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Austenathon 2011: Mansfield Park (Non-Spoiler Thread)

75 Books Challenge for 2011

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1Smiler69
Edited: May 14, 2011, 10:33pm Top

This is the Mansfield Park NON-SPOILER thread. We're officially starting the group read on May 15th. As with the other books so far, we have a good 6 weeks for those who want to take their time.

Here's the Spoiler Thread

Austenathon Main Thread.
All Austenathon threads can also be found on the 75ers wiki page.

2PiyushC
May 5, 2011, 1:34am Top

Got my copy and ready for my fifth Austen, Persuasion will be the last one.

3Apolline
May 5, 2011, 6:30am Top

I'm in:) Read it last year, but I can read it again. Maybe I will change my opinion of the book. Who knows?

4katiekrug
May 5, 2011, 10:16am Top

I am also in but may not be able to start it until June...

5jolerie
May 5, 2011, 10:24am Top

I just started the book last night so I may be able to join you guys! :)

6Mr.Durick
May 5, 2011, 4:36pm Top

I'm not sure when I'll start it, but I don't think I'll be late. I have the Norton Critical Edition.

Robert

7Smiler69
May 5, 2011, 6:37pm Top

I had purchased a beautiful, almost new edition at the used book store a few years back, but finally decided to go with the audio version narrated by Juliette Stephenson. I enjoyed her so much for Jane Eyre that I thought I'd probably enjoy Mansfield Park that much more thanks to her. I'll be starting that in roughly ten days or so.

8RosyLibrarian
May 6, 2011, 3:36pm Top

Mansfield Park is the last major Austen novel I have yet to read, so I'm happy to join you all. :)

9keristars
May 6, 2011, 5:26pm Top

I'm trying to decide if I want to read Mansfield Park after failing so miserably to reread P&P last month. :/ I feel like I ought to, but I can't think of anything that makes it more interesting than S&S or P&P, so... what makes it different/special amongst the 6 books?

10Smiler69
May 6, 2011, 8:00pm Top

I couldn't say Keri, since all of Jane Austen's works are new to me. All I know is that I'd listen to Juliet Stevenson read the phone book (as someone else put it), so for that alone, I look forward to this one. :-)

11katiekrug
May 6, 2011, 8:52pm Top

Keri - A lot of people don't like Mansfield Park. I have not read it, so I have no opinion, but I did see a movie version and don't think this one will end up being one of my favorites. But maybe if you didn't like Austen's more conventionally popular works, you'll end up liking this one?

12lyzard
Edited: May 6, 2011, 9:23pm Top

Exactly - many people don't like it because it isn't "light, and bright, and sparkling", as Austen's earlier novels are (supposedly). It's a very different kind of novel, more openly serious, less satirical, and less focused on the marriage-plot; and Fanny Price is not the most embraceable heroine, although she's the way she is for sound reasons.

I don't know if you've read Persuasion? I tend to think of that and Mansfield Park as being each other's flip-side - one mourning the old traditions and resisting change, the other admitting that not all the old traditions were so great and that change can be good. I like to read these two together.

13keristars
May 6, 2011, 11:09pm Top

less focused on the marriage-plot

Oh, that might be enough to make it work for me. I haven't read Persuasion, but I have read Northanger Abbey and loved it, if that helps. I also preferred S&S to P&P.

I'll probably pick it up when I'm at the library later this week and see what happens with it.

14jolerie
May 6, 2011, 11:11pm Top

>13 keristars: I am in the same camp preferring S&S over P&P. And I really enjoyed Persuasian as well so it's looking good for me in terms of Mansfield Park.

15AMQS
May 6, 2011, 11:16pm Top

I did pick up a copy of Mansfield Park a couple of weeks ago. Hope I have time to squeeze it in. I'd love to join you. Hoping to get all school assignments finished up and turned in -- that will help me have more time!

16Smiler69
May 6, 2011, 11:20pm Top

#12 Lyzard, from your description, it sounds to me like there's a good chance I'll enjoy it more than the first two. The whole marriage thing gets on my nerves after a while, even though I do understand it was a pressing concern in those days and combined with the "light and sparkling" aspect... It just wasn't my cup of tea this time around, though this is not to say that I won't end up enjoying them tremendously upon reading them again. I'm now really curious about Mansfield Park, as opposed to feeling like I'm going through the motions in the quest to find out what it is about JA that makes her so enduringly popular.

17lit_chick
May 7, 2011, 12:15am Top

10 I would love to hear some of Austen read by Juliette Stevenson. Unfortunately, her audiobooks are not available at my public library. Maybe I'll look for a download ...

18Smiler69
May 7, 2011, 12:22am Top

Nancy, they don't have anything at all by Juliette Stevenson at my library either. I found this recording on Audible.com. It's reasonably priced for members too, though you might find it somewhere else of course. I just find Audible convenient (their audio samples are nice and long) and simple to use what with the instant downloads and such.

19lit_chick
May 7, 2011, 12:01pm Top

18 Perfect! I've been looking for someone who has used Audible.com and could recommend it. Thanks, Ilana : ).

20RosyLibrarian
May 7, 2011, 12:43pm Top

10: Ooo, I am going to search out Juliette Stevenson too, thanks for the heads up.

21Soupdragon
May 7, 2011, 12:58pm Top

I'm really looking forward to this even though I know it's a lot of people's least favourite Austen. I didn't join in with the last two books as I read them last year but I haven't read any of the others. Well except for starting and giving up on Emma when I was about twelve!

22billiejean
May 7, 2011, 1:21pm Top

I have my copy ready to go!

23madhatter22
May 7, 2011, 1:31pm Top

My opinion of this book and its characters has changed over the years so I'm really looking forward to hearing other people's thoughts on it.

24Smiler69
May 7, 2011, 1:56pm Top

#19 Another good place to check out, for FREE audiobooks is LibriVox.org. They have volunteers narrate books that are in the public domain. No Juliette Stevenson there of course, but I've listened to a few audiobooks from there which were quite good.

25ctpress
May 7, 2011, 4:17pm Top

Mansfield Park is the novel I have looked most forward to reread of the six Austen.

It was hard to get through I remember so I hope I will like it better this time. Now I know what not to expect....

I listened to P&P read by Emilia Fox (Audible) and she did a great job, I think.

26gennyt
May 8, 2011, 9:59am Top

#19 Another vote here in favour of Audible.com, though I have not tried any of their Austens so can't vouch for particular audiobooks relevant to this topic. As a convenient way of getting hold of a huge range of audio books, it is excellent. I pay a monthly subscription (credits carry over if you don't use them up each month) and so far I have spent my credits on the longest texts I can find - which would normally cost 3 or 4 times the subscription - starting with War and Peace, so I'm certainly getting value for money! Mind you, I haven't listened to many of them yet - my TBL (to be listened-to) pile is growing as fast as my TBR pile!

27Cait86
May 8, 2011, 10:40am Top

I'm in, and looking forward to this - MP is the only Austen novel I've never read.

28Rebeki
May 9, 2011, 4:57am Top

Hello, I'm an imposter from Club Read and am looking forward to joining you in this group read, my very first one! The other Austen novel I've yet to read is Persuasion, so I'll probably join you for that one too.

I have this idea that Mansfield Park isn't as much "fun" as some of Austen's other novels, but I'm expecting to enjoy it.

29Smiler69
May 9, 2011, 6:16pm Top

Welcome Rebeki! I'm sure everyone here will be glad to have your participation.

30moitiedepoire
May 9, 2011, 6:32pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

31moitiedepoire
May 9, 2011, 6:33pm Top

Harro, I'm new to this whole shabang but am totally up for conquering MP with you all. Have read and loved S&S and P&P (loving the abbrevs) and am half way through Emma which I'm almost stuck into.. so far so good!

32Rebeki
May 11, 2011, 4:51am Top

#29 Thanks for the warm welcome, Ilana!

33MickyFine
May 12, 2011, 1:05am Top

I'll be around for Mansfield as well. It's not my favourite Austen but I enjoy many of the supporting characters in this one so it should be an enjoyable re-read.

34ronincats
May 14, 2011, 9:07pm Top

It's been quite a while since I read this one, so I'll be joining you as soon as I finish two other books.

35Smiler69
Edited: May 14, 2011, 10:34pm Top

I started it today and am at chapter 10 now, I think.

Here's the Spoiler Thread.

36Soupdragon
May 17, 2011, 2:18pm Top

I have just read the first two chapters. This is my third Austen and so far it's been just as much a delight to read as the others.

37katiekrug
May 17, 2011, 8:30pm Top

I am hoping to start on Mansfield Park either this weekend or next - I want to start when I have large chunks of time to devote to it. This will be my first reading of it, though I've seen one of the film versions.

38sydamy
May 18, 2011, 9:27am Top

I'm in, and all the remaining Austen's are new to me. These read-a-longs are a great way to force encourage me to read all the Austen books sitting unread on my shelf!

39Smiler69
May 18, 2011, 7:10pm Top

#38 Susan, I'm doing these group reads for the same reason. Had never read Austen till this year and I decided it was high time I get with the program. I only took over posting the threads from Stasia to force myself to STAY with the program. I wasn't all that crazy of S&S and P&P upon first reading, but finding Mansfield Park is growing on me more.

I'm a bit beyond chapter 40 and have decided to stay away from the spoiler thread for now, since I want to keep a few surprises for the end, but I hope to see you all there soon enough.

40thornton37814
May 18, 2011, 9:46pm Top

I started reading it before I went on vacation and to a conference. I managed to read a little bit on the first weekend, alternating with another book which was set about 7 miles up the road from where I was staying. Needless to say, the other book held my attention a bit more. When I got to the conference, I didn't read a single word in either book. When I got back home, I finished the other book and have read more of Mansfield Park but I found that I had to refresh my mind on who the characters were so it took me a few more chapters to really get back into the groove of reading it. Hopefully, I'll get over to the spoiler thread soon too, but I want to finish it. I read this book years ago (probably 25 to 30), and I remember bits and pieces of it, but I don't remember it nearly as well as I thought I did!

41gennyt
May 23, 2011, 8:23am Top

I haven't started my read of MP yet - I've only read it once before, about 20 years ago, so I'm not visiting the spoiler thread until I've at least started my re-read and formed my own impressions again.

42archerygirl
May 25, 2011, 11:51am Top

I haven't started my read yet. I tried to wade through it a couple of years ago and just couldn't do it, which is part of why I joined this group.

I'll dig it out and try to start it at the weekend.

43ronincats
May 25, 2011, 2:00pm Top

I read a couple of chapters in yesterday--to the point where Fanny is relieved not to be going to Mrs. Norris. While I feel we have been shown Fanny so far without really getting to know her, Mrs. Norris' character has been limned with devastating effect!

44Mr.Durick
May 25, 2011, 4:27pm Top

I finished the back end of the Norton Critical Edition last night. The contextualizing and commentary in it is not as foolishly theoretical as some of the stuff I have found in other volumes, and almost all of it informed my reading of the novel. So, for anybody who has not picked an edition yet, I recommend it.

Robert

45humouress
Edited: Jun 28, 2011, 10:05pm Top

Just finished P&P (I know, I'm a bit behind!), and checking in to MP. It'll have to be an e-book for me, since I've yet to find a collection of Jane Austens that I really like (or even, oddly enough, just a whole collection), so I can admire it on my shelves. Now I'm getting tongue-tangled; it must be bedtime.

46billiejean
Jun 28, 2011, 7:12pm Top

I am about 40% through Mansfield Park.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2011

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