Page 52. " Sir, it is a moor park, we bought it as a moor park "
Engraving of Moor Park, Hertfordshire (1787)
Public DomainEngraving of Moor Park, Hertfordshire (1787) - Credit: James Goadby

The Moorpark apricot is a variety of apricot (often described as fuzzless) first cultivated in the gardens of Moor Park in Hertfordshire.

Click here to see moor park apricots.

Page 53. " Does not it make you think of Cowper. 'Ye fallen avenues, once more I mourn your fate unmerited' "
Illustration from 'The Task' entitled 'Crazy Kate' (1806/7)
Public DomainIllustration from 'The Task' entitled 'Crazy Kate' (1806/7) - Credit: Henry Fuseli

 William Cowper (1731-1800) was an English poet and hymnwriter. The lines quoted are from 'The Sofa', the first book of  The Task, A Poem, in Six Books, first published in 1785.

Page 54. " The house was built in Elizabeth's time, and is a large regular brick building "
Elizabeth 1 of England
Public DomainElizabeth 1 of England - Credit: attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) reigned from 1558 until her death.

As mentioned previously, the fictional Sotherton is thought to be partly based on Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire (the home of Jane Austen's relatives) which was completed in 1561, and could certainly be described as 'a large regular brick building - heavy but respectably looking ...' (see bookmark p.50).

Page 54. " my honoured uncle, bought a cottage at Twickenham "

 Today, Twickenham is a large suburban town situated about 10 miles southwest of central London in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

In the 18th century, it was a pleasant Thames-side village, and a popular residential area for the wealthy. The poet Alexander Pope lived in Twickenham from 1719 until his death in 1744.


Lithograph of Orleans House, Twickenham (1844)
Public DomainLithograph of Orleans House, Twickenham (1844) - Credit: Adolphe Bayot after Édouard Pingret
Page 55. " I have tidings of my harp at last "

 The harp (like the closely-related lyre) is a multi-stringed instrument which has played a part in the musical culture of many countries over the centuries.

Various designs of harp have been used in different places at different times. The Irish harp or clàrsach is linked to the medieval Irish and Scottish traditions, and modifications of these (sometimes given the name Celtic harps) were also developed during the nineteenth century. In Wales, a harp with three rows of strings became popular, and although originally developed in 17th century Italy, it subsequently became known as the Welsh triple harp. In Europe generally, from the 17th century onwards, diatonic harps and triple-strung harps were superseded by pedal harps - the single-action pedal harp being developed around 1720, and the double-action pedal harp in 1810. A unique design known as the chromatic/cross strung harp was also developed from the seventeenth century onwards.

Taking into account the dates of these various developments in relation to the period in which Mansfield Park is set (and the nature of the various harps), it seems reasonable to assume that Miss Crawford may have been the owner of a single-action pedal harp.

As the illustrations show, artistic depictions of female harpists in the early 19th century ranged from the demure to the humorous to the erotically suggestive.


A caricature: 'Harmony before Matrimony' (1805)
Public DomainA caricature: 'Harmony before Matrimony' (1805) - Credit: James Gillray
Artwork by Achille Devéria (1800-1857)
Public DomainArtwork by Achille Devéria (1800-1857) - Credit: Achille Devéria

Listen here to the melody Greensleeves played on the harp.


Page 56. " Henry, who is good-nature itself, has offered to fetch it in his barouche "

  A barouche was a fashionable 19th century four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a collapsible half-hood. It had two double seats, arranged so that two pairs of travellers sat facing one another.

Page 57. " Bath seems full, and every thing as usual "
Roman baths at Bath
Creative Commons AttributionRoman baths at Bath - Credit: Jake Keup

 Bath is a city in south west England, about 13 miles south east of Bristol; it was established as a spa town by the Romans in 43AD.

During the Georgian period (1714-1830), it again became important as a spa, as well as a popular social venue for fashionable society. Its popularity and status during this period is reflected in the city's architecture, of which the Royal Crescent and The Circus (both of which were built in traditional Bath stone during the second half of the 18th century) are particularly notable examples.

Jane Austen lived in Bath between 1801 and 1806*, and two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both published posthumously in 1818), are partly set in the city.


* some sources say 1805

Page 57. " In the King's service of course "
Painting depicting the recapture of H.M.S Hermione by the Royal Navy (1815)
Public DomainPainting depicting the recapture of H.M.S Hermione by the Royal Navy (1815) - Credit: John Augustus Atkinson

 The phrase 'in the King's service' is usually used to describe military action carried out on behalf of the country (and therefore the reigning (male) sovereign).

Page 57. " Post captains may be very good sort of men, but they do not belong to us "

 Post-Captain (now an obsolete term) was the name given to those who actually held the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy. As the title 'Captain' was given to any officer who commanded a ship, regardless of rank, the term 'post-captain' was a means of distinguishing those who held the rank of Captain.


Etching of a Post-captain's uniform (1807)
Public DomainEtching of a Post-captain's uniform (1807) - Credit: John Augustus Atkinson
Page 57. " Of Rears, and Vices, I saw enough. Now, do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat "
Making fun of the Royal Navy - 1796-style!
Public DomainMaking fun of the Royal Navy - 1796-style! - Credit: James Gillray (1757-1815)

 Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral are ranks in the Royal Navy, so Miss Crawford is referring to Admirals she has known. She, herself, notes the possibility for double meaning in the phrase 'rears and vices', and it has been suggested that 'rears' is intended to bring to mind the Navy's reputation for homosexual activity. However, bearing in mind Jane Austen's tendency to set great store by female propriety, one can't help wondering whether she would have allowed one of her female characters (albeit one of the more risqué ones) to have even hinted at such a thing. Possibly, therefore, Miss Crawford is only suggesting the possibility of a pun on the word vices, as she has already indicated that she considers the  behaviour of admirals as a group to be somewhat lacking in propriety.

Page 58. " My plan was laid at Westminster "
Dormitories of Westminster School
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDormitories of Westminster School - Credit: Steve Cadman

 Westminster School is situated within the grounds of Westminster Abbey in the City of Westminster, London. It was established in the 12th century, and was one of the nine schools (along with Eton, Harrow and Charterhouse) which were reformed and regulated by the Public Schools Act of 1868.

Page 62. " Mrs Grant and her tambour frame were not without their use "
An embroidery hoop
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAn embroidery hoop - Credit: Teunie

 A tambour frame (now known as an embroidery hoop) consists of two concentric circular or elliptical hoops over which fabric is stretched to keep it taut for embroidery or other forms of needlework.

Page 62. " even the sandwich tray "
Still life with meat and bread, c.1600
Public DomainStill life with meat and bread, c.1600 - Credit: Johann Michael Hambach

 The word sandwich is said to have come into existence in the mid 18th century when John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, ate slices of meat tucked between two pieces of bread at the gambling table.

Page 67. " I can supply you from the poor-basket "
Interior with woman sewing (between 1764 & 1831)
Public DomainInterior with woman sewing (between 1764 & 1831) - Credit: Wybrand Hendriks

 The poor-basket would have contained material that could be made into items for the poor of the parish, as an 'act of charity'. In the next sentence, it is revealed that the basket contains calico, a cheap white or cream-coloured unbleached cotton.

Page 68. " Suppose you let her have your aromatic vinegar "
'La mauvaise nouvelle' ('Bad news'), 1804
Public Domain'La mauvaise nouvelle' ('Bad news'), 1804 - Credit: Marguerite Gerard

During the late 18th and early 19th century, women often used aromatic substances in a base of vinegar or alcohol to revive themselves if they felt faint or unwell. They were also used to mask unpleasant odours arising from rotting garbage or sewage.

These aromatic liquids were contained in small ornamental boxes known as vinaigrettes, which contained a sponge soaked in a perfumed substance placed beneath a grille or perforated cover.


Silver vinaigrette
Public DomainSilver vinaigrette - Credit: Nathaniel Mills & Sons









Aromatic vinegars and smelling salts (sometimes known as sal volatile or spirit of hartshorn) were also sometimes carried in glass containers known as smelling bottles. In the mid, and late Victorian period, glass containers were sometimes divided into two sections, one containing perfume, and one containing aromatic vinegar or smelling salts.


Vinaigrette bottle: one end for smelling salts; the other for perfume
Public DomainVictorian bottle in two sections: one for smelling salts/aromatic vinegar; the other for perfume - Credit: Simon Speed
Page 70. " brought a glass of Madeira to Fanny "
18th century drinking glasses
Public Domain18th century drinking glasses - Credit: unknown

 Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine produced in Madeira, a group of islands situated in the north Atlantic, one of which is called Madeira. Exportation of unfortified Madeiran wine began in the 16th century, whilst the production of wines fortified with brandy began in the 18th century.




Page 73. " Why is no use to be made of my mother's chaise? "

 A chaise was a light horse-drawn pleasure carriage, with two or four wheels and a folding hood. Typically, it carried one or two people.

Click here for further information about types of carriage.


Line art drawing of a chaise
Public DomainLine art drawing of a chaise - Credit: Pearson Scott Foresman
Page 73. " go box'd up three in a post-chaise in this weather "
Illustration of a post chaise for a Dickens' novel
Creative Commons AttributionIllustration of a post chaise for a Dickens' novel - Credit: F.Barnard or J. Mahoney (photographed by El bibliomata)

 The post chaise was a a closed four-wheel horse-drawn carriage designed for rapid long-distance travel. It seated two to four passengers, and had windows at both the sides and the front of the carriage. Because the driver rode one of the horses, the place where the driver's seat or 'box' would normally be was used as a luggage area.


 Click here to see a photo of a post chaise.


(See also bookmark p.245)

Page 73. " in going on the barouche box "

 The box (box seat or coach box) was the name given to the driver's seat in a coach or carriage. The suggestion in the text is that there would be room for two people on this seat in the barouche.

Line art drawing of a barouche
Public DomainLine art drawing of a barouche - Credit: Pearson Scott Foresman