In the past I have thought Mary very similar to Elizabeth Bennet, but after my last reading I have decided she is too worldly and materialistic.
‘Matrimony was her object, provided she could marry well, and having seen Mr Bertram in town, she knew that objection could no more be made to his person than to his situation in life.’
‘Tom Bertram must have been thought pleasant, indeed at any rate; he was the sort of young man to be generally liked, his agreeableness was of the kind to be oftener found agreeable than some endowments of a higher stamp, for he had easy manners, excellent spirits, a large acquaintance, and a great deal to say; and the reversion of Mansfield Park, and a baronetcy, did no harm to all this. Miss Crawford soon felt, that he and his situation might do. She looked about her with due consideration, and found almost everything in his favour, a park, a real park five miles round, a spacious modern-built house so well placed and well screened as to deserve to be in any collection of engravings of gentleman’s seats in the kingdom, and wanting only to be completely new furnished – pleasant sisters, a quiet mother and an agreeable man himself – with the advantage of being tied up from much gaming at present, by a promise to his father, and of being Sir Thomas hereafter. It might do very well; she believed she should accept him; …
‘I shall understand all of your ways in time; but coming down with the true London maxim, that everything is to be got with money, I was a little embarrassed at first by the sturdy independence of your country customs.’
A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
Edmund is completely blinded by her charms – he even deludes himself about her true nature.
‘The right of a lively mind, Fanny, seizing whatever might contribute to its own amusement or that of others; perfectly allowable, when untinctured by ill humour or roughness; and there is not a shadow of either in the countenance or manner of Miss Crawford, nothing sharp or loud or coarse. She is perfectly feminine, except in the instances we have been speaking of. There she cannot be justified. I am glad you saw it all as I did.’
It is clear she dislikes the idea of marrying a clergyman.
‘A clergyman is nothing.’
She determines never to dance with him after his ordination and she writes to Fanny about Tom’s illness …
It was a foolish precipitation last Christmas (Edmund’s ordination), but the evil of a few days may be blotted out in part. Varnish and gilding hide many stains.