Fanny, Fanny, I see you smile and look cunning, but, upon my honour, I never bribed a physician in my life

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: Mansfield Park (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter XLV

Mary's humor borders on the improbable. Edmund has credited her with a penetrating understanding of character, though "a talking woman," which means tactless at times. She is certainly that here, to the point one wonders if Edmund has seriously misjudged her. To succumb at this moment to black humor, and in a letter, which means plenty of time for reflection, shows either an astounding want of judgment or that Austen is determined, even at the risk of credibility, to place Mary in a bad light.  

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