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Even while writing Mansfield Park Jane Austen was receiving critical comments from members of her family. Her letters to Cassandra during March 1814 report her brother Henry’s comments from his first reading, and it is clear that Cassandra herself has already read the manuscript. Henry has enjoyed it, and praises the characters, particularly Lady Bertram and Mrs Norris. He likes Fanny, and admires Henry Crawford as a ‘clever, pleasant man’, though doubtless his admiration did not extend to Henry’s morals. According to Jane Austen, Henry found the last half of the novel ‘extremely interesting’.
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