Many thanks to Maria Grazia for giving me the opportunity to introduce my new book Revisit Mansfield Park, in which I give Henry Crawford the opportunity to change Fanny Price's opinion of him.
Jane Austen said of Henry: “Would he have deserved more there can be no doubt that more would have been obtained . . . Would he have persevered, and uprightly, Fanny must have been his reward.”
During Henry's two-month courtship of Fanny, she had no idea that his interest in her was genuine. She assumed that Henry was amusing himself by flirting with her, as he had with Maria and Julia Bertram. When Fanny finally learned that Henry truly wanted to marry her, he had only a few days to change her mind about him, but a few days was not nearly enough, given that Fanny disliked Henry intensely. Then Fanny went to see the Price family in Portsmouth, and Henry visited Fanny there, and talked to her of Everingham, his estate. He asked Fanny for her advice as to whether he should return to Everingham and continue the work he had started. I think what Henry really wanted was encouragement, and this was a pivotal moment: if Fanny encouraged Henry, he would be making progress with her, and if she did not, she most likely never would. This is the moment when Revisit Mansfield Park begins (though the first three chapters summarize Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, with a spotlight on Fanny).