Jane Austen and Representations of Regency England

By Roger Sales | Go to book overview
Save to active project


The plot of Lovers’ Vows

The full text of the play is reprinted at the end of Chapman’s edition of Mansfield Park. I offer this summary of it for the benefit of those students who may still have problems gaining access to it.

The play is set in rural Germany. It opens with Agatha Friburg being thrown out of the inn by the Landlord because she can no longer afford to pay her bills. He takes pleasure in telling her that she will now have to beg for her food. Two potential alms-givers take no notice of her. She begs heaven to take care of her son and his father, believing that she is close to death. A country girl takes pity on her, offering to bring back money after produce has been sold at market.

At this point Frederick enters ‘dressed in a German soldier’s uniform’ with ‘a knapsack on his shoulders’ (LV, 1.1). He notices Agatha lying in the road in front of the inn and gives her what little money he has. She recognises him as the son who went off to war five years before. He orders some wine for her, which is sold to him at an inflated price by the knavish Landlord. Mother and son start to tell each other what has happened since they were last together. Frederick declares his intention of leaving the army, claiming that he is only hindered from doing so because he is unable to produce his birth certificate. He has returned home to collect it. Agatha has to tell him that he is a ‘natural son’ (LV, 1.1). After moments of uncertainty, she begins to recount the circumstances of his birth, detailing how she had been ‘intoxicated by the fervent caresses of a young, inexperienced, capricious man, and did not recover from the delirium till it was too late’ (LV, 1.1). Frederick becomes very agitated during the telling of this story and, in tears, urges his mother to finish it as quickly as possible. She concludes by indicating how she was eventually befriended by the local clergyman and how she was able subsequently to earn her living as a teacher. She reveals that her seducer, whom she


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Jane Austen and Representations of Regency England


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 284

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?