When Henry Met Fanny, or Let’s Talk about a Different Ending for Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park ~ Guest Post by Sarah Ozcandarli

UPDATE: The deadline to comment and win a kindle copy of  Revisit Mansfield Park, How Fanny Married Henry has been extended until next Sunday November 30, 11:59 pm due to the holiday – winner will be announced December 1st. Sarah has offered a second copy of her book as an incentive to comment! Happy Thanksgiving all!


 Gentle Readers:  I invite today to ‘Jane Austen in Vermont’ Sarah Ozcandarli, who has written a story reimagining the ending of Mansfield Park, an ending about which all of us, including Jane Austen, have pondered the “what if…?” Her book is titled Revisit Mansfield Park, How Fanny Married Henry – I confess to not having finished the book as yet – it is now on my kindle awaiting a moment to give it the time it deserves (I will say that the first three chapters very nicely summarize the plot and characterizations of Mansfield Park).

Sarah contacted me a few weeks ago to say that a number of my links on the blog led to the dreaded oops! – where did you find such a link?” – because as all we bloggers know, who has time to go back and check all the links we ever have put out there, links that go nowhere – such a disappointment to the reader – I wonder always, where does this information go to? Some cyberspace default-filled world with thoughts and ideas and information no longer accessible – it is all quite daunting really, isn’t it?? – but I did go in and remove or edit some of these links Sarah told me about, and in our conversation she told me she had written a tale of Mansfield Park with the plot line that Fanny and Henry do end up together (no spoilers here, this outcome, as you see, is in the title!), as do Edmund and Mary – not an uncommon thought among those people largely disappointed with the lacklustre ending of Mary going off to London, Henry off with Maria and then on to his surely dissipated life (a life Fanny could have salvaged if she had only given him the chance he asked her for),  and Fanny and Edmund riding off into the sunset of boredom.  So I give you a post from Sarah about how her love of Jane Austen began, and what it was about Mansfield Park that made her want to change the ending. Please leave your comment or question for Sarah to win a kindle version of her book – see details below!



First falling in love . . .

“You will not know the day or the hour”, says St. Matthew, but if the agent is Masterpiece Theatre in the year 1981, the day will Tuesday and the hour 8:00 pm. I was toiling through my last semester at university on that fateful night, when there were two contenders for my attention: Electricity & Magnetism II and the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice. I wanted to study E&M, but my housemates Meg and Laurie were determined that I should be acquainted with Jane Austen. They were two against one, but we were all winners, for I fell in love with Lizzy and Darcy and their creator about fifteen minutes into the program.

Once graduated, and free to read according to my own inclinations, Jane Austen quickly became my first favorite among writers and has never descended from that pedestal. I read all I could find about her life and family, I devoured her letters, but oddly enough, I never noticed the vast collection of Austen-related news, fact, and opinion on the internet. One day in 2012 I googled “white soup” and read through one blog, and then another, and realized that our respect for the greatest novelist in the English language need not prevent us from using her characters to people our own stories! 

Then writing a book . . . 

That being so, I could fulfill my wish (and Cassandra Austen’s as well) that in Mansfield Park Fanny Price should be allowed to marry Henry Crawford, instead of Edmund Bertram. After all Jane herself had written that if Henry had “persevered, and uprightly, Fanny must have been his reward,” and with Jane’s and Cassandra’s opinions of Henry duly noted I was emboldened to write a different ending for Mansfield Park – a sort of Volume III(b) – with plans for a sequel to tackle Edmund and Mary’s problems.

The first difficulty of the story I wanted to tell was that Fanny justifiably disliked and distrusted Henry, and had no

CE Brock -Mansfield Park - Mollands

CE Brock -Mansfield Park – Mollands

conception that his interest in her was genuine until Sir Thomas informed her that Henry had made “decided proposals” for her. When Henry left Mansfield a few days later he had achieved very little in his quest to change Fanny’s opinion of him. When next they meet, Henry was in Portsmouth to visit Fanny, and as he took his leave of her, he nearly begged her to advise him to return to his work at Everingham. In Mansfield Park Fanny rather unkindly dismissed Henry’s plea; in my story Fanny observed that:

“Henry had said he would show Fanny by his constancy that he deserved her, and now, when all her friends at Mansfield, excepting perhaps her aunt, had forgotten her even more thoroughly than she had anticipated that they would, here was Henry Crawford, as constant as he had declared he would be, and asking her advice.”

Fanny’s judgment, though in all respects sound, was only once sought in all of Mansfield Park. Edmund asked Fanny to approve his participation in Lovers’ Vows – though Edmund was well aware that Fanny would not approve – and having gotten her opinion, he ignored it. Henry’s request was a much greater compliment, not least because he intended to abide by her advice; he truly wanted to be encouraged to do right by his responsibilities at Everingham. This, I think, is the pivotal moment for Henry and Fanny, when they will move forward together if Fanny tells Henry her opinion, or stall out if she does not.

A chance to win . . .

Dear Readers, please comment or leave a question for me to be entered into the giveaway of the Kindle version of Revisit Mansfield Park, How Fanny Married Henry. [see details below]

Revisit Mansfield Park for Kindle – It is available only in English, but can be purchased from Amazon in the USA, England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia, and may be read for free with the Prime or Kindle Unlimited Programs.


picture of SOZAbout the author: Sarah Ozcandarli graduated in 1981 from Carnegie-Mellon University with a BS in Physics and English, and went back three years later for an MS in Industrial Administration. Her varied career took her to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles and Boston, where she sought and found her Mr. Darcy. They were married in 1996 and live near Boston with a large menagerie of wild and domesticated critters, some of which are now hibernating.

For more information, see Sarah’s facebook page or her goodreads page

kindle store: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MKB0XRC


Book Giveaway! Please leave a comment or question for Sarah by Sunday Nov 23, 2014, 11:59 pm to be entered into a random drawing to win the kindle version of Sarah’s book, available to all, but you must of course be a kindle user!

You might consider the question Sarah asks:  In your reading of Mansfield Park, have you ever thought that Fanny should have ended up with Henry Crawford and Edmund with Mary? And if so, why?

c2014 Jane Austen in Vermont

19 thoughts on “When Henry Met Fanny, or Let’s Talk about a Different Ending for Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park ~ Guest Post by Sarah Ozcandarli

  1. I have typically mixed feelings about the ending. My regret was not so much that Fanny and Henry didn’t end up together, as it was that Henry was ‘thrown to the wolves,’ so to speak. One gets the idea that he will dissolve into further dissipation and never know the sweetness of a life tempered by real love and a sense of purpose. I wanted so much more for Henry…so I would love to see what you do with this troublesome, exasperatingly lovable fellow. :)


  2. This re-imagining intrigues me. How differently (and better) both of the couples lives would have been if Henry married Fanny and Edmund married Mary. I have always thought that Fanny and Edmund’s personalities were not right for each other and their marriage would have been a boring failure. Henry and Mary were both attracted to Fanny and Edmund because they have personalities that compliment their own. They both needed someone nerdy and grounded like Fanny and Edmund to temper their vices and give them a rudder in their lives. Thanks for re-writing the ending Sarah. I am sure it is an improvement.


    • Laurel, that’s exactly what I thought! And the very fact that Henry and Mary are attracted to goodness and right means to me that they should be rewarded with the opportunity to be better people, provided, of course, that they “persevere, and uprightly” for a reasonable time.

      This is the conversation I imagine between Edmund and Fanny’s tea-table (in the absence of guests):

      “Oh! I agree.”
      “What other possibility is there?”
      “None, surely there is none.”
      “I know, ya know?”
      “Mmm hmmm.”
      “Oh, I think I hear the baby. BRB.”


  3. Squeeee!!! Another Fanny-Henry supporter. Those two have something else in common – they were both raised by less-than-stellar guardians. (Henry really was thrown to the wolves, aka his uncle the Admiral.) Yet Fanny turned out okay, and I think she could have helped Henry, at least prayed for him.

    Question: what do you do when an anti-Henry person starts saying that Henry is a cad? Do you defend Henry, or just let the person rant and ignore them?


    • I would say that Henry’s flirting, which is certainly wrong, does not reach the level of exploitation characteristic of a cad. Flirting amuses Henry and in his experience it amused the young ladies of London without harm, and when he begins to flirt with Maria and Julia he did not plan to hurt them. I am sure he thought Maria had no heart to be hurt, considering to whom she was engaged, and why!

      But if the ranting person let me get a word in, I would agree that Henry is wrong to flirt and that he must amend this fault before he truly deserves Fanny.


  4. I started but have not finished Mansfield Park. I don’t have the heart to read through to the ending. After watching various adaptations I know how the ending goes and I never like it. I think Edmund does not deserve Fanny at all. With that I think I would love to readRevisit Mansfield Park.


  5. I’ve always found Henry and Mary to be deliciously drawn, but still think Henry is too much of a cad for Fanny and Mary is too free-spirited for Edmund. I’ll have to check this out to see how my concerns are addressed!


  6. As one who has dated multiple Henry’s over the years, I have always agreed with Austen: that he should be tossed to the curb. (However, that doesn’t mean I think Fanny should be saddled with Edmund, after all, he too is a mess.)

    I look forward to discovering what life would be like for Fanny should she have been persuaded to marry Henry. (Rather, I look forward to discovering how “you” think this story will progress if they had married.)


  7. I will quote you a quote: “One aspect of Fanny’s character, which Mr. Crawford and Sir Thomas were entirely unaware of, was the steely strength of her own convictions, which would allow her to bear all the disapproval of refusing an eligible husband, if she did not love or even like him.”

    So Fanny isn’t persuaded to marry, she decides for herself, when she is satisfied that she will be happy. But I can’t tell you “how” because that’s the main topic of the book!


    • Not a bit prissy! – and when you get the to first chapter of the next book (at the back of this book) you in particular, ladysusanpdx, will be pleased at the name Fanny gives her new mare.


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