In the Austen Six, Jane Austen parodies mercilessly some pretty appalling marriages; like the comic characters, there are the comic couplings. In poking fun at those in ridiculous relationships she is also sending up the mores of the time that made being married prestigious and spinsterhood piteous. As a single woman she must have enjoyed exposing the holes in the trappings of married respectability.One marriage that is an absolute anathema to a modern audience, Important-White-Male-Sir Thomas Bertram and Trophy-Wife-Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park. Why did they marry? Sir Thomas was spellbound by beauty and the young Maria Ward by prestige and social position. Lady Bertram is incapable of making a decision for herself: she asks her husband, Important-White-Male-Sir Thomas Bertram, “What shall I do, Sir Thomas? – Whist and Speculation; which will amuse me most?” While their marriage might be respectable, their relationship is indeed laughable – not the recipe for a happy life. It is laughable that women were expected to have little intellect and to do nothing but look good on the sofa. Jane Austen is holding the satirist’s pen on such arrangements; she is certainly not condoning or recommending such marriages.