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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park (original 1814; edition 2012)

by Jane Austen

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13,851None149 (3.85)2 / 722
Title:Mansfield Park
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Fiction, English Fiction, Not in library, Borrowed from public library

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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814)

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  1. 81
    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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Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
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 |
Kind of a 3.5, which might be blasphemy against Austen.

These past months I’ve been getting into Jane Austen for the first time since reading Pride & Prejudice in high school (and Northanger Abbey for giggles). Mansfield Park was the first on my list, and I couldn’t help comparing it to Pride and Prejudice and also Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda. Fanny Price is not nearly as strong-willed and, dare I say, “sassy” as Elizabeth Bennet, and as in Belinda, proper behavior seems contrasted with behavior we moderns may enjoy. In the case of Belinda, it’s women crossdressing and fighting duels. Mansfield Park’s threatening scandal arises from, of all things, a play! A co-ed performance, but still.

Poor Fanny is the perfect model of a quiet, obedient woman—and this leads to quite a bit of trouble, which makes me suspect a tongue-in-cheek critique of such a model. A woman cannot be too quiet when her principles are on the line!

In short, I found that while it had the light and lively Jane Austen touch, Mansfield Park exhibited a number of standard early-19th-century novelisms. A woman must hold to her own judgement in the face of a number of persuasive, well- and ill-intentioned people who know nothing of her actual needs. Even if a number of times they might happen to digress with lectures upon the past experiences of various acquaintances, experiences that map eerily well onto our heroine’s own situation. Austen’s wry sense of humor shows more through the narration than through quiet Fanny, but adds some spirit to the plot.

On the other hand, there’s also quite a bit of grimness, including moments of subtle but no less chilling abuse from Mrs Norris and Mrs Bertram. The constant idea that Fanny owes them. The refusal of “indulgences” like fires in the fireplace…in November. One time they send up a servant to help Fanny dress, so clearly she owes it to them to return Mr Crawford’s advances!

The romantic subplot was pleasant, and it was certainly a nice change of pace to see someone at Mansfield Park be kind to Fanny for once, but it was never really clear why Edmund was so nice—except that he’s just a decent person. He cares for Fanny “as a sister” for most of the story. Sweet, but not all that romantic. In fact, by the last few pages it became clear to me that Mansfield Park is more of an “anti-romance,” where the suspense isn’t so much over whether Fanny and Edmund get together (much less unresolved sexual or romantic tension!) as ensuring Edmund *doesn’t* fall for the wrong woman, and he and Fanny both escape the entanglements of the Crawfords.

I feel like there is probably a contemporary “sequel” to Mansfield Park out there—one where Fanny and Edmund do get their hearts-palpitating romance, and perhaps Mrs Norris and Mrs Bertram get their comeuppance properly. Maybe with Fanny’s more spirited younger sister, Susan, when she comes to take her place at Mansfield Park.

This review is cross-posted from Love Changes Everything. ( )
  T.Arkenberg | Feb 8, 2014 |
I enjoyed this, though I wasn't as drawn in by the characters as I usually am while reading this type of book. I found Edmund a bit of a dolt in the Edward Ferrars mold.

The great thing about Austen for me is that you know you are in safe hands as a reader--things always work out well for the righteous and poorly for the guilty. Very satisfying! ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
I know some people are huge Austen enthusiasts, but I don't know what in particular is the big attraction. I have read several of hers and didn't mind them, but honestly I couldn't tell you what happened in which book. The characters, plots, and social commentary are all so similar, they all run together in my mind. ( )
  krista.rutherford | Jan 3, 2014 |
Contrastados personajes caricaturescos...

Tengo que empezar diciendo que este libro me ha eclipsado, es extraordinario, una verdadera joya literaria. Lo más destacable es la descripción de personajes llenos de contrastes. Aunque a muchos les puede resultar densa, prefiriendo otras obras de Jane Austen, a mí me atrapó por completo, estaba absorta entre sus páginas. Cuando empieza a plantear las personalidades de cada personaje, y va desarrollándolos, nos deja con caracteres tan variopintos, tan distintos, hay un alto contraste entre unos y otros. Ofrecen las más diversas situaciones ridículas, graciosas, tristes, de aprendizaje...

Al principio, debo reconocer que no me gustaba nada el personaje de Fanny Price, pero a medida que fui avanzando ¡¡oh!!, descubrimiento del tesoro que es ese personaje. No quiero compararla con las otras heroínas de las obras de Jane Austen porque cada una tiene lo suyo, pero me saco el sombrero por esta dama. A pesar que siempre soy partidaria de los personajes "buenos", hay momentos en la historia que da ganas de darle una colleja a Fanny para que despertara, los pequeños momentos de malicia, entre comillas, que tiene se van, desaparecen dando lugar a seguir en su misma pose de niña modosita y buena, dejando que los hechos sucedan y ella se convierte en una mera observadora. Por otro lado, Jane Austen nos deleita describiendo cómo los sentimientos de Fanny son tan abiertos hacia Edmund, pero solo en su interior y con una claridad y fuerza que me asombra, por ejemplo, sentir celos es algo tan natural y se siente tan normal como cualquier otro sentimiento, es decir, parece que no es consciente de sus propios sentimientos, solo los siente. Y ella sigue siendo la observadora innata, Jane Austen hace que quiera ahorcar a Fanny y a la vez protegerla de su propia ingenuidad.

Disfruté del personaje de la señorita Crafword, es como la némesis de Fanny Price. Y en realidad he simpatizado con este personaje, es una mujer que intenta ser ella misma, es auténtica, se muestra como es ante Edmund y ante los demás. Pero su demasiada libertad para expresar sus sentimientos la llevan a la censura. También la vi como una luchadora, encaprichada con Edmund, quería que él fuese como los estándares que ella tenía de su hombre perfecto y era clara mostrándole a Edmund lo que esperaba de él. Solo que fue demasiado lejos con su egoísmo y falta de tolerancia.

Otro personaje que disfruté mucho es Lady Bertrham, es tan ridícula que raya la insensatez, la irrealidad, pero es real, por lo menos es como la autora me hace sentir, y aunque quiero odiar a ese personaje, no puedo, logro simpatizar con ella. Es como la típica mujer de esa época, un mero adorno durante toda su vida y para ella y los demás es lo normal, lo habitual. A pesar de su quietud, es un personaje justo en su trato, que ama a los suyos, pero su, no hacer nada en la vida, resulta delirante y sorprendente.

El personaje odiado en esta historia para mí es la tía Norris, tan cruel, tan prejuiciosa, un tanto sanguijuela y perjudicial tanto para los que ama como para los que no. Y recibe lo mismo que siembra.

Lo interesante de todos estos personajes, es la idea de esa vida, en una típica mansión inglesa de caballeros, donde la desidia, el aburrimiento, la vanidad, el orgullo, la ingenuidad, la infidelidad y los escasos sentimientos genuinos se entremezclan y nos ofrecen esas situaciones tan diversas.

A medida que avanzaba esta obra, iba disfrutando más de ella porque era como un lento descubrir de Fanny Price que en un inicio solo era la insípida y modosita, pero Austen va descubriendo al capullo hasta convertirse en toda una hermosa mariposa, para mí fue toda una sorpresa. Llena de conmiseración y sensatez, siendo capaz de regular sus pensamientos y sus sentimientos por una mezcla de la razón y la rectitud. Me maravilló la maestría de Jane Austen al mostrarnos a través de este personaje cómo el intelecto compite con el corazón, pensamientos y sentimientos, razón y debilidad de la acción. Fanny es capaz de mostrarnos todas las contradicciones de su personaje ante un hecho, todas sus fortalezas y deficiencias como ser humano ante los celos, ante las injusticias, ante la insensatez de otros hacia ella, etc. Fany Price es un personaje completo y complejo lleno de matices sutiles y muy contrastados a la vez.

No logré empatizar con el personaje de Edmund, su ceguera era molesta, ceguera para ver sus propios sentimientos, para ver los de María Crawford y los de Fany Price pero a la vez era un hombre sensato en cuanto al proceder en la vida y con los demás, pero le faltó pasión, intentaba racionalizarlo todo y hubo momentos en que no lo logró. Muy distinto a Henry Crawford, sí, disoluto, cínico, emocional y hasta el final dudé que realmente amara a Fany Price, pero pudo más su necesidad de disfrutar la vida a tope y dejarse llevar por sus pasiones.

Podría seguir comentando sobre el resto de personajes, me resulta apasionante razonar sobre ellos, pero se haría muy largo. Solo me queda invitaros a leer esta maravillosa obra y que disfrutéis de ella.

http://warmisunquausten.blogspot.com.es/2013/12/resena-35-mansfield-park-de-jane... ( )
  Warmisunqu_Austen | Dec 27, 2013 |
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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.
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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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)

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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)

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Five editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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