Jane Austen - Mansfield Park
Fanny Price, at age ten, is sent from her family home in Portsmouth to live at Mansfield Park, her uncle's country estate in Northamptonshire. It is a jolting change, from being the elder sister of many, to the youngest child in the home of Sir Thomas Bertram, husband of her mother's older sister. One day, her cousin Edmund finds her weeping on the attic stairs and helps her. She wants to write to her older brother William. Edmund provides the writing materials, the first kindness to her in this new family. Her cousins are Tom Jr. (age 17), Edmund (16), Maria (13) and Julia t(12). Her aunt, Lady Bertram, is kind to her, but her uncle frightens her (unintentionally) with his authoritative demeanour. Fanny's mother has another sister, Mrs Norris; the wife of the clergyman at the Mansfield parsonage. Mrs Norris and her husband have no children of their own, and she takes a 'great interest' in her nieces and nephews; Mrs Norris makes a strict distinction between her Bertram nieces and lowly Fanny. Sir Thomas helps the sons of the Price family find occupations when they are old enough. William joins the Navy as a midshipman not long after Fanny arrives at Mansfield Park. He visits them once after going to sea, and writes to his sister.