Tag Archives: Fanny

An aunt is a ‘person of consequence’

CassandraAusten-FannyKnight

CassandraAusten-FannyKnight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jane was close to her siblings and her siblings’ children. Her first nieces, Fanny and Anna, held a special place. Fanny was “almost another sister”.

Jane Austen took being an aunt seriously. When writing to a younger niece Caroline, in her later life she says, Continue reading

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Nasty-Aunt Norris

English: Illustration for ch.18 of Mansfield P...

English: Illustration for ch.18 of Mansfield Park, in the Series of English Idylls, published by J.M Dent & Co. (London) and E.P. Dutton & Co. (New York) : She worked very diligently under her aunt’s directions. Français : Illustration pour le ch. 18 de Mansfield Park, de Jane Austen. Fanny travaillait avec beaucoup d’application sous la direction de sa tante Norris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most masterfully crafted miser in the Austen universe is of course Nasty-Aunt Norris from Mansfield Park. Not only does she love to save her own money but she is happy to spend that of others. And such miserly attributes were also accompanied with a capacity for bossiness that made her see herself as the director of most things. “Her love of money was equal to her love of directing”. Mrs Norris didn’t start out this way, but once she had married on a lower income than she had been used to, she had to economise and once having “begun as a matter of prudence, soon grew into a matter of choice”. I shudder when I read of Mrs Norris as I know too well the satisfaction of having spent less than anticipated and the addictive qualities of wanting every purchase to be a bargain.

Nasty-Aunt Norris likes to involve herself in everything. It is her idea that the little Fanny Price should come and live with her rich relatives. And she was to congratulate herself for her benevolence at no cost to herself. Continue reading

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