Susan Price or Resolution
by Mrs. Francis Brown
John Lane The Bodley Head, Ltd.
Review by Linda
Waldemar, 25 February 2004
I have just enjoyed the best dequel that I have read; adn I have read a
lot of them. This one was written by a "great-grandniece" of Jane
Austen, Mrs. Francis Brown, nee Edith Charlotte Hubback. Her
great-grandfather was Jane's sailor brother, Francis. I think that she
inherited a bit of JA's writing ability. I found myself smiling all the
I guess I should tell you the name of the book. It is Susan Price, or Resolution and was
published in 1930. It is set at Mansfield Park six years after the end
of JA's novel. When Dr. Grant dies, his curate, Mr. Turner is moved to
Thornton Lacy and Edmund gets the living and moves to Mansfield
Early in the story, Maria elopes with the local apothecary in the
village where she and Mrs. Norris have been exiled. The author
indicates that to Maria, anything is preferable to continuing her life
with her aunt. So, Mrs. Norris writes that she must return to Mansfield
Park where she is needed.
She [Susan] was not inclined to regrets, and could easily have
persuaded herself into happiness with less cause than the arrival of
her sister and her family offered. She was uneasy, but her fear was not
unamiable. She did not dread the frequent meetings with her sister for
he own sake. She was not unwilling to give place to her as the elder,
the married woman, the mother of children and the mistress of a home.
All these, which might have caused a feeling of jealousy to trouble
her, were far from her thoughts. She was anxious because she had a
secret, and she feared that Fanny would discover it. Fanny alone of all
she knew who knw her well was to be feared. While Sir Thomas and Edmund
knew nothing until it had been brought to their notice, and Lady
Bertram frequently continued in ignorance for an even longer period,
Fanny was quick to see and to divine mucn more than she could see.
Susan felt it could not be long before all was known to Fanny, and must
be deplored by her.
Tom Bertram is much at home and no longer gives his father any trouble.
He has a happy disposition and delights in regularly teasing his
cousin, and others.
Edmund and Fanny are devoted to one another and are very happy
together. They are the parents of 3 young children. In a
characterization that will please many, they are self-righteous and
sanctimonious. Fanny always tries her opinions out on Edmund before she
adopts them. She needs to have him validate them, but their
opinions always seem to coincide.
As the title indicates, Susan Price is our heroine. As JA describes,
she has made herself indispensable to her Aunt Bertram. Besides, she
has grown into a very pretty young lady who is competent, self-assured
and good-natured. When Fanny warns her that things will be difficult
when Mrs. Norris return, Susan replies that she is not afraid. She
feels sure that she will be able to handle her aunt.
Soon after Mr. Turner relocates to Thorton Lacey, he is visited by his
cousins, the widowed Mrs. Grant and her half-sister, Mary Crawford, who
is lively, witty and fascinating to Susan. Her attitudes still shock
and sadden Edmund and Fanny. Mrs. Norris decides, with her fortune,
that she is the ideal mate for Tom and tries to promote the match.
I had better stop here, or I give away the plot. I must say that I
found all Jane Austen's characters that are present in this novel seem
very plausibly near the originals. The plot moves along nicely and the
ending is satisfying.
Unfortunately, this book has been long out of print and is very, very
difficult to come by. It was on my abebooks.com Want List for several
yeras before one finally became availabe. I snapped it up at a price
that was not small. But, I do not regret one cent paid.
If you should happen across this very old novel, I highly recommend
that you read it.