What would she do?

The opening game at Ocean Park consisted of 16 situations in which other Austen ladies have found themselves. The group was divided into teams and each team was asked to decide what either Fanny Price or Mary Crawford would do in a given situation. Here are the results:

Your sister runs away with a man in a red coat.
Fanny would:  Fret. Talk to Edmund. Cry.
Mary would:   Immediately determine his annual income. Consolation: at least he isn't a clergyman.

You are being courted by a man who wears flannel.
Fanny would: First inquire as to how closely related they are. If he is a first cousin, she'd think it very sensible.
Mary would: If he had enough money and a title, she would pursue him. If he were a second son but happened to have a sickly older brother, she would hang around to see what happens.

An encroaching mushroom tells you she is engaged to the man you love.
Fanny would: Nod quietly. Then plan the bridal shower.
Mary would:  Flirt. Drop a hint to the man's mother.

The man you love runs off to London and marries Miss Grey and her 40,000.
Fanny would: Needlepoint a wedding sampler in her attic. But it would take two years.
Mary would: Spend the next season in London, spreading rumours about the source of Miss Grey's fortune and then relieve her of said fortune in a crooked game of whist.

Your good friend, who is flirting with the man you love, falls and breaks her head.
Fanny would: Fret. Feel guilty about being happy. Go fetch the smelling salts for Aunt Bertram.
Mary would: Sigh with relief ("I didn't push her").

Your father refuses to take you to Brighton.
Fanny would: Say, "I've had enough of the seaside at Portsmouth."
Mary would: Get Henry to take her because he knows how to have a good time.

You are forced to make a prolonged visit at the home of the stupidest man in England.
Fanny would: Spend time in an animated conversation about Fordyce's sermons and begin each dinner with a comment about a matter of great doctrinal import.
Mary would: Flirt with all the good looking men in the neighbourhood. Curry favour with the patroness of the stupidest man in England.

You overhear a a handsome man speak slightingly of you at a ball.
Fanny would: Believe "it must be true". Flee the ball and find solace with her pony after some quiet time in the attic.
Mary would: Seduce and abandon him.

You find a mysterious laundry list in a locked chest.
Fanny would: Fret. Fanny would never try to open a locked chest.
Mary would: Check the list for kinky underpants.

An odd young man offers to show you his equipage.
Fanny would: Decline the offer unless ordered to do so by her uncle.
Mary would: Agree only if he is as fast as his equipage.

Your father refuses to retrench.
Fanny would: Set the economic example by eating only half of her portion, extinquishing the fire in the grate and giving up riding altogether.
Mary would: Flirt. Find a rich man to marry.

Your child breaks his arm on the day of an important dinner engagement.
Fanny would: Stay home with her child after procuring medical supplies from the attic and send over a nice trifle.
Mary would: Wrap him in a sling, bring him to the party to serve as a conversation piece and then pass him off to Miss Price to take care of.

You receive a piano as an anonymous gift.
Fanny would: Fret. Refuse it.
Mary would: Flirt. Accept it. Play it. Talk of it all over the neighbourhood.

You are attacked by gipsies on the way to visit a friend.
Fanny would: Fanny is clearly delusional. She doesn't have any friends
Mary would: Turn on them, hit them over the head with her reticule and steal their gold earrings.

The annoying Vicar's wife wishes to form a musical society with you.
Fanny would: Reply that she's so pleased to be asked and would happily do her part by serving as the audience.
Mary would: Oblige her by forming it but be conveniently absent when any event is planned.

An odd young man insists upon talking to you about muslin.
Fanny would: Blush, shocked that a man would be talking of women's apparel. And flee to her attic.
Mary would: Solicit his advice during her next shopping trip and allow him to carry her parcels.



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