A Marriage of Attachment: A Sequel to A Contrary Wind
In this variation on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, a sequel to Manning’s A Contrary Wind, Edmund Bertram has separated from his wife, Mary Crawford, following a scandal, and is living with his sister Julia, who is still unmarried. Mary’s brother Henry has been killed in a carriage accident. Sir Thomas Bertram has lost his fortune and left Mansfield Park. He and his wife and daughter Maria live in reduced circumstances in Norfolk. Fanny Price has moved to London, where a kindly widow, Mrs. Butters, has befriended her and given her a position as a sewing instructor at a charitable establishment for poor girls. She finds a new suitor in writer William Gibson, but can she forget her love for Edmund? Meanwhile, Fanny’s sailor brother William fights slavery in West Africa and has fallen in love with Julia Bertram.
A Marriage of Attachment is one of the better Jane Austen sequels. I particularly enjoyed the way Manning has developed Fanny’s character. She is still shy, but being forced to earn a living has given her more self-confidence. I do feel that I missed something by not having read A Contrary Wind. It makes me want to go back and read the previous book.