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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

I cannot help but wonder what Miss Austen was up to with this novel. While Fanny Price is indeed badly treated, and God knows I can empathize with morbid shyness, the phrase 'passive agressive' keeps occuring to me as I read about her. 'Insufferable Prig' are the words that come to mind re: our 'hero' Edmund Betram. His diagnosis of Mary Crawford as a potentially fine character damaged by an unfortunate upbringing is on target - but it never seems to occur to him that she might be re-educated. And he is all for casting his adulterous sister into outer darkness forever. I deeply pity the fallable and erring of his future flock!

Were we really supposed to regard Fanny and Edmund as entirely admirable? Somehow I suspect not.