
Another carefully timed story: Tom had spent "10 days at Weymouth" with Yates (conjectured weeks Sept 4th - 12, say Sept 6th-16th as 10 days); Yates had gone to another house of another friend "in Cornwall," "Ecclesford" seat of Right Hon. Lord Ravenshaw"; this would be the weeks of 19 and 16 September. Lovers Vows within 2 days of representation", would have immortalized whole party for at least a twelvemonth". He has come straight from Cornwall house to Northampton one. He was to be Count Cassel. Lord Ravenshaw "little man ... always hoarse after the first 10 minutes ... dowager could not have died at a worse time ... the news could have been suppressed for the 3 days we wanted. It was but 3 days ... all happening 200 miles off" They did an "after-piece," "My Grandmother" by Edward Hoare" (Penguin MP I:13, 113-14.

Tom: "We must have a curtain" then "green baize," Yates: "just a side wing or 2 run up, doors in flat, and 3 or 4 scenes to let down" (Penguin MP I:13, 113-15)

"The same evening" (what same evening?) Bertram's irritation over bad billiard table makes him take seriously Yates' desire to act again: "very room for a theater ... doors ... communicating with one another,as they may be made to do in 5 minutes", "father's room ... green-room". Edmund alarmed; Tom: "as if we were going to act 3 times a week ... invite all the country ... " Keep up mother's spirits for "next few weeks" ... "I am sure, my name was Norval every evening of my life through one Christmas holidays" (Penguin MP I:13, 118) Tom sarcastic & bitter against Edmund assuming authority: disposition of space changed; "using the Billiard room for the space of a week" ... might cost a whole 20£" ... a green curtain and a little carpenter's work [Christopher Jackson]. Fanny' suggestion to Edmund they might not find a play they can agree on

Oct 5th, Wednesday: "The next morning" Edmund talks to sisters who will not listen; Crawford comes with Mary's obligingness..
Mrs Norris's talked down "in 5 minutes" by eldest niece & nephew ("all-powerful with her"), she "had been living a month at her own cost" at her white house (Penguin MP I:13, 120-21)
Oct 6th-8th, Thurs-Sat: "Two or three days pass in this manner": time enough for "carpenter" to "receive orders, take measurements, remove 2 sets of difficulties;" plan enlarged, "enormous roll of green baize" arrives, cut by Mrs Norris "saving full 3/4s a yard")
Still squabbling over what to act (Penguin MP I:14, 122-23)
Oct 9th, Sun: Apparently the next or 4th day, "all the morning Edmund had been out" (Penguin MP I:15, 129): Tom proposed Heir at Law a "fifth time," & then lights upon and chooses Lovers' Vows, all relieved to agree.
a succession of scenes at this point: Miss Bertram that Yates's height suits him for Baron; Julia there is no part for Mary but Tom says one sister for Agatha, Amelia for Mary; Crawford's ploy to give Agatha to Maria as Julia's talent comedy meant Amelia for her (his sister, Mary need not play), but Tom again reserving Amelia for Mary proposes Cottager's wife; Yates erupts on Julia's behalf, "the governess was to have done it ... it could not be offered to any body else". Maria's smile tells of "treacherous play", Julia exits, Maria & Henry talk aside, Maria resolving to offer Amelia to Mary by "going down to Parsonage", Tom and Yates over to "theater"; Fanny reads, horrified. Mr Rushworth accepts Count Cassel: Anhalt "a very stupid fellow" (Penguin MP I:14-15, 125-29)
Late in week of Oct 9th, Sun is closest, so say Oct 15th, Thurs: No counting of days. "The drawing room before dinner" Edmund enters, is told by Rushworth which play & Yates & Maria who has which part. "In a few minutes" Tom goes out to satisfy carpenter's doubts, Yates followes "soon afterwards."
Edmund appeals to Maria who says we "see things very differently," Lady Bertram peremptory to Fanny to ring bell to dinner, Edmund prevents Fanny, and Maria says Julia will take the part, ends in a [ill-natured] rant by Mrs Norris, irritated by "the loss of half a day's work about those side doors," offset by a gain in "some dozens of [curtain] rings ... so very close together;" singling out Jacksons as "encroaching" on 2 bits of deal board. Dick "a great lubberly fellow of 10 years old" (Penguin, MP I:15, 131-33).

"Dinner passed heavily"; "concerns of theater ... suspended for only an hour or two"; spirits of evening giving fresh courage; Tom Maria and Mr Yates at separate table in drawing-room, "late and dark and dirty" though it was, Crawford "could not help coming" Mary's behavior to Lady Bertram a way of hinting to Edmund. "Who is to be Anhalt?" Rushworth with his 2 and 40 speeches". Edmund's calm answer: change the play, Mary "mortification and resentment;" Tom's call to Fanny she "must be Cottager's wife", "not above half a dozen speeches altogether" (repeat half a dozen and 42). Tom: I shall be Cottager; "you have only 2 scenes". Mrs Norris's cruelty: "considering who and what she is" Mary signals brother to leave her be; talks of Wm, how Fanny should "get his picture drawn" Anhalt & butler on at same time, Tom will go "early to-morrow morning" to Stoke and bring back "Charles Maddox or Tom Oliver" Mary' virginity asserted by her sudden timidity over a "perfect stranger." (Edmund's determined gravity like Darcy's)

Fanny's bad night in her "little white attic" (her "sleeping room"): "when the evening over .... nerves still agitated ... such an attack from her cousin Tom." "What the morrow might produce ... Mary could protect "only for a time," Edmund "away," Maria and Tom have "authoritative urgency" (Penguin MP I:16, 139)

Oct 16th, Fri: "The next morning" she leaves attic (her bed room) to go downstairs, to schoolroom now "East Room" now Fanny's walking, thinking, reading room. Within the last 3 years Miss Lee had quitted them" (Penguin MP I:16, 139). Called the "East Room" now since Maria 16.
Aspect favorable: "without fire it was habitable in many an early spring ... late autumn morning". Her plants, books of which she's been a collector "since "first hour of her commanding a shilling" A room of "comforts;" nostalgia of memory. "Transparencies:" 3 lower panes of one window: Tintern Abbey between a cave in Italy, & a moonlight lake in Cumberland ... family profiles thought unworthy; "small sketch of ship sent four years ago from Mediterranean by Wm with H.M.S. Antwerp at bottom" (Penguin MP I:16, 141)
She is agitated about what is the right thing to do, especially surrounded by "present upon present"; Edmund visits Fanny's East Room before breakfast to "speak ... for a few minutes" with news he will take Anhalt; by his concession ... not without hopes of persuading them ... to much smaller circle" (Penguin MP I:16, 143) Her reading: Lord MacCartney (Embassy 1807), Crabbe Tales 1812, and Idler.

"A triumphant day" for Tom and Maria. "Not fewer smiles at Parsonage". "The morning wore away in satisfactions very sweet, if not very sound". At "earnest request of Miss Crawford," Mrs Grant took cottager's wife. The acting week begins (see Penguin MP III:5, 332, Ch 36: "that week, that acting week ... "

Oct 18th-19th, Sun-Mon: "For a day or two," Henry Crawford tried "gallantry and compliment" with Julia; this not working, he dismissed her from his attention; then became "too busy with his play?

A Sense of time passing, floating which makes the period seems longer than it is

Unmoored conversation between Mary and Mrs Grant on Bertram sisters' atitude towards Henry, Sir Thomas's great powers; Austen parodies a parody of Pope. Mrs Grant "thinks" Maria "likes Sotherto too much to be inconstant," Mary's doubt.
Mrs Grant: we must send Henry away after "the play is all over" [This is just what he does when it is] (Penguin MP I:17, 149-50)
Indeterminate passing of time: Julia "had loved ... did love still ... had all the suffering ... a warm temper and a high spirit were likely to endure ... Fanny sees & pities; no one else attends (Penguin MP I:17, 150-51)
General paragraphs: POV Fanny: "everything in a regular train: theare, actors, actresses, and dresses ... all getting forward ... a scene painter ... from town ... at work, much to the increase of the expenses ... of the eclat of their proceedings ... Tom "frets over scene painter's slow progress ... miseries of waiting ... impatient to be acting ... every day thus unemployed ... increases his sense of insignificance of all his parts ... ready to regret some other play not chosen ... " Fanny listens to much discontent

Fanny "attends the rehearsal of the first act ..." Crawford superior as actor; Maria acts "too well"; after "first rehearsal" their "only audience ... prompter ... spectator

"The day came at last" when Mr Rushworth with a "black look" does not think there is anything "so very fine in all this;" "little, mean looking man, set up for fine actor". Rushworth does not care if he knows the 42 speeches; anyway he cannot make "anything tolerable of them"
Many demands on Fanny's "time and attention;" she is "useful to all ... as much at peace as any" (Penguin MP I:18, 153-54)

Unmoored epitomizing conversations: Mrs Norris exploiting and demeaning Fanny, miserliness ("to contrive Mr Rushworth's cloak w/o sending for any more satin" ... 3 seams for Fanny to do in a trice")

Lady Bertram's intervention half-defending Fanny & asking what play is about brings us back to concrete time: "there will be 3 acts rehearsed tomorrow evening". Mrs Norris wishes they'd stay another "day or two" when curtain will be hung; "very handsome festoons" (Penguin MP I:18, 154-55) Fanny longs & dreads the third act: "a marriage of love described by the gentleman ... a declaration of love be made by the lady"


Sudden resumption of determinate time consistent with all that has gone on previously

Oct 22nd Saturday: (now reckoning backwards from times stated about the departures of Yates and Crawford and Mary Crawford's comment indicating it is still October: "The morrow came ... the plan "for the evening" was to rehearse "the first three acts" This day Sir thomas arrives at night. That it is well before November is indicated by Crawford's statement after the play has been squashed: "if Mansfield Park had had the government of the winds just for a week or two about the equinox ... only a steady contrary wind, a calm ... Then Sir Thomas would have arrived after the play had been staged .... " (Penguin MP II:5, 208-9, Ch 23) as the equinox occurs in later September.
First phase: Morning: Fanny "works very diligently under her aunt's directions ... absent, anxious mind, around noon]she makes her escape to East Room from "a most unnecessary rehearsal of the frist act ... the sight of Mr Rushworth ... two ladies walking up from Parsonage" (Penguin MP I:18, 155-56)

2nd phase; Noon: Fanny "worked and meditated in the East Room for a quarter of an hour;" the entrance of Miss Crawford, "yes, this is the east room;" "rehearse" act 3 with her "against the evening ... there is a speech or two": we must have "two chairs," mentions "Yates storming away in the dining room;" "those indefatigible rehearsers, Agatha and Frederick "perfect" ... "looked in upon them 5 minutes ago". They "got through half the scene," when Edmund arrives. She is forgotten and forgets herself: "agitated by the increasing spirit of Edmund's manner, had once closed the page and turned away exactly as he wanted help ... She "must stand the brunt of it again that very day" (Penguin MP I:18, 156-58)

3rd phase: "The evening". "First regular rehearsal of the three first acts ... " Mrs Grant & Crawfords were engaged to return ... everybody [but Lady Bertram, Mrs Norris and Julia] in the theatre at an early hour ... but there was no Mrs Grant ... Fanny entreated and yields ... unusual noise in other part of the house ... Julia at the door ... My father is come ... in the hall at this moment" (Penguin MP I:18, 158-59). "not a word was spoke for half a minute ... most ill-timed ... terrible pause ... Frederick still in pose of listening to Agatha's "narrative," "pressing her hand to his heart" The two brothers ... A very few words ... Maria joined ... Fanny "left ... a little breathing time ... excessive trembling;" Crawfords "wishing poor Sir Thomas had been twice as long on his passage or were still in Antigua" Yates sees "a disaster for the evening;" Crawford know better and "walk quietly home." Fanny "in front of drawing-room door ... pausing a moment"(Penguin MP II:1, 164-5, Ch 19)

4th phase: Evening after father arrives: to Fanny "his voice quick from the agitation of joy ... dignity lost in tenderness ... "asks after her family, especially William ..." "thinner, burnt, fagged, worn look of fatigue and a hot climate ... business in Antigua ... latterly ... prosperously rapid ... came directly from Liverpool ... passage thither in a private vessel instead of waiting for the packet; and all the little particulars of his proceedings and events, his arrivals and departures ... " Lady Bertram "nearer agitation than she had been for the last twenty years ... almost fluttered for a few minutes ..." "how dreadfully she must have missed him ... [this] lengthened absence ... " Mrs Norris "had whisked away Mr Rushworth's pink satin cloak ... " Sir Thomas confided in butler and "almost instantaneously ito the drawing-room" Mrs N interruptss "most interesting moment of his passge ... the alarm of a French privateer was at the height ... " Lady B: "We have all been alive with acting"

Tom: "you will hear enough of it to-morrow ... We have had such incessant rains almost since October began, I have hardly taken out a gun since the 3rd ..." "Tolerable sport the first 3 days," "no attempting any thing since ... First day ... over Mansfield Wood," Edmund "copses beyond Easton ... 6 brace ... might have killed 6 times as many" pheasants". Never seen the wood as "full of pheasants in my life as this year"; this to Sir Thomas on the evening of Sir Thomas's return.

5th Phase: Sir Thomas's walks into billiard room; scene of Yates playing the Baron. "Another of the 100 particular friends of his son ... " "A few minutes enough" for unsatisfactory sensations ..." Come back: remarks on "its vicinity to my own room." Yates talks of Ecclesford, of the present "promising state of affairs". Sir Thoma's looks of "remonstrance" at Edmund. Yates: "nothing can be done to-night ... to-morrow evening ..." Sir Thomas "without any rehearsal" and turns to ask of the Crawfords. Mr Rushworth: "you should tell your father he is not above 5 feet 8" (Penguin MP II:1, 168-69, Ch 19)

Oct 23rd, Sun: "The next morning": the curtain was to have been hung; this was Sir Thomas's first day home
Instead Edmund has interview, Fanny alone guiltless; Sir Thomas does not run the risk of investigation" by talking to other children; the "reproof" is the "immediate conclusion of everything". Conversation with Mrs Norris who is "as nearly silenced as ever she had been;" details all her efforts to save money, physical exertions"; "glories" in connection to Sotherton; she did it all, "the first visit," "the distance to Sotherton," "middle of the winter," he is still on about play-acting, she persists in story of going to Sotherton. Her influence not great, she half-knows this: "4 horses ... I had been doctoring him, ever since Michaelmas ... very bad all the winter ... such a day ... every jolt .. rough lanes about Stoke ... frost and snow on beds of stone ... I always feel for the horses" so gets out at "bottom of Sandcroft Hill". Sir Thomas "pleased last night" with Rushworth's opinion "on one subject.".

Sir Thomas's "busy morning" re-instating himself, steward, bailiff, "examine and compute," walk into stables, gardens, nearest plantations," carpenter "pulling down what had so lately been put up in billiard room," "scene painter dismissed," "far off as Northampton" by now ("spoilt only 1 floor, ruined coachman's sponges," made "5 underservants idle, dissatisfied," another day or two would suffice, he is burning all copies of Lovers Vows that he finds. (Penguin MP II:2, 174-77, ch 20) Tom and Yates "out with their funds the chief of the morning." Yates to be again disappointed;" only "the fair Julia" keeps Yates "a few days longer". Maria "disturbed that even a day should be gone by;" "expecting" him "the whole morning ... all the evening too ..." She hoped Mr Rushworth need never "come back again." "No one from parsonage," no real note, just Mrs Grant's "friendly note" to Lady Bertram ... first day for many many weeks ... "4 and 20 hours had never passed before since August began, without bringing them together ... ", a "sad anxious day." (Penguin MP II:2, 178, Ch 20)

Oct 24th, Mon: Henry Crawford with Dr Grant "at an early hour ... ushered into breakfast room.
Maria's "delight and agitation" seeing the man she loved introduced to her father," but "indefinable sensations" hearing Crawford to Tom, asking if "play" to be "resumed," in that case, he should make a point of returning to Mansfield;" "break through every claim," from "Bath, Norfolk, London, York ... any place in England," Tom: "painter sent off yesterday ... very little will remain of our theater tomorrow ... it is early for Bath." Maria's pride, resolution, knows "his independence," "the agony of mind was severe", she had not "long to endure" the contradiction of his language and action," "farewell visit ... a very short one." "Within 2 hours gone from the parish ..." Mrs Norris begins to "look about her," and realize "her activity had not kept pace with her wishes" Lady Bertram's "rote" regret, Edmund's "too partial." Fanny sees it as a "blessing." (Penguin MP II:2, 179-80, Ch 20)
Oct 25th-26th, Tues-Wed: Another day or two, "Mr Yates likewise gone."
Sir Thomas finds him "vexatious," "idle and confident, idle and expensive, as "friend of Tom and admirer of Julia offensive." "Removal of everything appertaining to play" had been done: Mrs Norris sponges "the curtain" to her "cottage" with her where she "particularly in want of green baize." This dropping of a curtain (a kind of joke) may stand as demonstration of how Austen wove older material in with new. Note also how quickly it is all brought to an end, with no loose threads left over, as if (so says our clever author in the person of one of her characters) the play-acting time had never been.
Oct 28th-29th, Fri-Sat: Referred to as the period in which had Sir Thomas applied to Maria "within the first three or four days", her answer might have been truthful, but when after another 3-4 days "no return, no letter, no message," she becomes "cool enough to seek all the comfort that pride & revenge can give," marry Rushworth, escape Mansfield." (Penguin MP II:3, 187, Ch 21)
Edmund and Fanny's otherwise unmoored conversation, includes his desire to have more interaction with Parsonage and father like Mary Crawford, Fanny's ignored desire to know more about slavery, his desire for Fanny to be able to be proud of her appearance and mind, pleasure in Mary Crawford's praise of Fanny "the other day" when he was "at the Parsonage." Also his remark that "this is the first October that she has passed in the country since her infancy. I do not call Tunbridge or Cheltenham the country, and November is a still more serious month" helps for the counting of time as well as the phases of Maria's "agony of mind" (Penguin MP II:3, 185, Ch 21) Mrs Grant not the only one "anxious" Mary might find "Mansfield dull as the winter comes on." Fanny reassures: "a little while I dary say we shall be meeting again in the same sort of way, allowing for the difference of the time of year"
Oct 30th, Sun: "To-morrow ... my uncle dines at Sotherton, and you and Mr Bertram too." : next day Sir Thomas, Tom, and Edmund dining at Sotherton. (Penguin MP II:3, 185-86, Ch 21)
Fanny: "we shall be quite a small party at home" (she, Lady B, Maria, Julia, so worse than merely small) Edmund: "we shall be 5 hours" in Rushworth's company," Sir Thomas "must like him less after tomorrow's visit." This did happen; and he sees Maria "indifferent," "careless and cold" towards Rushworth
Oct 31st-Nov 1, Mon-Tues: this now "eight days after Mr Crawford left", the 2nd 3-4 days (Penguin MP II:3, 187, Ch 21)
Sir Thomas's conference with Maria unmoored, but since we are told that Mrs Rushworth left Sotherton to make room for young couple in "very early November" then open bethrothal must take place before that and this conversation proceeds the open engagement and setting up the marriage plans. She hides real self and feelings from father; wants to marry, perhaps will be more "attached to her family", he is again glad to escape "embarrassing evils" (unpleasantness). Will not wait for "spring"

Indeterminate time

Between 1st and 4th, Nov: Mrs Rushworth "very early in November removed herself
This is introduced in a back-handed manner and we cannot tell how this relates to Sir Thomas's conversaton with Maria. Mrs Rushworth's maid, her footman and her chariot ... to Bath; "true dowager propriety" (Penguin MP I:3, 188, Ch 21)
Maria & Mr Rushworth married around Nov 12th: "a very few weeks would be sufficient for such arrangements as must precede the wedding." Marriage of Maria and Rushworth marry "before the middle of the same month" as Mrs Rushworth left for Bath. (November)
Only flaw in "etiquette" is "carriage" is the same Mrs Rushworth "had used for a twelvemont." Mrs Norris "at the park" drinks "a supernumerary glass or two" in triumph. "After a few days," young couple "go to Brighton [Nov 18th because for dinner party on Dec 2nd is a "fortnight" afterward], and take a house there for some weeks ... every place new ... as gay in winter as in summer" to Maria and Julia. That "novelty" done, "time enough" for wider range of London. Austen angry at those who cannot bear "a subordinate situation" such as she had all her life.

Maria, Julia and Mr Rushworth set adrift from book until they are to be inserted again.


Determinate periods within indeterminacy quickly becomes determinate time; precise indications of small intervals of time tightly kept; we can also approximate dates quickly by reckoning back from dinner party, William's arrival, and December 22nd.

Nov 14th-15th, Mon-Tues: Narrator says we are in "the gloom and dirt of a middle November day"
Real sense of book beginning again; Fanny now sought "without being wanted for any one's convenience." In the Parsonage she had "hardly entered twice a year since Mr Norris's guest, she became "a welcome, an invited guest." Mary bored, Mrs Grant "pressed" Fanny's "frequent calls." How did this come about? Fanny caught under tree on a pouring rain November day. "Civil servant" and then "Dr Grant himself with an umbrella" (Penguin MP II:4, 190-91, Ch 22)

Precise indications of time: Mary "sighing over the ruin of all her plan for that morning," no change of "seeing a single creature beyond themselves for next 24 hours"; Fanny "obliged" and "fixed" in drawing-room "for an hour while the rain continued" ... Miss Crawford carried "to the period of dressing and dinner." Fanny's anxiety that weather would not "clear at the end of the hour". Fanny had never heard Mary play harp before ... Fanny's eyes "straying to the window on the weather's being evidently clearer" ... "Another quarter of an hour ... Do not run away the first moment ... so kindly asked to call again ... necessary to be done" (Penguin MP II:4, 192-93, Ch 22)

Nov 15th-28th, Tues-Mon: "Sort of intimacy" which began between Fanny and Miss Crawford "within the first fortnight" of the "Miss Bertrams' going away": Fanny "went to her every two or three days" without Fanny "loving her, or thinking like her". Miss Crawford seeks "something new" (novelty the word for Maria and Julia too).
They "sauntered together many a half hour in Mrs Grant's shrubbery." Fanny's "tender ejaculation on the sweets of so protracted an autumn"
Dec 1st, Thursday: Mrs Norris refers to day and says Edmund had "hoarse" throat so needs carriage to go to the dinner
One conversation then given: "Three years ago, garden at Parsonage "nothing but a rough hedgerow along the upper side of a field" now "converted into a walk" ... perhaps in another 3 years we may be forgetting what it was before". Mary "untouched & inattentive," Fanny on the thriving "laurels & evergreens" Mary's story of Doge; been here "month after month ... been here now 5 months ... the quietest 5 months I ever passed" (Penguin MP II:4, 193-94, Ch 22) So she's been there since July 08.

Time: "I can even suppose it pleasant to spend half the year in the country, under certain circumstances ... " they will owe Mrs Rushworth "a great many brilliant hours" ... "end of a few minutes" there are Edmund and Mrs Grant who says "they cannot have been sitting long" "day is so mild ... sitting down for a few minutes" [not "imprudent"). "Our weather must not always be judged by the calendar ... sometimes take greater liberties in November than in May. Mrs Grant would have had "a good sharp east wind" so Robert takes in plants. Turkey Mrs Grant had hoped to not to serve "till Sunday as "on Sunday" he's had "fatigues of the day." Will not keep "beyond tomorrow" While they are walking the clock "strikes three". About intending to be rich, this one Edmund cannot "intend" what is "beyond his power to commmand," but Miss Crawford "has only to fix her number of thousands" she: "you should have gone into the army 10 years ago" The "sound of the great clock at Mansfield park, striking three ... Cook insists on turkey being dressed tomorrow." Edmund invited by Dr Grant to eat his mutton with him the next day," and Fanny "barely has time" for unpleasant feeling than Mrs Grant "recollects" herself and invites Fanny too. Edmund answers a "conditional" yes. (Penguin MP II:4, 196-97, Ch 22)

Later that afternoon (after 3): mortifying dialogue over whether Fanny can go, with Lady Bertram's selfishness up front: "... why should Mrs Grant ask Fanny ... "her own evening's comfort on the morrow ... half an hour afterwards, on his looking in for a minute ... ". Mrs Norris "may be prevailed on to spend the day ... " he'll be "at home"

Dec 2nd, Friday: "excepting day at Sotherton, [Fanny] had scarcely ever dined out ... half a mile ... to 3 people ... still dining out" Mary said it's a fortnight since Bertram sisters went to Bath (Penguin MP II:5, 208).
Mrs Norris "came on the morrow" but Sir Thomas's "early call" put her in "ill humour" "5 the very awkwardest of all possible numbers ... Five, only five to be sitting round that table ... dinner for 10 " (she's angry because her old smaller one not bought) ... you must be the lowest and the last ... rain ... exceedingly likely .. never saw it more threatening ... [do not be] expecting the carriage ... I certainly do not go home tonight ... "

Precise time- & season-keeping "Walk ... my niece .. at this time of year" "Will twenty minutes after four suit you?" I observed "Edmund hoarse on Thursday night" Coachman drove round to a minute; another minute ... the gentleman ... the lady had ... been many minutes seated in the drawing-room ... Sir Thomas saw them off in as good time ... his own correctly punctual habits ... " Her dress for "cousin's marriage: "I might not have such another opportunity all the winter" Edmund: "Crawford's barouche" outside ...

Henry Crawford unexpectedly come just in time "For dinner," back "For a few days on leaving Bath"; Fanny can "listen in quiet"; "scheme for extending his stay ... sending for his hunters from Norfolk. her opinion on "probable continuance of open weather."Mary asks Fanny if it's not "about a fortnight" since Maria, Julia, and Rushworth set out for Brighton; she imagines "letters to Mansfield Park" by Julia do not include Yates even if Henry right and Yates not "far off." Henry remembers "2 & 40 speeches". "Another week, only one other week ... if Mansfield Park had had the gov't of the winds just for a week or two about the equinox ... a steady contrary wind, or a calm ... we would have indulged ourselves with a week's calm" (Penguin MP II:5, 208-9). Fanny: "I would not have delayed his return for a day". He: "after a few minutes" "calmer grave" ... To Mary: Dr Grant giving Bertram instructions about the living .. he takes orders in a few weeks ... not less than 700 a year ... 700 a year a fine thing for a younger brother ... live at home menu plaisirs, a sermon at Christmas & Easter sum total of sacrfice." Mary says Henry'd "look rather blank" if his "menus plaisirs were limited to 700 a year. Henry: before Edmund 4 and 20 he'll have 700 a year and "nothing to do for it". Crawford will come listen to "first sermon" and "note down any sentence pre-eminently beautiful ... tablets & a pencil ..." Mary angry at Edmund "so soon to take orders," "a situation she would never stoop to" (Penguin MP I:5, 210-11, Ch 23)

Dec 3rd, Saturday: "The next morning" Crawford "had quite made up his mind" "to give another fortnight to Mansfield," "sent for hunters," "a few lines of explanation to Admiral ..." "On days I do not hunt ... too old to go out more than 3 times a week ... plan for intermediate days ... cannot be satisfied w/o Fanny Price" (Penguin MP II:6, 212-13, Ch 24)
Henry says Fanny "quite a different creature ... wonderful improvement from what she was in the autumn ... "within the last six weeks" brings us back to early/middle October. "Tinged with blush yesterday," 2 inches grown ... since October. ... "Phoo! phoo! she is just what she was in October ..." Mary pretends to care but when Henry says "It can be but for a fortnight ... if a fortnight can kill her ...", Narrator: Fanny not one "of such unconquerable young ladies of 18 or one should not read about them ..."
Dec 7th, Wednesday: It was "but the day before" (see next entry) Wm's letter that Henry aware of "her having such a brother," "his being in such a ship
Henry determines to return to town to apply for information as to probable period of Antwerp's return from Mediterranean" (Penguin MP II:6, 215, Ch 24)
Dec 8th, Thurs: "A very few days were enough to effect" her; "not forgotten past, thought as ill of him," but "felt his powers ... Fanny beginning to "dislike Crawford less than formerly." (Penguin MP II:6, 214, 215, Ch 24)
She is softened emotionally by "degree of happiness" as Wm "so long absent and dearly loved", "a letter ... a few hurried happy lines, written as ship came up the Channel ... into Portsmouth, with 1st boat that left the Antwerp, at anchor, in Spithead;" "trembling with joy ... listening ... to kind invitation her uncle ... dictating in reply." Henry had brought "ship news" he examined "the next morning" (that is this morning) but too late as "first feelings" already given (to Sir Thomas), "but his intention" "thankfully acknowledged ..."

"Leave of absence immediately ... still only a midshipman ... his parents ... on the spot ... have seen him and be seeing him daily;" so "his direct holidays ... instantly given to the sister ... his best correspondent through ... 7 years" (thus Christmas 1799-1801 confirmed). "A very early day for his arrival" (Penguin MP II:6, 215, Ch 24)

Dec 11th, Sunday, "Scarcely 10 days since her first dinner engagement; she "watches in the hall, in the lobby, on the stairs ...for 1st sound of carriage ... a brother" (Penguin MP II:6, 216)
"First minutes of exquisite feeling had no interruption". Sir Thomas receives "a very different person .. [then] equipped 7 years ago" "Long to recover" from "such an hour ... the last 30 minutes of expectation ... first [30] of fruition" long ... "before she could see in him the same William ... talk to him, as her heart had been yearning to do, through many a past year"
Dec 12th, Monday: "The morrow they were walking about together with true enjoyment ... every succeeding morrow renewed the tete-a-tete."
Wm tells his "hazards, or terrific scenes"; as Fanny absorbed glowing listens, Henry feels ardent at such "sensibility;" "a fortnight was not enough. His stay became indefinite" (Penguin MP II:6, 218). He'd "been in the Mediterranean -- in the West Indies -- in the Mediterranean again ... in the course of 7 years every variety of danger, which sea & war together could offer ... Mrs Norris in quest of 2 needlefulls of thread or 2nd hand shirt button. Henry sees "before 20 he had undergone such hardships" such proofs of mind ... " Is Wm then 19? Edmund asks re: next day's "hunting" and Henry can supply Wm without slightest inconvenience ..." Fanny reconciled & "animal was one minute tendered to [Wm's] use again; and the next ... made over to [Wm's[ use entirely so long as he remained in Northamptonshire" (Penguin MP II:6, 218-19, Ch 24)

On this day also Edmund sent off for a chain for the topaz cross William gave Fanny?. On Dec 21st Edmund says she "ought to have had it a week ago [Dec 14th], but there has been a delay in my brother's not being in town by several days so soon as I expected. Edmund did not buy it with the ball in mind but rather because he saw William give her a cross without a chain, "But the purchase beyond his means" Giving the note and money time to get to Tom, time for him to buy, and time to post it to Edmund between the 11th and 14, the 12th seems the day; Edmund is prompt to help Fanny (Penguin MP II:8-9, 235, 240, Chs 26 & 27)

Dec 14th, Wednesday: on this day the chain for the cross ought to have arrived.
Does Austen expect us to ask where Tom was?
Dec 15th, Thursday: Sir Thomas and family come to dine at Parsonage. "The intercourse beween the two families was at this period more nearly restored to what it had been in the autumn." The feel is of a long time ago yet it is but a month; Austen looks at play-acting as part of another era of her writing. William Price says "This is the Assembly night ... If I were at Portsmouth, I should be at it perhaps" (Penguin MP II:7, 230, Ch 25) Hampshire & Sussex newspaper shows there was no assembly night in 1808 and had not been for some years; there were a series in 1810 and thereafter, and these seem to have been held regularly on Thursday. So Austen making a final copy in 1811-13 projected backwards; perhaps she did not know there had not been assembly nights in Portsmouth in 1808-09.
Night Sir Thomas noticed Henry behaving "as an admirer of Miss Price." "In the evening" "without a choice" against card games. Fanny "mistress of rules within 3 minutes;" "whole evening" taken up. "Twice" Sir Thomas asks after Lady Bertram. Mary's game "did not pay her for what she had given to secure it ... " Henry: "Lady Bertram bids a dozen ... Lady Bertram does not bid a dozen ... [Wm] driving a hard bargain ... you must not part with the queen ... too dearly, and your brother does not offer half her value". Mary remembers "Only think what grand things were produced there [Sotherton] by our all going with [Crawford] one hot day in August to drive about the grounds, and see his genius take fire" (see above August 10th). Henry: "at Sotherton ... a hot day ... all walking after each other ... " Mrs Norris: Maria & Rushworth still "at Brighton," "one of the best houses there" [she does not exactly know the distance] but Wm should go there from Portsmouth (!) ... Wm: Brighton is almost by Beachy Head ... Sir Thomas does not advise this needless trip, will find Rushworth anywhere his friend. Wm: "rather find him private secretary to the first Lord ..."

Space precise: Henry had gone to see Thornton Lacey and comes up with extravagant plans for alteration: "Parsonage ... within a stone's throw of the said knoll and church ... work for 5 summers at least before place liveable ... house turned to front the east instad of the north ... entrance and rooms must be on that side where the view is really very pretty ... what is at present the garden; you must make you a new garden at what is now the back of the house ... sloping to the south-east ... I rode 10 yards up the lane between the church and the house ... The meadows round will be the garden, as well as what is now, sweeping around the lane to the principal road through the village, the north east ... very pretty meadows ... you must purchase them ... removal of farm-yard ... that terrible nuisance ... [result will be] not like a Parsonage house [worth] a few hundreds a year ... not a scrambling collection of low rooms ... as many roofs as windows ... not cramped into vulgar compactness ... of a square farm-house ... solid walled roomy mansion-like horse ... respectable old country family [type living there] through 200 years at least ... now spending from 2-3000 a year" ... a place ... will look like great land-holder ... by every creature traveling the road .. no real squire's house to dispute the point. ... Henry's scheme to "rent the house himself the following winter ... attachment does not depend on upon one amusement or season of the year" Bertrams won't rent it, "though only 8 miles" Edmund will live at Thornton Lacey, not just "ride over, every Sunday ... every 78th day, for 3 or 4 hours ... " "All [the] agreeable of Mary's speculation over for that hour."

Sir Thomas observes Henry observing brother & sister. William recalls how he's snubbed ... [they used to] jump about together many a time ... hand-organ ... in the street" Sir Thomas [then] so well engaged in describing the balls at Antigua ... [Wm] different modes of dancing come under his observation"

Dec 16th, Friday: "The next morning:" William is said to have spoken about "the balls at Northampton" (he didn't) ... your cousins attended ... fatigue too much for your aunt ... A dance at home would be more eligible ... Mrs Norris: if Maria or Julia were here, you'd have a ball "this very Christmas," Sir Thomas interposes, no "a dance for their cousins"
Sir Thomas decided rooms, list, day before Mrs Norris could: "a necessary allowance for shortness of the notice ... form 12 to 14 couple ... considersations which inducted him to fix on the 22d, as Wm must be in Portsmouth "on the 24th. "Days so few unwise to fix on any earlier" (Penguin MP II: 8, 234, Ch 26). Invitations sent w/dispatch; Fanny "painful solicitude" over "how she should be dressed", her "solitary ornament," "very pretty amber cross" but only a "bit of ribbon" to hold it, no chain for her neck
Dec 16th-20th, Fri-Tuesday: Mary receives "dear friend's letter" claiming "long visit ... in London ... Henry .. engaging to remain where he was till January, that he might convey her thither." So "soon" to leave Mansfield. So, Edmund fretting about leaving the 23d (of December) for Peterborough and when to ask Mary Crawford to marry him ... resolved (almost resolved) .. a decision with a very short time ... many anxious feelings, many doubting hours ... " "Did she love him well enough to forego ... ["disinclination for privacy ... London life"] (Penguin MP II:8, 236, Ch 26)
Edmund POV: "Within first hour of the burst" of coming enjoyment, Mary "sparkles" "at pleasure of such a journey; but she since has told "Mrs Grant that she would leave her with regret ... [the] friends [she's going to] "not worth" "those she left behind ..." "looking forward to being a Mansfield again." "Evening" of ball to Edmund "of no higher value" than "other appointed evenings". So there are others. He engages Mary "for the first two dances" is his "only preparation" though all around [him is preparation] from morning to night" (Penguin MP II:8, 237, Ch 26)
Dec 21st, Wednesday: "On Wednesday morning" Fanny seeks advice of Mary & Mrs Grant on what to wear, Edmund and William gone to Northampton, Henry "likewise out"; meets Miss Crawford "a few yards from Parsonage, just setting out to call on her". At first Mary "unwilling to lose her walk," & Fanny says all may be "talked over as well without doors as within;" Mary "gratified, moment's thought" urges return ... Mr and Mrs Grant ... in drawing-room ... in doors & upstairs" "for comfortable coze" (Penguin MP II:8, 237-38, Ch 26)
Finds herself looking at necklaces, discerns one "more frequently placed before her eyes;" "gold prettily worked ... [Fanny] must think of Henry ... his choice in the first place. He gave it to me ... what are you afraid of ... an ornament which his money purchased 3 years ago, before he knew there was such a throat in the world" So this brother's present to a sister like "work–boxes and netting– boxes which had been given her at different times, principally by Tom" that cover her East Room table (Penguin MP, II:16, 142). ... I do not suppose I have worn it 6 times ... the very one which, if I have a choice, I would rather part with ... "(Penguin MP II:9, 240).

Fanny "immediately upstairs ... her cousin Edmund there writing at the table! Such a sight having never occurred before ... " "the beginning of a note to yourself ... this little trifle -- a chain for Wm's cross ... ought to have had it a week ago ... a delay in my brother's not being in town by several days so soon as I expected ... " "only just now received it at Northampton" "a plain gold chain perfectly simple ... the very thing, precisely what I wished for ... " Edmund: "most happy ... that it should be here in time for to-morrow". (See above William's arrival on the 11th, the cross brought up in conjunction with Fanny's need to dress up for ball, but Edmund sent for a chain on Dec 12th). Edmund's deep pleasure at Mary's gift ("though it might have some drawbacks"); Fanny must not return it; that it was Henry's gift irrelevant ... " Edmund struck "a reverie of fond affection ... says the chain "was not bought with any reference to the Ball" (he sent away for it the day after William's arrival, see above); and Mary's necklace is what is appropriate for the ball, and "wear it "to-morrow evening" and keep his chain for "commoner occasions" .... " She seized the scrap of paper ... locked it up with the chain, as the dearest part of the gift ... only thing approaching a letter which she had ever received from him ... Two lines more prized had never fallen from the pen of a most distinguished author ... blessed the researches of the fondest biographer .... the handwriting itself a blessedness ..." (Penguin MP II:9, 241-43)

December 22nd, Thursday [1808]: "Thursday, predestined to hope & enjoyment ...
1st phase: "soon after breakfast a very friendly note from Mr Crawford to William ... obliged to go to London on the morrow for a few days ... hoped if Wm could make up his mind to leave a half a day earlier ... a place in his carriage ... town by his uncle's customary late-dinner hour ... Wm invited to dine with him at the Admiral's ..." To Wm like "traveling post with 4 horses ... going up with dispatches ... " Fanny: "original plan [Wm] go up by the mail from Northampton the following night ... not have allowed him an hour's rest before he must have got into a Portsmouth coach ... rob her of many hours of his company ... " Sir Thomas: "his nephew's introduction to Admiral Crawford might be of service ... very joyous note ... Fanny ... lived on it half the morning ... "

2nd phase: "had not been brought up to the trade of coming out, wants not "much observation ... strength & partners for half the evening ... to keep away from her Aunt Norris." "the course of a long morning ... with her 2 aunts ... Wm ... last day a day of thorough enjoyment ... out snipe shooting; Edmund ... at the Parsonage ... left along to bear worrying of Aunt Norris ... worn down to think every thing an evil belonging to a ball ... "

3rd phase: she "walked slowly up stairs she thought of yesterday ... same hour she had returned from the Parsonage ... found Edmund in the East Room ... were [I] to find him there again to-day ... " Edmund speaks ... "head of different staircase ... [she] has had fatigues within doors, which are worse ... up the stairs ... their rooms on the same floor ... " Edmund: "she says it is to be the last time that she ever will dance with me ... for my own sake I wish there had been no ball just at -- I mean tnot this very week, this very day -- to-morrow I leave home" Fanny: "a day of pleasure ... " He: "vexed for the moment ... not that I consider the ball as ill-timed; - what does it signify ... " "pained by her manner this morning" Fanny after: "a moment's consideration ... hereafter ... the time may come ... " Edmund: "The time will never come. No such time as you allude to ... nothing to be remembered by you or me which we need be ashamed of ... " "enough to shake the experience of 18 ... " "now on the second floor ... another 5 minutes ... he might have talked away all Miss Crawford's faults ... " "She felt nothing like it for hours ... 1st joy from Mr Crawford's note .. had worn away, she had been in a state absolutely their reverse ... "

4th phase: dressing ... "evening of pleasure before her ... joined the chain to the cross ... memorials ... so formed for one another by every thing real and imaginary ... " Lady Bertram "when dressed herself ... sent her own woman ... to late of course ... Mrs Chapman ... reached the attic floor when Miss Price came out of her room " (Penguin MP II:9, 245-50, Ch 27)

5th phase leading into & ball itself: indications of time: Edmund: "'Fanny you must keep 2 dances for me; any two that you like, except the 1st. She had nothing more to wish for." She "was actually practising her steps about the drawing-room as long as she could be safe ... [from Aunt Norris] "Half an hour followed" and "carriages really heard ... " "introduced here & there by her uncle ... never summoned w/o looking at Wm, as he walked about at his ase in the background of the scene" Crawford comes and is "engaging her almost instantly for the first two dances ... " "moment of beginning was now growing seriously near ... " "no second glance to disturb her ... " "no leisure for thinking long ... In a few minutes ... the minutiae of the evening ... the top of the room ... " "as she looked back at the state of things in autumn ... " "honour rather than happiness ... the 1st dance at least ... " Mary Crawford to Mrs Norris: "how much we want [Maria, Julia] to night ... " Mrs Norris "paid her ... [w/] as much as she had time for " Mary to Fanny: "perhaps you can tell me why my brother goes to town to-morrow" Henry's inquiries "about the supper-hour ... for securing her at that part of the evening" Fanny: "happy ... in every 5 minutes she could walk about with [Wm]" Edmund to Fanny: "worn out ... talking incessantly all night w/nothing to say ... the same feelings he had acknowledged this morning ... 2 dances together" After these 2 dances, her inclination & strength ... at an end ... walk rather than dance down ... From that time, Mr Crawford sat down likewise ... " Wm comes over "I hope we shall keep it up these 2 hours ... " Sir Thomas: "So soon ... it is 3 o'clock ..." Wm: "you shall not get up to-morrow before I go ... I must get up ... it will be the last time ... the last morning ... " Sir Thomas: "be goe by hal past nine ... half past nine ... Mr Crawford: "half past nine ... I shall be punctual ... You brother will find my ideas of time and his own, very different to-morrrow" Fanny "had hoped to have Wm all to herself, the last morning" Fanny "the Lady of Branxholm Hall "one moment and no more" a last look at the 5 or 6 determined couple ... "(Penguin MP II:10, 251-59, Ch 28)

Dec 23rd, Friday: "On the 23d [Edmund] was going to a friend near Peterborough ... they were to receive ordination ... Christmas week" (Penguin MP II:8, 236, ch 26). Henry had "talked of [returning], at the end of 3-4 days ... Mary should have been leaving Mansfield Dec 27th (so a sign of Henry's restlessness?)
Henry and William goe by 9:30; Fanny reproaches herself for not doing all due William "for a whole fortnight" So he was there 2 weeks (Dec 11th works out perfectly). "After the 2nd breakfast," Edmund ... goodbye for a week ... [to] Peterborough ... all gone. Nothing remained of last night but remembrances ... nobody to share in"... "evening heavy ... Fanny played at cribbage with aunt until bed-time ... Sir Thomas was reading to himself ... that makes 31, 4 in hand, 8 in crib ... the difference 24 hours had made ... Last night ... now "
Dec 24th, Saturday: "the next day ... next morning affording opportunity of talking over Thursday night with Mrs Grant and Miss Crawford ... bring her mind ... [to] conform to the tranquillity of the present quiet week" ... Julia, Maria, Mr Rushworth leaving Brighton and settling in London (middle November 08 to after Xmas 09).
Fanny: smaller party ... for a whole day together ... he was gone ... must be leaned to be endured." ""On both the 1st & 2nd day" Sir Thomas after dinner: "we miss our 2 young men", Edmund "last winter of his belonging to us:" Wm's "visits" may be "tolerably frequent;" Lady Bertram: wishes "he would not go away ... all stay at home", prompted by Sir Thomas having given Julia permission "to go to town with Maria;" (Penguin MP II:11, 262-63, Ch 29)

Mary: "every way painful ... felt want of [Edmund's] soiciety every day, almost every hour ... irritation considering object ... this week's absence ... raises his consequence ... brother going away, Wm Price, "general break-up ... " "Miserable trio, confined ... rain & snow ... [she is] longing again for the almost daily meetings ... unnecessarily long ... [Edmund] should not have planned such an absence ... for a week, when her own departure ... so near ..." (Penguin MP II:11, 264, Ch 29)

Dec 30th, Friday: Friday "came round again and still no Edmund"
the second Friday after the ball
Dec 31st, Saturday: "when Saturday came and still no Edmund ... "
Mary "felt and feared" the results of her "contemptuous expressions" (Penguin MP II:11, 264, Ch 29)

Jan 1st, Sunday: Mary: "a slight communication with the other family [Bertrams] he had written home to remain a few days longer with his friend ... "
Edmund, a specified letter by him (& to Sir Thomas) we are told of (Penguin MP II:11, 264, Ch 29)
Jan 2nd, Monday: "Such solitary wretchedness" over comes "difficulties of walking ... deemed unconquerable a week before" We know this a Monday because Henry names Monday the day he left London for Mansfield (Penguin MP II:13, 276, Ch 31)
They discuss Edmund's letter: "1st half hour lost" "at last Lady Bertram left the room" "almost immediately ... how do you like your cousin Edmunds' staying away so long ... Perhaps he will stay away longer ... concerned at not seeing him again before I go to London ... looking for Henry every day, & as soon as he comes there will be nothing to detain me at Mansfield ... like to have seen him once more ... so many months' acquaintance ... Was his letter long ..." Fanny: "heard a part of the letter ... very short ... but a few lines ... his friend had pressed him to stay ... a few days longer or some days longer ... Mary: "How many Miss Owens ... " Fanny: "I know nothing ..." Mary: "now time draws near" she does not like leaving Mrs Grant ... (Penguin MP II:11, 266-67, Ch 29) Mary's spirits "improved," "walked home ... might have defied almost another week of the same small party in the same bad weather"

"That very evening brought her brother down from London ... his usual cheerfulness ... [his still] refusing to tell her what he had gone for" "a day before" might have "irritated," now "pleasant surprise to herself (?)" (Penguin MP II:12, 268, Ch 30)

Jan 3rd, Tuesday: not conjectured one, solidly there, but admittedly not named, a genuine surprise: Henry "he should just go & ask the Bertrams how they did ... be back in 10 minutes ... gone above an hour ... sister ... waiting for him to walk ... met him impatiently in the sweep ... "where can you possibly have been all this time ... Sitting with them an hour and a half!"
Henry tells Mary he's "determined to marry Fanny Price". Mary: 1st response, "lucky lucky girl; 2nd: "approve from my soul" (narrator has undercut this); he expresses he does not know when it began "with a little variation of words 3 times over". Plan: "not take her from Northamptonshire ... let Everingham .. rent a place in his neighbourhood -- perhaps Stanwix Lodge ... 7 years' lease ... an excellent tenant at half a word ... 3 people ... who would give me my own terms" to Mary: "supposed inmate of Mansfield Parsonage ... you must give us more than half your time ... " she minded "to be guest of neither brother nor sister many months longer" (marry Edmund?) ... you will divide year between London & Northamptonshire ... London ... a house of your own ... " Mary: "time would discover (absolute disaccord of Admiral & Fanny -- perhaps insight Fanny would have become such another as "the ill-used aunt"] Henry overcome by "this morning" Fanny's submission to her aunt ... finishing note ... previously engaged in writing for that stupid woman's service" Henry: on Maria "a bitter pill ... like other pills ... two moments ill-flavour ... not such a coxcomb to suppose her feelings more lasting than other women's ... " Fanny will feel "daily, hourly difference ..." (Penguin MP II:12, 268-74)
Jan 4th, Wednesday: Henry "the next morning ... earlier hour than common visiting warrants ..." Lady Bertram about too quit room, still goes out ... with a "Let Sir Thomas know ... " Without losing another moment ... instantly ... taking out some [3] letters ... He is made ... Admiral to nephew in "few words" success promoting your Price; 1 from Secretary of 1st Lord to friend [Sir Charles] whom Admiral set to work; 1 from Sir Charles's delight to Admiral that Wm Price "2nd Lieutenant of H.M. sloop Thrush"
Henry: "post late this morning, but there has not been since, a moment's delay ... kept [in London] from day to day in the hope of it ... nothing less dear ... would have detained him half the time from Mansfield. "I came away on Monday (Jan 2nd then), "trusting many posts would not pass ... such very letters as these ..." would "not allow [himself] "yesterday" to see how delighted Admiral was with Wm ... "this day does prove" "the praise of a friend ... Now I may say ... [this of] the evening they passed together" ... Henry takes his "doing" back to "an earlier stage ... last journey ... to introduce Wm "to Hill-street ... " [She seeks uncle but] "She must not go ... 5 minutes longer ...." She considered it "trifling & gallantry ... meant only to deceive for the hour ..." He makes it clear he is asking her to be his wife ... "At that moment" Sir Thomas heard ... on his way towards the room ... no time ... She rushed out the opposite door ... was walking up and down the east room in the utmost confusion of contrary feelings ... "

2nd phase: She does not "stir further from east-room than the head of the great staircase ... Mr Crawford's having left the house ... " Talks with Sir Thomas & finds "Mr Crawford engaged to return & dine there that very day ... " "dinner hour approached ... painful sensations on 1st day of Wm's promotion ... " Henry delivers a note: Mary to Fanny *first letter text in this novel*, "stumbling at Miss Price for at least the last 6 weeks" Fanny should smile "with sweetest smiles this afternoon" Fanny's intense distress & silence at dinner; aunts: Mrs Norris "[gave Wm] something rather considerable ... how much young people cost Lady Bertram "I gave [Wm] only 10£ ... [Wm] must not forget my shawl if he goes to the East Indies ... 2 shawls ... " Then after all together: Henry "trying [to be heard just by her] the whole evening [when Sir Thomas's attention elsewhere] ... not remarkably late ... he began to talk of going away ... turning to her the next moment ... Pray write to her .. if it be only a line ..." *2nd letter text in this novel*: Fanny to Mary read only once ... unpractised in this sort of note-writing ... Fanny felt she had "never known a day of greater agitation"(Penguin MP II:13m 276-80, Ch 31)

Jan 5th, Thursday: "the next morning" Fanny: not less sanguine than the night before ... if he would but go away ... Miss Crawford ... wanted no delay. -- had hoped, in the course of yesterday's visit ... to hear the day named ... their journey as what would take place ere long".
1st phase:but her note understood, for Henry "coming up to house again, at an hour as early as the day before;" she's "upstairs ... will remain ... the whole of his visit ..." he's there to request Sir Thomas's permission and Sir T comes up to Fanny's attic east room: the terrible scene "Nearly half an hour had passed ... [no footsteps approached the East Room] very comfortable ... a heavy step ... it was her uncle's ... as well as his voice ... placing a chair before him ... no fire to-day ... snow on the ground ... sitting in a shawl ... " "I never sit here long at this time of year ... " "highly unfit ... be it only half an hour ... " She will take in "the whole of the past ... " "I must speak a few minutes ... not detain you long ... Time and space words: "a visitor this morning ... not been long in my own room, after breakfast when ... She had changed her position, & with her eyes intently fixed on one of the windows ... For a moment he ceased ... he is in my room ... I cannot go down to him ... I know he spoke to you yesterday ... " "I gave him no encouragement yesterday ... " "not an acquaintance of to-day ... known for some time ... " "For a few minutes he did say nothing ... " for young men "settling as soon as 24 as he can ... Mr Crawford must not be kept longer waiting ... " "you may live 18 years longer in the world w/o being addressed ... a 10th of his merits ... half a moment's pause ... " She was "very timid ... exceedingly nervous ... a little time, a little pressing ... You must come down stairs ... kept waiting too long ... " Fanny: "past, present, future, every thing was terrible ... "

2nd phase: Sir Thomas returns a 2nd time: "In about a quarter of an hour ... [Mr Crawford] immediately ceased to urge to see you for the present (i.e., today), "a claim too just to be denied ... long, be it only for 5 minutes, a request too natural ... no time fixed, perhaps to-morrow, or whenever your spirits composed enough ... For the present tranquillize yourself ... go out, the air will do you good, go out for an hour on the gravel ... " "on returning from walk ... going into east room ... a fire lighted & burning". They met at dinner. Aunt Norris "quarrelling with her" for having "walked out without" telling, as she would have had Fanny "go as far as my house ... I could very ill spare the time" She was "resenting this private walk half through dinner". Fanny thinking "meeting she was threatened with on the morrow was past ... subject would finally be concluded ... (Penguin MP III:1, 289-300)

3rd phase: in fact Crawford returns, "uncle was soon after tea called out of the room; "butler re-appeared 10 minutes later to say Sir Thomas wishes to speak to you; "instantly rising, preparing to obey," Mrs Norris intervenes, it must be her, Baddeley "stout," "half a smile" "certain of its being Miss Price." "In another minute alone with Mr Crawford" Written from a distance 3rd person perspective ... He had aso mugh delight in the idea of obliging her to love him in a very short time" ... later "wondering at past & future ... nervous agitation ... the felicity of a fire ... (Penguin MP III:2, 304, Ch 33)

Jan 6th, Friday: Sir Thomas waits "till the morrow" and disappointed but gives Crawford every encouragement:
No open interference; to Fanny "From this hour, the subject is never to be revived ... engaged for your seeing him whenever he calls ... He leaves Northamptonshire so soon ... " She "trusts to time ... though only 18 [cannot think Henry's ] attachment would hold out forever" "How much time she might ... allot for its dominion ... " "by this time" Sir Thomas knows Mrs Norris "one of those well-meaning people ... disagreeable things" Lady Bertram: "I must speak of it once ... I must once ... " That Fanny must accept such an offer as this "the only rule of conduct ... Fanny had ever received ... in the course of 8 and 1/2 years" (this does bring us back to 1801!) Lady B: "I am sure it [falling in love] was done that evening [Thursday Dec ball) (Penguin MP:III:2, 304, 308, Ch 33)
Jan 10th, Tuesday: we are told that upon Edmund's return he comes upon the Crawfords "walking through the village" unexpected: "His absence had been extended more than a fortnight" (Dec 24th to Jan 7th is the fortnight; I choose Jan 10th, the Tuesday as we are given the impression that Crawford calls the next day for a meeting, and from that day until the Monday the Crawfords leave time is plotted at least by day
Edmund says "I was within a trifle of staying at Lessingby [another] five or six days more"; he returns home this day to hear of "all the great events of the last fortnight" The ball was more than 2 weeks ago or a fortnight (would be Thursday, the 5th January). "2 minutes before he had been thinking" of Mary "as 70 miles off" (Penguin MP III, 3, 309, Ch 34). "After dinner," along with father, Edmund has "Fanny's history" and "all the great events of the last fortnight." Edmund on his father's side, but Crawford "had not given her time ... " we are also told that Fanny and Mary do not talk for above a week after the time of Crawford's proposal, and this is more than a week and one day earlier than the day on which the statement is made.
Jan 11th, Wednesday: Crawford "called the next day" and asked "to stay dinner" (Penguin MP III:3, 310)
Crawford calls, invited for dinner; from day to dinner Edmund sees "so little, so very little" "almost ready to wonder at his friend's perseverance." "In the evening" Fanny had been reading to Lady Bertram Wolsey's speech from Henry VIII Henry reads excellently well "the king, queen, Buckingham, Wolsey, Cromwell, all given in turn ... with the happiest knack ... dignity, or pride, tenderness, or remorse ... eyes so studiously avoiding him throughout the day ... fixed on him for minutes .... " Crawford: "it will be a favourite ... from this hour ... not had a volume of Shakespeare in my hand ... since I was 15 ... once saw Henry 8 acted" (Penguin MP III:3, 312-13) Edmund: "To know him in bits & scraps is common enough ... but to read him well aloud ... " lady Bertram says Henry must have theater at Everingham, and Crawford denies; on reading aloud, preaching; Crawford: "19 times out of 20 I am thinking how such a prayer ought to be read, & longing to have it to read myself" "She felt herself getting into a puzzle ... could not be prevailed on to add another word, not by dint of several minutes" Henry: "I never listened to a distinguished preacher in my life, w/o a sort of envy ... now & then, perhaps once or twice in the spring, after being anxiously expected for a dozen Sundays altogether; but not for a constancy ... " What Henry & Fanny's marriage would be like her doing the waiting ... Henry: "for 1 moment put down your work..." Henry when after trying to tell her why she shakes her head, drawing a few words, "absence, distance, time shall speak for me" "it is Fanny that I think of all day, and dream of all night" she is "at liberty... busy ... protected ..." by tea- board &c (Penguin MP III:3, 314-18)
Jan 12th, Thursday: an undramatized dinner at the Parsonage where Mary & Edmund are together with Mrs Grant; then Dr Grant & Crawford join them.
On the day of Edmund and Fanny's conference in the shrubbery (Jan 13th), we are told that Edmund "had dined at the Parsonage only the preceding day"; Mary speaks of Crawford's proposal to Edmund that "particularly pleased" him; "a long talk about it;" "I had not been in the room 5 minutes befor she began" (Penguin MP III:4, 326, Ch 35)
Jan 13th, Friday: "After a day or two" of mutual reserve" Sir Thomas urges Edmund to influence Fanny & as Fanny "at that very time walking alone in shrubbery" he "instantly joined" her (Penguin MP III:4, 320-21, Ch 35)
They have the conference (referred to above also): Edmund says if Fanny does not love Henry "nothing could have justified your accepting him"; Fanny not so comfortable "for days & days." Edmund then: "work of time," let Henry "succeed at last ... time proving him ... to deserve you ... " "moral & literary tastes in common ... Shakespeare the other night ..." Edmund had "been speaking [of Mary] cheerfully from the hour of his coming home ... dined at the Parsonage only the preceding day" Fanny "leaving [Edmund] to his happier thoughts for some minutes" "at the time of the play" she received an impression ... never [to] be got over" Edmund: "the time of the play, is a time which I hate to recollect" ... he refers to his interest in the Crawfords after Fanny (from time of rehearsal of play on we are to see Edmund does not know he love Fanny best) and "they walk on together some fifty yards in mutual silence ... " how Edmund pleased "by [Miss Crawford's manner of speaking of Crawford's proposal "yesterday" (see above). Fanny: "It is above a week since I saw Miss Crawford" (the last time was "Jan 2nd, the Monday); Edmund says Mary "angry, hurt;" both sisters felt "unbounded surprise". Fanny's irritation at their obtuseness to her position, "was I to be -- in love with him the moment he said he was in love with me" Mary's joke at Edmund's explanation: "[Henry should persevere and be loved] in time ... his addresses most kindly received at the end ten years' happy marriage." Edmund "They go on Monday. You are sure therefore of seeing your friend [Mary] either to-morrow (Saturday) or Sunday. They really go on Monday ... he had almost stayed at "Lessingby til lthat very day! ... What a differenc .. These 5 or 6 days more at Lessingby might have been felt all my life ... Had I received any letter from Mansfield, to tell me how you were all going on ... I should certainly have stayed ... knew nothing ... for a fortnight ... long enough" (Penguin MP III:4, 322-29, Ch 35) Sir Thomas regrets that "such very long allowances of time and habit were necessary for" Fanny (Penguin MP III:5, 330, Ch 36)
Jan 14th, Saturday: still Mary does not come; has not been since January 2nd
Reality is Mary is not keen on Fanny
January 15th, Sunday: "You are sure of seeing your friend [Mary] either to-morrow [Saturday] or sunday" (said by Edmund on Friday the day of the Jan 13th shrubbery conference. Mary comes while Fanny in breakfast room; they retire to East Room (Penguin MP III:5, 331-8, Ch 36)
Fanny tried to avoid: "absented herself as little as possible" from Lady Bertram, "kept away from the East Room, took no solitary walk in the shrubbery"; "safe in breakfast room with her aunt ... an half-hour of moderate agitation" ... Mary "determined to see Fanny along ... "tolerably soon in a low voice ... 'I must speak to you for a few minutes somewhere ... " Fanny "instantly" rises. "No sooner in the "hall" Mary's "countenance" loses "all restraint," "secure of having four walls ... upstairs ... apartment now always fit for comfortable use ... opening the door ... the East room" has a "strong effect" on Mary's mind ... here again ... the East room ... Once only was I in this room before ... Only once before ... Here we were ... here was your cousin ... here I ... here ... the chairs ... no time can ever wear out the impression ... that week, that acting week [Oct 16th - 22nd, was the whole of the active acting week, see above] ... that very evening destroyed it all ... That very evening ... I certainly did hate him for many a week." Mary realizes "this being the last time of seeing you, for I do not know how long ... " [They do not see one another again in the novel] "Mrs Fraser my intimate friend for years ... I wish I had settled ... not to go to her till after Easter, a much better time ... I must [then] go to her sister, Lady Stornaway ... [her] my particular friend of the 2," but has not "cared much for her these three years." Mary: "how well she remembers ... looking in ... seeing ... your cousin's astonishment .. that very evening" your uncle's returning." Her friend, Janet, "beautiful young woman of 25 [how can she be] expected to be as steady ..." Mr Fraser's daughter by his 1st wife whom Janet "wild to get married:" Margaret "avid." Frasers as "unhappy as most other married people." "Poor Janet sadly taken in ... yet "at the time" "most desirable match ... no want of foresight ... took 3 days to consider ... during those 3 days asked advice of every body ... my late dear aunt ... " [OTOH], not much to say for my friend, Flora [Ross Stornaway], who jilted a very nice young man in the Blues for the sake of that horrid Lord Stornaway ... much worse looking ... blackguard character ... " Flora Ross "was dying for Henry the 1st winter she came out ... " Mary thinks she should like to stay with Fanny "all day ... " "Edmund talks of being in town tolerably soon ... Sir Thomas ... in the course of the spring .. [she] is sure of meeting "your eldest cousins, the Rushworths, Julia", Mary demands "your correspondence". "Evening ... Henry came and sat some time with them ... he would take her hand ... said nothing ... that she [Fanny] heard ..."
January 16th, Monday: "on the morrow the Crawfords were gone"; "They go on Monday ... They really go on Monday" (Penguin MP III:4 328, Ch 35)
Sir Thomas wants to see Fanny miss Henry. Not dramatized. Fanny's emotions beyond Sir Thomas's "discrimations."
Jan 17th-20th, Tues-Fri: Edmund thinks "his father a little unreasonable in supposing the first 3 or 4 days" should produce regret for Crawford (Edmund really would not like that).
Edmund however "surprised" Miss Crawford" "not visibly regretted" (Penguin MP III:6, 339, Ch 37) Edmund "was to go to town, as soon as some business relative to Thornton Lacey were completed, perhaps with a fortnight" (So Edmund's 1st plan to go around Feb 3rd)
Jan 21st-22nd, Sat-Sun say: Sir Thomas "soon afterwards able to account for his not yet completely ... seeing this .. prospect of another visitor whose approach he could allow to be quite enough to support"
Wm ... 10 days' leave of absence ... to be given to Northamptonshire ... " (Penguin MP III:6, 340-41, Ch 37)
Jan 27th, Friday: I date William's arrival to this day by counting back from 10 days ahead, choosing as tenth day a day which coincides with the three week interval that the Crawfords have not been gone and allows Wm and Fanny to arrive on a Tuesday night as Fanny tells Crawford when they are together in Portsmouth that "I did not arrive here until Tuesday evening" (Penguin MP III: 11, Ch 42)
Edmund conjectures Wm's uniform "would be sunk into a badge of disgrace" by the time Fanny saw it Wm "would have been lieutenant a year or two" Sir Thomas's "scheme" will enable Fanny to see "the 2n lieutenant of HMS Thrush ... in all his glory ... " [jealousy] Sir Thomas that Fanny "should accompany her brother back to Portsmouth"; consults Edmund who thinks it wonderful in every way; little to do with "propriety of seeing her parents ... [he] wished her to be heartily sick of [Portsmouth] ... a little abstinence ... a medicinal project"; "residence of 8-9 years in abode of wealth & plenty has disordered her powers of comparing & judging ... " for 2 months." Fanny: "happiness" "quiet, deep, heart-swelling, silent" when "uncle 1st made her the offer of visiting the parents & brothers, & sisters ... divided, almost half her life ... returning for a couple of months" (Penguin MP III:6, 342, Ch 37) "Remembrance of ... earliest pleasures .. what she had suffer in being torn from them ... renewed strength to be at home again would heal ... " "To be 2 months from [Edmund], and (perhaps she might be allowed to make her absence 3) must do her good ... " "At a distance ... [she imagines at Mansfield how she will feel at Portsmouth but discovers she's wrong"
Jan 28th-30th, Sat-Sun, say: Sir Thomas has to persuade Lady Bertram: "long talking on the subject"
he was "master at Mansfield Park ... and while there she acquieses, but in her "own dressing room," Lady Bertram "could not knowledge any necessity for Fanny's ever going near a Father and Mother who had done w/o her for so long, while she was so useful to herself" ... Mrs Norris "wanted to persuade ... Fanny could be very well spared. ... She being ready to give up all her own time as requested" ... Lady Bertram "set herself steadily against" this.
Jan 31st-Feb 2nd, Tues & Thurs, say: A pair of letters pass between Fanny ("to offer herself" to "Mamma") & her mother ("so kind, a few simple lines expressed so natural and motherly a joy ... ") (Penguin MP III:6, 344-45; Ch 37)
Fanny's dream relationship with her mother; Wm's equally unreal happy illusions; when Mrs Price's letter "arrived .. but a very few days more to be spent at Mansfield ..." Edmund's sacrifice to Mansfield had been to "delay" for a week or two longer a journey [to London, to Mary to] fix his happiness forever" Could "not leave when every body else of most importance ... leaving ... (Penguin MP III:6, 345-46, Ch 37)
Feb 3rd-4th, Fri-Sat, conjecture: "Part of one of the days" after Mrs Price's letter, Mrs Norris comes out with her plan to accompany Fanny & Wm as Sir Thomas has decided "young travellers" will "travel post" and she sees Sir Thomas "actually give Wm notes for the purpose", there's "room for a third" (Penguin MP III:6, 345, Ch 37)
"She had not seen her poor dear sister Price for more than 20 years ..." "all comfort of journey destroyed at once" "suspense lasted an hour or two." It ended she cannot leave Sir T and Lady B "even for a week;" she realized "though taken to Portsmouth for nothing ... [could not] avoid paying her own expenses back again ... another 20 years' absence perhaps begun"
Febrary 5th, Sunday: Lady Bertram's "telling her niece in the evening to write her soon and often, and promising to be a good correspondent herself ..." Edmund's promise to "write to you ... when I have anything to ssy ..." "all this passed over night, for the journey was to begin very early in the morning" (Penguin MP III:6, 346-47, Ch 37)
Edmund's "letter" a "subject of terror" against which "she must try to arm herself." Her last "evening at Mansfield ... wretchedness," "tears for every room ... every beloved inhabitant," "her aunt, because [her aunt] would miss her" "sobs before uncle's hand "because she had displeased him ... " "could not speak, nor ook, nor think ... he was giving her the affectionate farewell of a brother"
February 6th, Monday: "The journey was to begin very early in the morning ..." (Penguin MP III:6, 347, Ch 37; and III:7, 348-50, Ch 38)
On dating: This & next day are the 3 weeks from the time the Crawfords depart to the time Fanny and William take off for Portsmouth; on the same day Wm & Fanny set off Henry Crawford went to Everingham. We learn this later when we are told that Mary repeatedly wrote to Fanny, and in each letter there was a postscript from Henry. A correspondence Fanny finds deeply unpleasant as Mary is acting as a go-between for Henry to reach Fanny and using Fanny as a go-between for Mary to reach Edmund to whom Fanny must read "the chief" of Mary's letters, much of which is meant for Edmund to hear. Signs of an epistolary novel is that the action be told through letters and that the letter itself become not just something that precipitates action but by the very reading of it and its content itself an act off the page. The epistolary section of MP begins here (Penguin MP:III:349, Ch 38)

Wm & Fanny ate breakfast earlier, for while "small, diminished party at breakfast, Wm & Fanny ... advanced one stage." It "was the dirty month of February" ... They entered Oxford" ("hasty glimpse of Edmund's college"). end of 1st stage: Fanny takes "leave of the old coachman, & send[s] back proper messages with cheerful looks." Wm's naive, bloody & aggrandizing longings; he & she will live together in a cottage in middle and old age; he's all for love.

February 7th, Tuesday: "the next morning saw them off again at an early hour ... in environs of Portsmouth while there was yet daylight ... new buildings ... the Drawbridge ... " narrow street, leading from high street .. small house inhabited by Mr Price (Penguin MP III:7, 349, Ch 38)
It's early evening William and Fanny arrive between 4 and 6; at this time Susan is 14, Sam is 11, Tom 9, Charles 8 and Betsey, 5; William is 2 years older than Fanny, 20 to her 18. Two further brothers, John and Richard, were born between Fanny and Susan, one now a clerk in a London Office, the other a midshipman on board an Indiaman. Mrs Price and Betsy have been waiting "this half hour"; Mr Campbell, ship surgeon was there at four and is going off to the Thrush ("out of harbour) at six, a detail repeated by father and mother. Father on the platform which is two steps from his house for two hours in the afternoon; Sam's things not prepared as yet. Four weeks later Fanny tells Crawford "I did not arrive here until Tuesday evening" (Penguin MP: III, 11, Ch 42)

"No butcher in the street ... " "Rebecca told ... to bring some coals half an hour ago ... " Susan "upstairs" "moving" her things so she will share a room with Fanny. Mr Price "own loud voice ... out of habor this morning ... just in time ... your orders to-morrow, four ships mentioned; "Sholey ran in breakfast time Mr Price but made but two steps to see" ... Thrush, Canopus, Texel, Endymion, Cleopatra. Growing "dark" Wm says, they don't see Fanny. Father will not think of Fanny's "long absence and long journey". "quarter of an hour" more noise over Wm's shirt ... smallness of house, thinnness of walls, "there would have been a consideration of times and seasons," she sits ignored, one "solitary candle between himself and paper". The "Thrush ... pre-eminently interesting ... a day or two might show the difference ... " Sits "half an hour" ... "more than ordinary pitch of thumping and halloing ... 3 boys all burst into room. "Next opening of door ... tea things ... Susan "with inferior servant," Sally ... well-timed kindness" (tea). Wm in uniform: "his cheerful hopes of being on shore some part of every day ... getting her to Spithead to see the sloop". "Next bustle ... Mr Campbell ... chair found ... quarter of an hour of earnest talk ... noise upon noise ... moment for setting off ... Wm & Campbell, 3 boys, then Mr Price ... something like tranquillity ...

Mrs Price walked about room "some time" looking for a "shirt sleeve" "Betsey at last hunted out from a drawer" "impossibility of getting Sam ready on time ... servants ... Fanny ... her mother [must mean] to part with her when her year was up ... I hope I shall be rid of her before ... not up till November ... a miracle if one keeps them more than half-a-year ... I often do half the work myself ..." Fanny remembers "another sister", "not much younger" than Betsey now whom "she left" when she "went into Northamptonshire, died a few years afterwards ... early days preferred her to Susan ... short time quite afflicted ... The knife, Mother's outburst: "I must hide it ... " Mary gave it to the mother "only 2 hours before she died," for Susan, she'd have it lay by her in bed ... gift of old Mrs Admiral Maxwell, only 6 weeks before she died." Fanny goes to bed "before Betsey had finished her cry at being allowed to sit up only 1 hour extraordinary ..." All "confusion & noise downstairs, confined & scantily furnished up." She "soon" learnt to think with respect of her "little attic .. in that house too small for anyone's comfort ... " (Penguin MP III:7, 357-9, Ch 38)

February 8th, Wednesday: Fanny "wrote her first letter to her aunt"
"good night's rest, a pleasant morning, hope of soon seeing Wm again, comparatively quiet ... Tom & Charles at school, father "on usual lounges" (Penguin MP III:8, 350, Ch 60)
February 11th, Sat: Wm "sailed within 4 days from reaching Portsmouth," Sam with him (Penguin MP III:8, 360, Ch 39)
"Thrush her orders, the wind had changed; she had seen him only twice ... short hurried ... ashore .. no free conversation, no walk on ramparts, no visit to dock-yard, no Thrush ... His last thought on leaving home for her"
February 14th, Tuesday: her immense disillusionment complete at end of a week (Penguin MP III:8, 360-64, Ch 39)
Fanny's assessment of her home given as under this date. Mother's greatest kindness shown "on the first day of her arrival ... Her heart [to her sons, and Betsey] and her time [to her house and servants, in a "kind of slow bustle"] were already quite full ... " Fanny "by working early & late, with perseverance great dispatch .. the boy was shipped off at last, with more than half his linen ready" ... Tom & Charles from age "which might suggest the expediency of making friends ... " Every afternoon a return ... Saturday's constant half-holiday [a trial] Betsey [hopeless] "alphabet her greatest enemy," Susan continually disagreeing with mother, rash squabbles with Tom & Charles, petulance with Betsy ... Mansfield & Edmund not "put out of her head," remembered with intense longing "every hour of the day ... " Aunt Norris comes to seem "a drop of water to the ... ceaseless tumult of her present abode ..." Even if not named Tuesday, it's not a conjectured day.
Feb 15th, Wednesday: Mrs Rushwood and Julia visit Mary in London. "They found me at home yesterday." "We seemed very glad to see each other ... " (Penguin MP III:9, 366, Ch 40)
According to Mary's letter (see below), the day before she has had a visit from Julia and Mrs Rushworth. It's really to communicate what she learnt from this visit that she writes her letter.
Feb 16th, Thursday: Contains the *third text of a letter* in the novel. This can be dated for she says Henry traveled to Everingham ten days ago, precisely the day Fanny and Wm set off from Mansfield; that was Feb 6th, so it's now February 16th (Penguin MP III:9, 365-66, Ch 40)
This letter also dates Mrs Rushworth's party: the 28th, now in 1809 February 28th was a Tuesday. Mary says she has been to this, "one of the best houses in Wimpole St, 2 years ago when it was owned by Lady Lascelles. She is exulting for Fanny -- she has no compassion; we can see that Maria's strongest feelings still aroused; Julia in the best looks. Julia not married to a Mr Rushworth. How she Mary was in this house on Wimpole 2 years ago when Lady Lascelles had it; Henry "could not have afforded her such a house ... " She thinks herself judicious and fair. Maria "will grow sober by degrees". Yates (called Baron Wildenhaim) still courting Julia and Mary sees it sheerly in mercenary & rank terms: "were his rents but equal to his rants!" Irritation with Edmund's delay: maybe converting "some old woman" Unwilling to think herself neglected for a young one? Oblivious to whom she writes to: Fanny should send an account of the dashing young captains she disdains for Henry's sake. Yet she wishes she could be "sure of such a letter every week." Epistolarity: action is done through a letter; the letter itself a complicated interaction.

Fanny has no congenial company; she does not play pianoforte nor wear pelisses so other young ladies see no superiority in her and look upon her quiet behavior as so much giving herself "airs."

Movement into indeterminate time, not precisely dovetailed into or with what follows

February 14th to 21st: It is "a fortnight" before "a better knowledge of Susan & hope of being of service to her" provides first real consolation for evils of home, with a "promise of durability." Susan remarkable to have such individual ideas of right at 14. It seems that it is after the "first fortnight" has passed that Fanny buys another new knife for Betsy and Susan left in peace with Mary's and just after she and Susan have their conversation, she becomes a subscriber to a circulating library. (Penguin MP III:9, 368-70, Ch 40).
Fanny sees her mother has no affection for Susan; all mother's interest & respect goes to sons, "blind fondness" for Betsey; Fanny also sees Susan's interventions restrain the worst overt excesses of those around her, that measures "ill-chosen, ill-timed ... " "It had very early occurred to her perhaps a small sum of money might, perhaps restore peace forever ... " (368). "her uncle having given [Fanny] 10£ at parting"; similar amount given Wm by Aunt Bertram: "Sir Thomas told me 10£ would be enough". (Penguin MP III:9, 368 Ch 40; II:13, 281; Ch 31) )
After February 21st into late Feb/very early March: It took "time to determine" to make such a present, a "silver knife for Betsey." Fanny "works herself up to" an "act of kindness." Susan has "open temper".
Susan acknowledges the ambiguity of her 2 year struggle, how she feared Fanny's judgement. "From that hour Fanny" understands "the worth of her disposition ..." how Susan "began to feel the blessing of affection," Fanny sets to work to be "useful to a mind so much in need of help" ... Fanny herself realizes for someone like Susan "all that must be hourly grating ... " They begin to "sit together upstairs," quiet employment w/o fire, by degrees "chief of morning". "After a few days Fanny finds it impossible not to try for books, "a renter and chuser of books"
February into March (2): Aunt Bertram's "last letter" (so letters are coming regularly) tells her Edmund is in London
Reading with Susan (who "had read nothing") "biography and poetry" "buries some of the recollections" of Mansfield ... too apt to seize her mind "especially at this time." "Promised notification hanging over her head." "Postman's knock brings its daily terrors. "IF reading could banish the idea even for half an hour ... " (Penguin MP III:9, 370, Ch 40)


Resumption of determinate time consistent with all that has gone on previously

Feb 25th, Saturday: Edmund arrives in town.
Two authorities: his letter which arrives Mar 26th-27th, one to two days shy of 7 weeks; and Lady Bertram's letter (using the information to provide matter) for her letter to Fanny just around, before or after Fanny's relationship with Susan is developing (Penguin MP III:9, 370, Ch 40;(Penguin MP III III:13, 390-93, Ch 44) ) Epistolarity: in this juxtaposition, and re-arrangement of time
Feb 28th, "Tuesday": Mrs Rushworth throws her lavish party, discussed in Mary's letter letter above, but Henry not there as he went to Everingham the day that Fanny and Wm arrived in Portsmouth (February 7th, a Tuesday evening, above Penguin MP III:9, 365-66, Ch 40)
We have two sets of time and two sets of realities going as in an epistolary novel: Fanny's on the one hand, her experience at Portsmouth, and now Mary/Henry/Edmund's/Rushworths/Julias in London. Another feature of epistolarity
Mar 1st, Wednesday: Henry travels from Everingham up to London
It sounds like it took a full day for him to get there and settle in and spent 24 hours in London too (see below).
Mar 2nd, Thursday: Henry "had spent an hour an hour with" Mary before leaving for London.
She sent "best and kindest love, but "had no time for writing;" he "thought himself lucky in seeing Mary for even half an hour". He had "spent scarcely twenty-four hours in London after his return from Norfolk (Penguin MP III:10, 371, Ch 41)
March 3rd, Friday night: Henry arrives in Portsmouth. This night Edmund dines at the Fraser's (see Henry's statements on March 4th just below.
Henry is staying at the Crown, met a naval acquaintance or two (Penguin MP III:10, 372, Ch 41)
March 4th, Saturday: "A week was gone since Edmund might be supposed to be in town, & Fanny "had heard nothing of him", "one morning" just at time Fanny & Susan about to go upstairs (after breakfast), a knock, Rebecca to door, Henry's voice. Edmund was to dine at the Fraser's again on this night.
Fanny recovers enough to feel ashamed of home. Mrs Price's POV: he did not come "on a visit to Port-admiral, nor the commissioner, nor of seeing the Dockyard ... reached it late the night before, was come for a day or two, was staying at the Crown ... " He understands that her cousin Edmund was in town, had been ... a few days ... [Henry] had not seen him, himself, but that [Edmund] was well, had let them all well at Mansfield, and was to dine, as yesterday, at the Fraser's. and was to dine at Mrs Fraser's [the same night of Henry's arrival?, i.e., 3/3, Sunday?](Penguin MP III:10, 371, Ch 41)

Henry: "It was a lovely morning, and at that season of the year a fine morning is so often turned off, that it was wisest for everybody not to delay their exercise ... " "Hints" "produce nothing," they must go "without loss of time ... Mrs Price: "scarcely ever stirred out of doors ... except Sunday. Within ten minutes" Fanny found "herself and Susan walking towards the High Street" with Mr Crawford. Mortification to have to introduce father, "not the better from its being Saturday. Father behaves well, but it takes Henry to be sure girls "allowed to go to the shops they came out expressly to visit ... it did not delay them long ... gentlemen discuss et alia the number of 3 deckers now in commission ... " and they walk to the dockyard. Again Henry "absolutely would not walk away" from girls, giving them "particular attendance" at crossings. Brother lounger takes Mr Price off; but Susan ("all eyes and ears") as they "sit on timbers in yard," or "a seat on board a vessel in the stocks."

Norfolk ... he had been some time [Feb 7th to Mar 1st] ... [tells his] present schemes ... the particular reason ... at this unusual time of year ... real business relative to renewal of a lease ... welfare of a large ... industrious family at stake ... done more good than he had foreseen ... been useful ... introduced himself to some tenants ... acquaintances with cottages ... whose existence ... hitherto unknown to him ... " Henry turns topic to Mansfield and Fanny waxes intensely longing for uncle, aunt, comforts, beauties ... " Henry "particularly built upon a very happy summer & autumn there this year [to come] ... a summer & autumn superior to the last ... Mansfield, Sotherton, Thornton Lacey ... at Michaelmas ... a 4th may be added ... some small hunting box ...hints both he and Edmund will have partners who need more room ... [he] has "come down for a couple of days on her account ... She wished the next day over, she wished he had come only for one day ... " And yet "not so very bad ... " Henry lies about engagements to dinner "for that day and the next."

Mar 5th, Sunday: The "next day" the Prices just setting off for the church ... he was asked to go with them to the Garrison chapel ... " Sunday repeated 4 times. he then joins their "weekly walk" which Mrs Price took on the ramparts whenever the weather was fine. (Penguin MP III:11, 579-84, Ch 42)
Mrs Price went directly after "morning service"and stayed "till dinner time." Mrs Price's "public place" for winding up her spirits "for the 6 ensuing days." A day "uncommonly lovely ... It was really March; but it was April in its mild air, brisk, soft wind, and bright sun, occasionally clouded for a minute ... she wanted strength for a 2 hour saunter of this kind ... stopt ... leaning against the wall, some minutes ... " Henry: "You have been here a month I think ... Fanny: 'No. Not quite a month -- It is only 4 weeks tomorrow since I left Mansfield ... " He: "an accurate and honest reckoner ... She: "I did not arrive here till Tuesday evening ... He: it is to be a 2 mnths' visit ... " She: "My uncle talked of 2 months ... it may not be convenient ... for me to be fetched at exactly 2 months end." He: "you may be left here week after week ... arrangements which [your uncle] may be laid down for the next 1/4 of a year ... 2 months is ample ... 6 weeks quite enough ... " If she grows "unwell ... w/o waiting for the 2 months to be ended ... " She must "positively say to Mary "in ever letter 'I am well ... " His "half an idea of going into Norfolk ... Maddison trying "to get a cousin of his own into a certain mill, which I design for someone else ... will not be tricked on the south side of Everingham any more than on the north ... "

She will not advise, wishes him "pleasant journey to-morrow" and he intensely reluctant goes "to while away the next 3 hours ... till with other acquaintance the best dinner a capital inn afforded ... " She "out of spirits all the rest of the day ... parting with someone of the nature of a friend ... [cannot think of] his returning to town ... with Mary & Edmund, w/o feelings so near akin to envy ... " From "six o'clock to half past nine, there was little intermission of noise or grog ... "

March 6th, Monday: This is day after the walk which Fanny describes as exactly four weeks since she left Mansfield and that's what it is (Penguin MP III:11, 385 Ch 43)
Henry traveling back to London; "on the morrow, nothing more seen of him at Mr Price's"
Mar 8th, Wednesday: "two days afterwards Mary's letter confirms the above (Penguin MP III:12, Fanny receives a letter from Mary 2 days after Henry gone, which letter Henry must have insisted upon her writing the day after he arrived (Penguin MP III:12, 385-86, Ch 43)
*The 4th full text of a letter* Mary mockingly repeats what we have just experienced, with the difference she calls Susan 15: she is to tell Fanny that Henry and Fanny had a "delightful walk ... to the dock-yard last Saturday, on the ramparts Sunday. Impossible "to put 100th part of her great mind on paper." She was "too lazy" to describe Mrs Rushworth'st 1st party, "now too long ago," "everything as it should be," Mrs Fraser "mad for such a house," Mary goes to Lady Stornaway "after Easter." Edmund we "have seen him 2 or 3 times," he eclipses all but "3 men in the town" for "person, height, and air", "none to compare at dinner the other day" & "a party of 16." The P.S. the threat to come at a moment's notice and then trail Fanny through London (clearly she's not serious), including seeing St George's, Hanover (where one may marry) & Everingham. Mary cannot permit Henry to return there "until the middle of next week," "after the 14th, for we have a party that evening."
Mar 8th-11th, Thurs-Sat, and 12th-15th, Sun-Wed: She is "yet more impartient for another letter from town." "A few days" Fanny "so unsettled altogether ... usual readings and conversation with Susan much suspended; "3 or 4 more" "no letter appearing," when she is in a "most restless, anxious state" she achieves "composure." (Penguin MP III:12, 387-88, Ch 43)
Fanny upsetting herself speculating over Mary's letter; Mary's feelings for Edmund, will she get him to have a house in town ... to speak "only of his appearance ... She who had known him intimately half a year." Fanny: "Whether Mr Crawford went into Norfolk before or after the 14th, was certainly no concern of hers ... " She misgauges Mary ("she would finally accept ... a house in town ... impossible") and Henry ("she thought he would go to Norfolk ... not be actuated by any such degrading curiosity".
Mar 14th, Tuesday: the night of Mrs Fraser's party, the night Henry and Mrs Rushworth have their electrifying encounter
Fanny learns of what happened only in April when Julia decamps and Rushworth establishment falling apart (see below)

Movement into indeterminate time, not precisely dovetailed into or with what follows

Mar 15th-26th/27th, Wed of one week, Sun-Mon a week and one half later (Penguin MP III:12, 388-89, Ch 43)
The development of Fanny and Susan's relationship: "Susan was growing very fond of her ... What Fanny told her of former times, dwelt more on her mind than the pages of Goldsmith ... " The incessant talk of Mansfield Park. Fanny "began to feel that when her own release from Portsmouth came, her happiness would have a material drawback in leaving Susan behind," and her half-plan of taking Susan with her "had it been possible for her to return Mr Crawford's regard" indicates how Fanny could have been brought to make the mistake of marrying Henry
Mar 18th, Saturday: According to Edmund's letter he returned to Mansfield "the Saturday previous"
Very discouraged; he cannot get himself to write Fanny for another week, let alone Mary
"Seven weeks of the two months were very nearly gone, whe the one letter ..." (Penguin MP III:13, 390, Ch 44)
Concise ability to convey time slowly passing and yet accounted for, not vague ...

1809 turns into 1797

Resumption of determinate time consistent with all that has gone on previously and fitting into both 1809 and 1797

Mar 25th-26th, Sat-Sun: *5th full text of a letter*: Edmund to Fanny: "7 weeks of the two months very nearly gone:" He was in London "3 weeks," which in 1809 brings us back to Feburary 25th, but no sense that he saw anything untoward either at Feb 28th or Mar 14th parties in Wimpole Street. He speaks of returning after Easter which would be April 2nd in the year 1809, but April 16th in the year 1797. (Penguin MP III:13, 390-93, Ch 44)
"Impossible to write from London" though Crawford told him "Fanny wishing to hear from me." "The few happy lines" he hoped to send never "in my power." "I have been returned since Saturday. I was three weeks in London, and saw her (in London) very often." Mary "in high spirits" under influence of 2 sisters, Janet Fraser, Flora [Ross], Lady Stornaway ... leading her astray for years ... " "I cannot give her up" several times, he supposes an intimacy between Fanny & Mary and we know there is none, that losing Mary means losing Crawford & Fanny: "... in the course of a few years ... [sees this kind of vague thinking "nonsense"]

... sometimes thought of going to London after Easter. Now Apr 2nd, 1809 too close so it has to be 1797, sometimes resolved on doing nothing until she returns to Mansfield in June ... June is at a great distance ... " The fear of trusting to a letter is it's exposed "to all the evils of consultation"

We learn Crawford was at Mrs Fraser's for the party and met Mrs Rushworth on March 14th, Tuesday in both 1798 and 1809, it was a Tuesday! Edmund, dunce, sees nothing untoward: "not a shadow of wavering ... they did not meet as friends ..." At Wimpole Street, "no appearance of unhappiness," he dined twice but it was mortifying "to be with Rushworth as a brother".

Mansfield: "My mother ... talks of you almost every hour ... sorry to find how many weeks more ... My Father means to fetch you himself ... not be till after Easter ... [sense of several weeks to come]. Settled Grants leave for Bath on Monday. He imagines she is "happy at Portsmouth" but he could not bear "a yearly visit." "I want you at home that I may have your opinion about Thornton Lacey" -- we see his dependence and that she is actually secure of her place in the Bertram family.

Mar 27th, Monday: March 27th fell on Monday in both 1797 and 1809.
Grants leave Mansfield for Bath (Penguin MP III:13, 393, Ch 44) (see above letter)

Lady Bertram wrote a letter to Fanny in which she was frustrated because Edmund had used up the news Dr and Mrs Grant's leaving.

Julia decamped from Wimpole Street. We are told in a one of Lady Bertram's later letters (summarized by the narrator and written between May 6th & 8th, carried by Edmund to London and read by Fanny on the way back to Mansfield from Portsmouth) that 2-3 weeks before Easter Julia had left Wimpole Street to stay with some of Sir Thomas's relatives (Penguin MP III:16, 418, Ch 47); that would be late March; it would have taken at least a week or more for Mrs Rushworth and Crawford to resume their liaison, this time with sexual intercourse accompanying it, at which point Julia left.


Determinate periods within indeterminacy

Mar 30th-31st, Thurs-Fri: "Within a few days from the receipt of Edmund's letter, Fanny has one from Aunt Bertram." Austen now mocks Lady Bertram's and other letter writers who are said to have nothing better to do (MP III 13:395-96, Ch 44): There was a rich amends ... preparing for her. Lady Bertram's hour of good luck had come". (This recalls the use of mockery in S&S to introduce the insertion of Mrs Dennison's dinner party to account for Lucy's invitation to the Ferrars; Austen uses mockery and distraction similarly in P&P, where there are awkward turns in the narrative when pieces are sutured together. See also the close of Lady Susan, suddenly shut off with a joke about the post office, but not jarring or out of whack with the tone of the book.) Tom's illness will provide Lady Bertram with "occupation for the pen for many days to come".
"An express earlier in the day apprised them: "a few hours before": Tom is ready to allow a physician to send a letter to Mansfield.

*sixth text of a letter* Back story given by narrator. Tom from London to Newmarket, drinking, fell, a fever, left to servants alone; "disorder" increased. Edmund to leave to fetch him immediately and bring him back; "too distressing" for Lady Bertram to lose Sir Thomas (perhaps implied that if Fanny were there it would not be?). "I will write again very soon."

March 31st- Apr 3rd?, Fri-Mon. or opening of April: Edmund in attendance on Tom in London (Penguin MP III:13, 395-96, Ch 44)
While Edmund in London with Tom: "Her aunt did not neglect her; she wrote again and again; they were receiving frequent accounts from Emund, and these accounts were regularly transmitted to Fanny, in the same diffuse style ...."
April 3rd-10th, Sun-Fri, a full week of real illness: *Seventh partial text of letter* Edmund brings Tom home from London. Lady Bertram: "a letter she had been previously preparing for Fanny, was finished in a different style, in the language of real feeling and alarm." No longer "playing at being frightened:" "He is just come ... taken up stairs ... I am so shocked ... how glad I should be, if you were here ... Sir Thomas hopes he will be better to-morrow and we must consider his journey ... " (Penguin MP III:13, 396-97)
Dated by phrase: "Tom's extreme impatience to be removed to Mansfield ... induced his being conveyed thither too early as a return of fever came on, and for a week he was in a more alarming state than ever" (MP III:13, 397, Ch 44)

Lady Bertram "wrote her daily terrors to her niece, who might now be said to live upon letters, and pass all her time between suffering from that of to-day, and looking forward to to-morrow's" "Susan was always ready to hear and sympathize." Even Mrs Price: "a brief question or two if she saw her daughter with a letter in her hand:" "My poor sister Bertram must be in a great deal of trouble." Narrator is unaware that she has shown Mrs Price to understand as she goes on castigating her and Lady Bertram for not caring about one another and Mrs Norris for added hypocrisies she'd utter if queried.

Apr 10th, Friday: "At about the week's end from his return to Mansfield Tom's immediate danger was over", according to Lady Bertram he's safe. "The fever was subdued; the fever had been his complaint, of course he would soon be well again.""A few lines from Edmund" apprises Fanny of real state of case (MP III:14, 398-99, Ch 45)
We get *a distanced paraphrase of Edmund, added to numeration & description of Lady Bertram's, so an eighth text, "they were apprehensive for his lungs,"interlaced with yet another of 2 paragraphs of Austen on the stupidity, worse than uselessness of Mrs Norris ("His aunt worried him by her cares"), Sir Thomas's very strength is too much for Tom to take, so Edmund "all in all."

Postscript is quoted: Fanny remembers: he had begun a letter to Mary when called away to Tom's illness, but has "changed his mind ... When Tom is better, I shall go" [to London]"

April 10th-16th, Easter: yet more time passing; "Such was the state ... and so it continued, with scarcely any change till Easter (Penguin MP III:13, 399, Ch 45)
"A line occasionally added by Edmund" to Lady Bertram's stream
April 16th, 1797: "Easter came, particularly late this year" (Penguin MP III 14, 399, Ch 45)
"She had heard nothing of her return -- nothing even of the going to London, which was to precede her return" ... "no notice, no message from the uncle on whom all depended ... "
April 28th-30th, Fri-Sun: "The end of April was coming on; it would soon be almost 3 months instead of the 2 that she had been absent from them all" (Penguin MP III:14, 399-400, Ch 45)
Cowper's "Tirocinium: "What what intense desire she wants her home" Fanny's pleasure in Aunt's "I much regret your being from home at this distressing time ... you may never be absent from home so long again ..." "Sad to Fanny to lose all the pleasures of spring ... passing March and April in a town." "Astonishing" to her Tom's sisters remained ... an illness ... last[ing] several weeks." From one of Aunt Bertram's letters Fanny learns that "Julia had offered to return if wanted -- but that was all."
Apr 28th?, Fri: *Ninth letter, full text given, by Mary* (Penguin MP III:14, 402-4) Geography: Fanny thought "influence of London very much at war with all respectable attachments ... " Date generally arrived at by sense of text that it was just during this crisis time about Tom's health that Mary's letter arrived; Fanny's statement "It was weeks since she had heard anything from Miss Crawford" (and March 8th is weeks ago) and the later information that Henry and Maria returned from Aylmers at Richmond on the same day just before Sir Thomas received a letter from "an old friend" informing Sir Thomas what was going on with daughter and Crawford and Rushworth. Dated specifically by the statement that Mary Crawford hasty, even frantic note arrived a week later ("no second letter arrived for the space of week" Penguin MP III:15, 406, Ch 46), the very day the printed news story is brought home by Fanny's father, by which time Maria and Crawford had eloped (Penguin MP III:14, 402, Ch 45; III:16, 418, Ch 47).
Letter includes her joking about Tom's death and comment on ordination: "I write to beg an immediate answer ... a foolish precipitation last Christmas, but the evil of a few days may be blotted out ... with real affection like mine ... Write to me by return of post ..." The second son would become first and thus could not be a clergyman. "Mrs R. has been spending the Easter with the Aylmers at Twickenham (as to be sure you know ... not yet returned ... Julia with the cousins, who live near Bedford Square." Mrs R's Easter holidays will not last long ... I give her credit for promoting [her husband's] going dutifully down to Bath, to fetch his mother, but how will she and the Dowager agree in one house ... "

PS: Henry comes in, "Mrs R knows a decline is apprehended; he saw her this morning; she returns to Wimpole, the old lady is come ... he has been spending a few days at Richmond. He does it every spring ... " Again she proposes to come and get Fanny; "He and I can go to the Parsonage ... " She seems to have forgotten Dr and Mrs Grant are at Bath. Mary wants to return to so she can "catch" Edmund again? "Dear Fanny, write directly, and tell us to come. It will do us all good."

April 28th, Fri: Fanny's, a paraphrase. *Tenth text singled out* Fanny's "disgust," her "extreme reluctance to bring the writer of it and her cousin Edmund together" made her incapable of juding "impartially." "It was most tempting to be finding herself, perhaps, within 3 days, transported to Mansfield ... " Her rule: "her awe of her uncle ... "Realizes Henry flirting with Mrs Rushworth ...Fanny crucially refuses invitation to be taken back to Mansfield by them. Mary thinks of more than money but her values not Fanny's. (Penguin MP III:14, 404-6, Ch 45)
Obdurate tone comes through: she "thanks," but "decided negative," and suggests that she is not wanted: uncle meant to fetch her ... cousin's illness ... so many weeks w/o her being thought necessary" [Fanny's own resentment coming out here] ... her return unwelcome at present ... " She answers too: Tom in serious danger.
April 29th-May 1st, Mon: upon returning Mr Harding writes Sir Thomas about what he has seen at Twickenham, Wimpole street. Henry & Maria had returned the 28th (above) (Penguin MP III:16, 418, ch 47)
This is held off until after we read the news-story so the elopement will come as a surprise
May 5th, Fri: "No second letter arrived for the space of a week" (that is after the day which was close to the end of April), at which time Mary's short attempt to cover up the elopement arrived (Penguin MP III:15, 406, Ch 46)
*Tenth full text of letter given, Mary's to Fanny* lamenting. Epistolarity: introduced by Fanny's 3 incorrect surmizes, 2 showing how Fanny longed to be at MP: she thinks they are coming to take her away, what should she do, and then that they applied first to her uncle (she does not know them). "If they are gone ... " "Impossible to banish the letter from her thoughts ... "
May 6th, Sat: "Next day came and brought on no letter," "she could think of little else all the morning," but "in the afternoon" her father came back with "the daily paper" (Penguin MP III:15, 408-9, Ch 46). On that day too Sir Thomas had express letter from his friend, Mr Harding, arrived telling Sir Thomas that it was now too late
"it was with infinite concern ... a matrimontial fracas ... Mr R of Wimpole Street ... the beautiful Mrs R ... the well-known and captivating Mr C ... " Mrs Price's plaintive mind on "that carpet:" "it would not be above ten minute s work." It's that Mrs Price refuses to lower herself, would rather sit in squalor. "evening passed, without a pause of misery, the night ... sleepless ... " "A woman married only 6 months" (May is 6 months after November); Incest invoked: "connected as they all ... tie upon tie ... a complication of evil, for human nature ... barbarism ... " Desire for "instant annhilation" suggests Fanny's reaction overwrought. She had thought it Mr and Mrs Rushworth who were gone ... "Miss Crawford's letter stampt it as a fact".

A very close use of the calendar and time for sunlight: "The remembrance of her first evening in that room, of her father and his newspaper, came across her. No candle was now wanted. The sun was yet an hour and half above the horizon. She felt that she had, indeed, been three months there; and the sun's rays falling strongly into the parlour, instead of cheering, made her still more melancholy" 46:, 427-429. This resembles Austen's alignment of the setting sun with the calender in NA, see Calendar for NA under 1798, Sunday, March 18th: 46:427-429

Later we learn that Mr Harding's first letter had alarmed Sir Thomas and he had been preparing to "to come to London himself" and "use his influence" on Maria "to put an end to an intimacy ... already exposing her to unpleasant remarks" when the 2nd letter came (Penguin MP III:16, 418-19): Fanny reads when she returns to MP after May 11th (below) "letters to and from Sir Thomas" as well as listening to her aunt's remarks: in the later stages of the love affair, e.g., Mr Crawford had "access to" the Aylmer family house in Twickenham "at all times." We learn Maria at this house w/o any restraint, as Julia not there and also a second interpretation of Julia's departure: at least from Mr Yates's point of view, it's more convenient. Mr Harding's first letter mentioned.

May 7th, Sunday. Sir Thomas and Edmund arrive in London; Julia left "a few hours before we entered it." From Edmund's May 9th letter: "We have been here two days ... " (Penguin MP III:15, 411, Ch 46)
Edmund to come to Portsmouth "the morning after you receive this" (Wednesday), and Fanny should be "ready to set off ... My Father ... invite[s] Susan ... for a few months ... " So they expect her to wait on them every moment and she did reveal how much Susan meant to her and her sense of grief to leave Susan behind
May 8th/9th, Monday/Tuesday night (sometime between arrival on Sunday and Tuesday evening letter): Edmund goes to see Mary; "a note from Lady Stornaway to beg him to call;" Sir Thomas's scheme for sending Fanny home via Edmund: "he had seen or conjectured his feelings, and having reason to think that one interview with Mrs Crawford had taken place ..."
Edmund's letter afterward; so too his distraught state: "He looked very ill; evidently suffering under violent emotions" (Penguin MP III:15, 413; Ch 46). They were together "5 and 20 minutes." His reaction: "it had been the creature of my own imagination, not Miss Crawford, that I had been to apt to dwell on for many months." After brief reproach he "immediately left the room." "I had gone a few steps when I heard the door open ... " He resists that "smile ... ill-suited ... saucy, playful ... " "Impulse of the moment." He tells Fanny on Sunday, May 14th. (Penguin MP III:16, 421-26, Ch 47)
May 9th, Tuesday: "Nothing happened the next day, or the next, to weaken her terrors ... Two posts came in ... no refutation, public or private ... no second letter to explain away the first ... now full time for her to hear from her aunt again ... when the third day did bring the sickening knock, and a letter was again put into her hands ... " *Eleventh text, this one given whole* Edmund's letter says he and father arrived in London two days ago, so May 7th and they arrive in Mansfield Park on Thursday which would the 11th in 1798, so it is in fact is a Tuesday but cannot be said to be worse than the other days. (Penguin MP III:15, 411, Ch 46)
It seems Sir Thomas left promptly upon receipt of express letter from Sir Thomas's friend, Mr Harding, the very day Mr Harding's letter arrived and was in London the next day. "To-morrow! to leave Portsmouth to-morrow ... in the greatest danger of being equisitely happy, while so many were miserable"..." "Julia's elopement ... could not occupy her ... active, indispensable employment ... Within 24 hours she was hoping to be gone ... " "Mrs Price talked of her poor sister for a few minutes ... how to find anything to hold Susan's clothes ... much more in her thoughts .... " Susan 14 so best she could do was try not to "rejoice ... " "the girls were ready for the morrow ... "
May 10th, Wednesday: "By eight in the morning Edmund was in the house," they "above," "Fanny went down". They leave 'in half an hour," and get to Oxford that evening.
He "alone," "met her instantly," she can say nothing nor he "for some minutes." Again the note of intense haste she uses in all her novels: "time was precious ... state of his own mind ... relief only in motion." I notice how Edmund hardly stays in the Prices' house at all. Also how bitter the narrator is about Fanny's experience to the last: Edmund back from ramparts "just in time to spend a few minutes ... be a witness ... of the tranquil manner [of parting]; she sneers at how "unusual activity" made breakfast ready just "in time" for Edmund's return, so Fanny gets nothing to eat. No credit for getting meal ready.(Penguin MP III:15, 413-14, Ch 46)

We are made to feel trip back as we did trip there ... "passed barriers of Portsmouth ... first day's journey passed wiothouit hearing a word from him ... " "The first division of their journey occupied a long day ... knocked up into Oxford"

May 11th, Thursday: "second over at a much earlier hour ... in the environs of Mansfield long before the usual dinner-time ... " Fanny's "dread," Susan's "anxiety" (Penguin MP III:15, 414-15, Ch 46)
Fanny "every where awake to the difference of the country since February ... [once in the park Fanny perceives keenly] three months, three full months ... the change was from winter to summer ... lawns and plantations of the freshest green ... trees ... in that delightful state, when farther beauty is at hand ... yet remains for the imagination." Edmund does not take it in so house "modern, airy, well situated", still for Fanny has "melancholy aspect." for Fanny. "Impatience" of Lady Bertram "as she had never known before ... passed solemn looking servants ... Lady Bertram came from the drawing-room ... no indolent step ... falling on her neck ... " They had been "three" "solitary, helpless, forlorn, now Tom who has relapse with this news has Edmund, and Lady Bertram Fanny. Mrs Norris "stupified, irritated," "repulsive looks for Susan"
May 12-13th, Fri-Sat. (Penguin MP III:16, 416-21)
Susan left to herself "spent her days" getting "acquainted with the house and grounds as she could." Fanny listening to Lady Bertram and reading Sir Thomas's letters puts together "quite as much of the story as she wished." Paragraph filled with time indications: Maria for Easter holidays to friends at Twickenham (April 16th), Henry "constant access," Mr Rushworth "for a few days to Bath with his mother", Julia to "Wimpole Street 2-3 weeks before" to Sir Thomas's relations; Mr Harding's first letter "soon" after return to Wimpole ("alarming" happenings); Sir Thomas about to act, & second letter that Maria has left husband's house, with Rushworth angry at Harding for Harding's advice, and Mrs R, senior's "maid-servant" "threatening alarmingly". Mr R "mother" "counteracted" all Mr Harding could do. Anyway Mrs R "did not appear again" and Mr Crawford "had quitted his uncle's house, as for a journey, on the very day of her absenting herself." (Anticipates Mr Elliot's unexplained journey somehow relating to Mrs Clay in Persuasion.) After Sir Thomas left with Edmund "who would go with him" "next letters from London" made them "wretched" ... Mrs R senior & maid-servant "public beyond hope" Mrs R's "disrespect" to "elder" causes bitterness"
May 14th, "a wet" Sunday: Austen characterizes Edmund's silence and remaining apart from Fanny as beginning "Thursday, and it was not until Sunday evening that Edmund began to talk ..." Edmund and Fanny's long conversation. (Penguin MP III:16, 421-26, Ch 47)
Austen has applied her tight time sense even to Edmund and Mary's last conversation together which this scene retells; it was probably a Tuesday; after Lady Bertram "cried herself to sleep" from "an affecting sermon"; "if she would but listen to him for a few minutes, he should be very brief ..." Fanny "a few moments" fears his sympathy for Mary enlisted, but no he cannot get over that to Mary it's merely "folly stamped by exposure." Her" It would have all ended in a regular standing flirtation, in yearly meetings at Sotherton and Everingham" (Probably not, since Mrs Rushworth too unhappy and in love.) They were together "five and twenty minutes". For "five minutes" Fanny thought he had done, but "it all came on again, or something very like it ... " By end though Austen mocking Edmund's and therefore Fanny's "opinion of the lasting effect" this must make on his mind. "Time ... would abate some of his sufferings ... he could never entirely get the better" of."

Movement into indeterminate time becomes swift and explicit

May 13th (1797) and days following: Read through Fanny's consciousness: Sir Thomas said to be writing letters to Mansfield Park during his time in London where he seeks Maria and Julia: through Fanny's mind we get his remarks from these filter. (Penguin MP III:16, 419-20; Ch 47)
"His letter expressed how much he deplored it". Julia's elopement with Mr Yates. Fanny said to be wrong when it comes to Sir Thomas's "pain" over Edmund: Edmund cannot now marry the sister of "this despicable brother"
Narrator takes over: "Let others dwell ... I quit such odious subjects ... " At first she is counting off Sir Thomas's comforts. Drops all pretense to a given year.
"Time will do almost ever thing ... " Julia "humble ... wishing to be forgiven," Mr Yates "looks up" to Sir Thomas for guidance, his "estate rather more, and his debts rather less ... Tom "at 26" "with no want of sense or good companions ... "becomes useful to his father, steady and quiet, and not living merely for himself."

By fall 1797/1809: After wandering about and sitting under trees with Fanny all the summer evenings ... " Edmund "talked his mind into submission ... very tolerably cheerful again ... "

Also by fall 1797/1809: "Sad result" of "high spirit and strong passion" of Maria: she continues with Henry until she is convinced her hope of marriage is "vain" and after she has become so "wretched and disappointed," "her temper so bad," he "reproached her" as "ruin of all his happiness" with Fanny," her "consolation" that she did divide Henry from Fanny. Called "a very few months" so perhaps it ended in the following fall. She is eventually moved into another district with Mrs Norris, "an hourly evil" Sir Thomas discovers, his "bitter remembrances" of her prevent him learning "almost to approve" of what happened. Mrs Norris's "removal" a "supplementary comfort" to Sir Thomas. Narrator of Maria: "what can exceed the misery of such a mind in such a situation ... "

Winter 1797/spring 1798 or 1809/10: "Absence of Grants" "for some months purposely lengthened" (more than a mere few), then through "an interest" Mr Grant succeeeds to "stall in Westminster," with an increase in income to support it.
"In the course of the last half year" Mary had had enough "of her own friends," to be in need of "the true kindness of her sister's heart ... rational tranquillity of her ways" (her heart is kind only for her relatives the narrator forgets her sense all Henry needs to do is make himself scarce when Sir Thomas returns

Following summer (?): 3 institutionary dinners in one week" kills Mr Grant off, and Mary lives on with Mrs Grant. She' "was long in finding" among the males around her "anyone" to "satisfy" "better taste" acquired at Mansfield (someone to "put" Edmund "out of her head", though once again "resolved" against "younger brothers." This implies she did eventually marry.

Conscious "abstaining:" "no dates" on this "occasion," "every one ... at liberty ... ironic over Edmund's "cure" for an "unconquerable passions" and transfer of "unchanging attachments." Edmund's advanage is Fanny is there, no vacancy' he had only to persuade Fanny her "warm sisterly regard" is foundation for "wedded love." Slid over. Earlier thoughts about Edmund admit incest content: "Why did such an idea occur to her even enough to be reprobated and forbidden? It ought not to have touched on the confines of her imagination ... " "She would endeavour to be rational ... " (Penguin MP II:9, 244, Ch 27)
Since she was "10" he had been "loving, guiding, protecting her," forming her mind, her "comfort" dependent on his kindness ... " He did think he had to work for success; "later period" told by her "the whole delightful astonishing truth." People right to feel there's something wrong here but not that Fanny should have married Henry or Edmund Mary.
A couple of years: Divorces took time & all we are told is Mr Rushworth procures "a divorce," though "a marriage contracted" under "such circumstances," he knowing "she had despised him and loved another," would have to have "luck" not to be reckoned on.
He "was released" to be "mortified and unhappy" until "some other pretty girl" attracts him. Narrator hopes for him "a more prosperous trial of the state ... to be duped at least with good humour and good luck ..." while Maria can have "no second spring of hope or character."
Atemporal portrait of Henry Crawford's behavior is pure acid narrator: he had "indulged in the freaks of a cold-blooded vanity," idea Henry could "have persevered, and uprightly" he would have ended happily married to Fanny. That he should have "gone down to Everingham" upon his return from Portsmouth, but "flattery," "curiosity," "vanity" a "mortification" at Maria's first "discreet" anger "throwing" him off when she had been "at his command," with "more strong" feelings than "he had supposed," he could not he found then "withdraw."
Imagines for his future "vexation that might arise to self-reproach,and regret to wretchedness" for what he did to this family. This passage written in 1813, many years after original conception, intemperate and blind to the subtleties of the 1797 and 1807-9 segments.
Full circle: "just such a contrast" as "time" is "forever producing between the plans and decisions of mortals" for Sir Thomas
Fanny "the daughter that he wanted," "a prime comfort;" "selfishly dear" to Lady Bertram, she could not want the marriage, but "Susan ... suppl[ied] her place, with "every appearance of permanency ... perhaps, the most beloved of the two."

Dr Grant dies and provides "living of Mansfield", closer than Thornton Lacey, so Fanny ends within the circumference (and safety) of Mansfield Park.

A list of studies which include calendars (to be added to)

  • Chapman, R. W. and Frank MacKinnon, MP, 554-7;
  • Ledwidge, Bernard, "The 'Strange Business in America,'" Collected Reports of the Jane Austen Society 1949-67 (London 1967): 197-203;
  • Leavis, Q. D. "A Critical Theory of Jane Austen's Writings," Scrutiny 10 (1941), 61-90, 114-42, 272-94; 12 (1944), 104-19.
  • Litz, A. Walton, "The Chronology of Mansfield Park," Notes and Queries 208 (1961): 221-2;
  • Modert, Jo, "Chronology Within the Novels," The Jane Austen Companion, edd. Grey, J. David A. Walton Litz, and Brian Southam (New York: Macmillan, 1986), pp 55-6.
  • Nabokov, Vladmir, "Mansfield Park," Lectures on Literature, ed. Fredson Bowers (New York: HBJ, 1980) 9-61;
  • Roberts, Warren, Jane Austen and the French Revolution (1979; rpt. London: Athlone Press, 1995) 97-100; but see
  • John Sutherland, "Where Does Sir Thomas's Wealth Come From," Is Heathcliff a Murderer? (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996) 1-7;
  • Sales, Roger Jane Austen and Representations of Regency England (London: Routledge, 1996) 88-9.
  • Southam, Brian. "The Silence of the Bertrams: Slavery and the Chronology of Mansfield Park," Times Literary Supplement, 17 February 1995).

A brief summary and response to some of the above articles.

The book we know as MP was put together and rewritten apparently with the theme of "ordination" in mind during the two and one half years Jane and after her Cassandra jotted down: "begun somewhere about Feby 1811--Finished soon after June 1813"). The composition of MP had more separated stages, but like all of Austen's novels, was, as Henry says, a "gradual peformance."

A. Walton Litz thinks "the actual calendar in MP is the years of 1796-7." He says it was during this year Austen's memories of Eliza de Feuillide's flirtation with Henry and James Austen and the theatricals at Steventon would still have been vivid in Austen's mind, and he cites an article by the grandson of Francis Austen to suggest Austen had in mind theatricals at Steventon in 1797 (Notes and Queries, 208 [1961], 221-2.

In The Collected Reports of the Jane Austen Society 1949-65 (London 1967), 197-203, Bernard Ledwidge studies the periodicals to figure out what "the strange business in America" was, and comes to the conclusion that the calendar for MP is 1809-10 and those were the years in which Austen began the novel. He also mentions that the one year in which Easter fell late (which so upsets Fanny because it is said to keep her at Portsmouth) was 1810. I agree with him that the novel was first written completely in this period, but when he tries to ascertain what was the "strange business" in those years, this is not enough to go on.

Warren Roberts has opted for the year 1805-7 without studying the novel itself: he argues it must be set during this time because this was the year when the French blockade had disastrous implications for British sugar trade. Sutherland's rejoinder in his "Where does Sir Thomas's wealth come from?" demonstrates there is not even enough textual evidence to prove Sir Thomas was in sugar or owned many slaves, much less that his trip to Antigua was caused by a specific event (see Roberts's Jane Austen and the French Revolution and John Sutherland, Can Jane Eyre be Happy? [New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 2-9).

I am also not persuaded by Brian Southam's brief argument on behalf of 1810-1813. It hinges on a single reference in Chapter 16 to a group of books on Fanny's table in her attic: these include "Crabbe's Tales in full, Tales in Verse) published in September 1811". From this Southam deduces the time scheme of the novel without working all its parts out; his demonstration is that the date for Crabbe's tales coheres with Tom's reference to "strange business" as that (Southam assumes) refers to the outbreak of the War of 1812. It need not refer to that war at all (see Ledwidge). The rest of Southam's argument depends on his sense of the mood of the book and assumptions about what other vague references in the text refer to. As indicated above, Sutherland's reply to Roberts demonstrates that all argument that we can know what specifically Austen was referring to from the vague general nouns she scatters in this book is fictional supposition. As for the citation of Crabbe, as in the case of Sense and Sensibility, Austen could easily have placed into her texts references to other texts that had come out after she had written a long version of the novel. Sense and Sensibility refers in ecstatic terms to Cowper and Thomson which would date the novel in the 1790s; but then it also refers to Scott as a poet which brings it forward to 1809. The solution: Austen came back later to put in the more modern reference as she did to her Juvenilia. More importantly, there is no way to map the novel onto a full calendar post-1812 (see below), so even if Tom's comment is a reference to the War of 1812, it is a later addition to a calendar which was worked out on an earlier almanac.

As to Southam's refutation of Leavis's articles (whose debunking mode seems to have offended Southam), on the idea that literally one makes a novel out of another, of course this is preposterous. But if this is what she means, what she says fully is capable of another reading. Leavis may be seen (justifiably and she does say this) to be showing that Austen reworked a similar linked set of limited configurations over and over again. The same small narrow set of characters, situations, details reworked with infinite care and nuance. We can study Austen's process; there is enough from the unfinished novels and manuscripts. Leavis also makes some interesting observations: there is no scene between Maria Rushworth and Henry Crawford yet their fatal encounter at her ball is told in two places (two letters that would have been). Leavis suggests the present discordant final chapter fo MP, where Austen says other endings were possibly is a section left-over trom the perhaps harder and blunter book of 1808-9 and revised with the sophisticated sceptical attitude of a woman in her thirties. Much of Leavis's essay is excellent if you don't read it so literally as Southam apparently did; it suffers because of her reductive way of saying that Jane Austen used a limited set of parallel configurations for character types and situations say between The Watsons and Emma, or Lady Susan and MP. She sounds as if she's saying Austen quite literally transformed one book into another. She means more that there is a limited repertoire but that does not mean she does not work these types and situations repeatedly and more subtly at each revision.

Q.D. Leaves also writes that Austen wrote "under pressure of deep disturbance in her emotional life at a given time." She says rightly of the books their stress eventually falls these deepest corners of Austen's being. I agree with her that the stuff of the letters may be regarded as the raw material for the novels; alas that we have so little of it. It should also be said once at least somewhere that if Cassandra meant any reader in the future to come away with a positive view of her sister, her choice of what to keep was most injudicious.

Mrs Maria Rushworth (Samantha Bond) reads a note to her from Henry Crawford, setting up an assignation; in the novel we are given no scenes of Henry and Maria's fatal meeting in London, only letters by other people recording the results (1999 Miramax MP, scripted by Patricia Rozema)
Fanny Price (Billie Piper) left behind while the family goes to Bath, writes to Henry or William (2007 BBC MP, scripted by Maggie Wadey)

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