This is Chapman and MacKinnon's chronology of Mansfield
Park, based on the only "full" date (day, month, and day of
week) given in the book -- the ball at Mansfield Park, on Thursday,
December 22nd. (December 22nd fell on a Thursday both in 1808, several
years before Jane Austen began writing the book, and also in 1814, the
year in which the novel was first published.)
In the calendar which follows, dates actually stated are printed in
italic; the rest (unless the contrary is indicated) are inferred with
certainty. I begin with the ball. The earlier chronology is clear
and consistent, but the nature of the narrative did not require
Thurs. 22 Dec.
The ball at Mansfield Park.
Fri. 23 Dec.
Edmund goes to Lessingby, "to receive ordination
in the course of the Christmas week".
Henry and William go to town.
Fri. Sat. Sun., 30 Dec.-1 Jan.
Edmund does not return,
though his week was up.
Mon. 2 Jan.
Mary makes her way to the Park.
Tues. 3 Jan.
He sits with Lady Bertram and Fanny.
Wed. 4 Jan.
He tells Fanny of William's promotion, and
makes his offer.
Thurs. 5 Jan.
Fanny's interview with Sir Thomas.
Fri. 6 Jan.
Henry's interview with Sir Thomas.
Mon. 9 Jan. or Tues. 10 Jan.
Edmund returns, after an absence
of more than a fortnight.
Tues. 10 Jan. or Wed. 11 Jan.
Henry dines at the Park.
Thurs. 12 Jan.
Edmund dines at the Parsonage.
Fri. 13 Jan.
Edmund and Fanny discuss her affairs, and his.
Sat. 14 Jan.
Fanny expects Mary's visit.
Sun. 15 Jan.
Mary says good-bye to Fanny.
Mon. 16 Jan.
The Crawfords leave Mansfield. (Edmund
had stayed away more than a fortnight from 23 Dec., and if he had
stayed five or six days longer would have returned on that very
? Sat. 28 Jan.
William arrives on ten days' leave.
Mon. 6 Feb.
Three weeks after the Crawfords' departure Fanny
and William leave Mansfield Park and sleep at Newbury.
Tues. 7 Feb.
They reach Portsmouth in daylight.
Sat. 11 Feb.
The Thrush sails "within four days".
Thurs. 16 Feb.
Mary writes to Fanny that Henry went to Norfolk
ten days ago, perhaps "for the sake of being travelling at the same
time that you were".
Sat. 25 Feb.
Edmund goes to London. (See below, under 25 March.)
Tues. 28 Feb.
Mrs. Rushworth opens one of the best houses in
Sat. 4 March.
Fanny had been nearly four weeks from
Mansfield. Henry walks into the room.
Sun. 5 March.
They walk on the ramparts, in April
weather though it was really March. Accused of having been in
Portsmouth a month, Fanny says: "Not quite a month. -- It is only four
weeks tomorrow since I left Mansfield." "You are a most accurate and
honest reckoner. I should call that a month." "I did not arrive here
till Tuesday evening."
Mon. 6 March.
Henry leaves for London.
Wed. 8 March.
Mary's letter (written no doubt on Tuesday)
reaches Portsmouth. Henry, she says cannot be allowed to go to
Norfolk again "before the middle of next week, that is, he cannot any
how be spared till after the 14th, for we have a party that evening".
Fanny receives Edmund's letter.
On this day "seven weeks of the two months were very nearly gone" --
they would be up on Mon. 27 March. At latest therefore it is
Sun. 26 March. The Saturday, therefore, on which Edmund
returned to Mansfield is 18, not 25, March. He was in London three
weeks, which would make his arrival there Sat. 25 Feb. He was not in
London when Mary wrote on 16 Feb.; and about 4 March Fanny was
supposing him to have been there a week. He had not seen Henry since
Mon. 27 March.
The Grants leave for Bath. A few days
later Fanny receives Lady Bertram's letter announcing Tom's illness.
Some days after this -- for her aunt writes "again and again" -- comes
the news of his being at Mansfield. About a week later comes the
letter from Edmund revealing the truth. "Such was the state of
Mansfield, and so it continued, with scarcely any change till Easter",
which was "particularly late this year". Easter came, and Fanny had no
prospect of leaving Portsmouth. "The end of April was coming on; it
would soon be almost three months instead of two that she had been
[Easter was on April 2nd in 1809 and March 26th in 1815, neither
especially late. In 1810, Easter was on April 22nd.]
? Fri. 21 April.
Mary's letter inquiring about Tom's chances
of recovery. Mrs. Rushworth is at Twickenham for Easter.
Fri. 28 April.
About a week later, Mary's letter about the
"scandalous, ill-natured rumour".
Sat. 29 April
[This day] brought no second letter. Fanny "had, indeed,
been three months there".
Sun. 30 April, Mon. 1 May.
"Nothing happened the next day, or
Tues. 2 May.
The third day brings Edmund's letter. "I shall
be at Portsmouth the morning after you receive this." (Sir Thomas and
he had been in London two days, when he wrote on 1 May).
Wed. 3 May.
Edmund arrives, and they leave Portsmouth,
sleeping at Oxford.
Thurs. 4 May.
They reach Mansfield Park. "It was
three months, full three months, since her quitting it."