Fanny Price, a poor relation of the rich Bertrams, is reluctantly adopted into the family to be brought up at Mansfield Park, where she is treated condescendingly. Only her cousin Edmund, a young clergyman, appreciates her fine qualities. Fanny soon falls in love with him, but Edmund is, unfortunately, drawn to the shallow and worldly Mary Crawford. Fanny’s quiet humility, steadfast loyalty, and natural goodness are matched against the wit and brilliance of her lovely rival. The tension is heightened when Henry Crawford, Mary’s equally sophisticated and flirtatious brother, takes an interest in Fanny.
Jane Austen’s subtle, satiric novel skillfully uses her characters’ emotional relationships to explore the social and moral values by which they attempt to order their lives.