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Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics…
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Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (original 1814; edition 2005)

by Jane Austen, Amanda Claybaugh (Introduction)

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14,022205148 (3.85)2 / 744
Member:booketta
Title:Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Authors:Jane Austen
Other authors:Amanda Claybaugh (Introduction)
Info:Barnes & Noble Classics (2005), Edition: illustrated edition, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Favorites
Rating:*****
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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814)

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  1. 91
    Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (Medellia)
    Medellia: Both books have sweet, shy, thoroughly virtuous protagonists, if you're a fan of that sort of character. (I am, and loved both novels!)
  2. 50
    Lover's Vows (Dodo Press) by Mrs. Inchbald (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: The play they are rehearsing in Mansfield Park. Worth a quick skim.
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English (198)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (205)
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“She was not often invited to join in the conversation of the others, nor did she desire it. Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions.”

Fanny Price is in a tight spot. Send to her aunt's family by the age of nine she is expected to show gratitude for the Bertrams kindness.

Yet, she is only tolerated, but not much more. Always slighted, ignored, like she's invisible. Surrounded by family members who makes her life intolerable. The nasty and intrigate Mrs. Norris, always meddling and putting Fanny in her place - the lowest place - the two silly vain nieces, the ever demanding Mrs. Bertram. The only person who understands her, defends her, have empathy for her is her dear cousin Edmund - But she can't always expect his help. Specially not when he's attracted to the beautiful and charming newcomer neighbour Miss Crawford.

Things get more complicated when Miss Crawfords brother, Henry, arrives and after a flirtation with the Bertram nieces, begin to show interest in Fanny and actually proposes. She's expected by everyone to say yes, but she doubts his character. Is he to be trusted? Here lies the moral dilemma and drama of the novel. The case of a character.

Fanny Price is always alone with her thoughts, almost never sharing them. We are invited into a heart that is very guarded, always prone to self-scrutiny, soul-searching and trying to evaluate or access others behavior. She know her faults and are willing to admit them to herself, she is too quickly put into distress, too timid, too guarded, too vulnerable. Too emotional. Yet ultimately her character is strong, she embodies, I think, many of the virtues that Jane Austen herself would appraise. ( )
3 vote ctpress | Jul 20, 2014 |
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/4179687/

I own a copy and bookcrossed a copy.

I'm including this in my travel, I read most of it on the long plane ride home but finished it up at home. I have now read all of Jane Austen, though some remain a dim memory. What did happen in Emma? Anyway, I can see why this one is called more difficult. Fanny is hardly a dashing heroine; her personality is essentially good but also meek and worrisome. It is a fine line to make her a woman to be identified with but it is the great skill of Austen that can do it. My only complaint was the rather long author's voice final chapter that wrapped up the story. I would have preferred extending it a few more chapters and telling the final plot twists. I did enjoy the little skewing of Maria Betram Rushworth and Mrs. Norris making each other miserable in some removed location. Mrs. Norris is, in fact, exceptionally well-done, I really enjoyed disliking her.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
As with the Northanger Abbey, Austen’s writing and humor are all that stands between this book and a two star review. Our heroine, Fanny, is the perfect shy, obedient young woman and for that reason alone, it seems we are supposed to prefer her to Miss Crawford, her competition for Edmund’s heart. Although Miss Crawford can be superficial and even cruel, it seems her main flaw is not behaving as women were expected to behave at the time. As a modern reader, I sometimes found her more sympathetic than Fanny. Likewise, Fanny’s alternate love interest seemed a better match for her than Edmund in manys, starting with the fact that Edmund is her cousin and is sometimes very thoughtless of her feelings. My lack of enthusiasm for Austen’s romantic pairings was offset by my dislike of one particularly nasty character and my enjoyment at seeing her thwarted. That was second only my to my enjoyment at seeing the nastier characters made fun of with Austen’s characteristic wit. Overall, this book was very slow and I felt little interest in the outcome. Again, enjoyable only if you love Austen’s writing.

This review first published on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book, but I have to say it's probably my least favorite Austen. It's a fairly good read if one is reading all of Austen's works, but if not, I'd probably skip it in favor of Pride & Prejudice. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
Mansfield Park often gets a bad wrap as many feel like Fanny Price is the weakest of Austen’s heroines. I disagree. If anything, maybe she’s a little too “perfect” but I do like her. She’s crazy shy, introverted and highly moral. What exactly is wrong with that? The novel points to the fact that good character is more desirable than money. In the end, we see good character rewarded, and those of unreputable character receiving their just rewards (with perhaps the exclusion of Mr. Rushworth – unless you attribute his end to his stupidity for marrying Maria in the first place).

I’m taking part in a book club this year where we are discussing the roles of mothers in Jane Austen’s novels. The first read was Pride and Prejudice, and now adding in Mansfield Park, we have yet to see a mother cast in a good light. Mrs. Bertram is kind, but still pretty self-absorbed, and obviously, her daughters did not turn out to make the best choices in life. Fanny’s own mother is pretty much out of the picture, and since she had so many children of her own, she readily gave Fanny up to be raised by her sister. Just like Jane and Lizzy Bennett, we see that Fanny turns out okay despite her mother’s poor influence.

There are some great supporting characters in the novel. The Crawford siblings are charming yet shallow and self-absorbed. Mrs. Norris is simply ghastly. (And yes, Filch’s cat in the HP novels WAS named after her). Edmund is such a good boy that you have to like him — and root for him to “see the light” when it comes to the woman who has captured his affection and does not deserve him.

All in all, it’s a great little novel. Not my favorite of the Austen novels, but certainly an enjoyable one.

Would I recommend it to my BFF? Of course.
Would I recommend it to my teen reader? Yes. ( )
  lauraodom | Apr 9, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Austenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drabble, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mudrick, MarvinAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, CarolinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanner, TonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltshire, JohnPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zuidema, BenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.
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But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them.
It is Fanny that I think of all day and dream of all night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Adopted by the rich Bertrams, Fanny finds her bold cousins are daunting, her aunts and the remote Sir Thomas intimidating. Only thoughtful Edmund recognises her qualities and helps to improve her lot. But when the delightful Mr and Miss Crawford arrive to enliven the family group, even he dismisses Fanny's reservations. At first all is excitement and pleasure. Gradually, however, the effects of recklessness and selfishness accumulate. As Fanny's unswerving integrity and quiet strength become the support of the shattered family, she finds a happiness she could not have anticipated. While displaying the sparkle and clarity for which Jane Austen is renowned, the tone here is often sober and uncompromising. The issues of probity and responsibility are explored, alongside the often unhappy complexities of family life, in a considerable and profoundly satisfying novel.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439807, Paperback)

Though Jane Austen was writing at a time when Gothic potboilers such as Ann Ward Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho and Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto were all the rage, she never got carried away by romance in her own novels. In Austen's ordered world, the passions that ruled Gothic fiction would be horridly out of place; marriage was, first and foremost, a contract, the bedrock of polite society. Certain rules applied to who was eligible and who was not, how one courted and married and what one expected afterwards. To flout these rules was to tear at the basic fabric of society, and the consequences could be terrible. Each of the six novels she completed in her lifetime are, in effect, comic cautionary tales that end happily for those characters who play by the rules and badly for those who don't. In Mansfield Park, for example, Austen gives us Fanny Price, a poor young woman who has grown up in her wealthy relatives' household without ever being accepted as an equal. The only one who has truly been kind to Fanny is Edmund Bertram, the younger of the family's two sons.

Into this Cinderella existence comes Henry Crawford and his sister, Mary, who are visiting relatives in the neighborhood. Soon Mansfield Park is given over to all kinds of gaiety, including a daring interlude spent dabbling in theatricals. Young Edmund is smitten with Mary, and Henry Crawford woos Fanny. Yet these two charming, gifted, and attractive siblings gradually reveal themselves to be lacking in one essential Austenian quality: principle. Without good principles to temper passion, the results can be disastrous, and indeed, Mansfield Park is rife with adultery, betrayal, social ruin, and ruptured friendships. But this is a comedy, after all, so there is also a requisite happy ending and plenty of Austen's patented gentle satire along the way. Describing the switch in Edmund's affections from Mary to Fanny, she writes: "I purposely abstain from dates on this occasion, that everyone may be at liberty to fix their own, aware that the cure of unconquerable passions, and the transfer of unchanging attachments, must vary much as to time in different people." What does not vary is the pleasure with which new generations come to Jane Austen. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:36 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Fanny Price, a teenaged girl of low social rank brought up on her wealthy relatives' countryside estate, feels the sharp sting of rejection when her cousin Edmund, the only person who treats her as an equal, is won over by a flirtatious, exciting--and unprincipled--London girl.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 35 descriptions

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