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Mansfield Revisited by Joan Aiken
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Mansfield Revisited (edition 1985)

by Joan Aiken

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161974,103 (3.08)4
Member:Stewartry
Title:Mansfield Revisited
Authors:Joan Aiken
Info:Doubleday Books (1985), Hardcover, 188 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:***
Tags:hardcover, paperbackswap, ex-lib, fiction, sequel by different author, Vito DeVito, Austen sequel

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Mansfield Park Revisited: A Jane Austen Entertainment by Joan Aiken

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I'm not sure what made me read this when I did. It certainly wasn't a deep devotion to either Mansfield Park or Fanny Price that made me long for a continuation of the story. I know I acquired the book a good ways back because Joan Aiken is on my List, and because I was curious about her continuations of Jane Austen… it just slotted itself into my reading schedule, I guess.

So. Four years after the end of Mansfield Park, Fanny and Edmund are happily married and growing a family (MP spoiler! Well, but it's in the book description); Edmund's father has died and someone has to go to off to see to things on the plantations, and since every time anyone says "someone" everyone turns and looks at Edmund, off he and Fanny go. And with them neatly out of the way, the focus is free to shift entirely to Fanny's sister Susan, brought to Mansfield at the end of the book to take Fanny's place as Lady Bertram's companion.

It was almost comical how briskly Fanny was ushered out of the book. After all, though, what's to tell? She's happy, and having children – how boring. On to Susan, who's much more interesting anyway. There are new folks in the area – Edmund's replacement as minister and his sister – and it's almost comical how much they resemble the Crofts from Persuasion. They're wonderful people, and bond with Susan, and even make a good impression on the Bertrams, fight though they must against their prejudices; I liked them – but then, I loved the Crofts, so I would do. And there are folks returning to the area: Mary Crawford, for one, who is ill and has fled her life of dissipation. Which of course now, as she begins to build a friendship with Susan, turns out to have been not so very dissipated, and she was wronged, and anyway she's probably dying now so it's all right. And then, of course, where Mary goes eventually Henry Crawford shows up – and you know, he's not such a bad fellow, either. He was awfully in love with Fanny … but she's married and not here anyway, and hey look here's her little sister! It's Fanny Lite! Maybe I have a shot with her … And of course as soon as it becomes clear that Crawford is sniffing around Susan, Cousin Tom Bertram wakes up to the fact that she's of age now and no longer the uncouth plaguey nuisance of a child.

I don't know. I have a great deal of respect for Joan Aiken, but this just seemed ill-advised from start to finish. All of the inconveniences from Jane Austen – Fanny, Mrs. Norris, Maria – have been surgically removed, and inconvenient aspects of other characters have undergone extensive plastic surgery, and really why not just write a whole new standalone novel? It was very hard to swallow the rehabilitation of two selfish, thoughtless, amoral characters. And the ending was … abrupt, and felt disjointed. It just didn't work. ( )
1 vote Stewartry | Jan 4, 2013 |
Joan Aiken continues the story of Mansfield Park as the Bertram family deals with the loss of Sir Thomas Bertram. The family determines that Edmund and Fanny should go to the Antigua to oversee the family's interests. Susan is thus elevated to be Lady Bertram's companion. The lives of the Price, Crawford, and Bertram families continue to intertwine in new and surprising ways. Mansfield Park Revisited continues the original story in a genteel country setting and with true love triumphing in the end.

Aiken has written a number of other Austen sequel novels, including: Eliza's Daughter (extending Sense and Sensibility), Emma Watson (completing The Watsons), Jane Fairfax (sequel to Emma), and Lady Catherine's Necklace (continuing Pride and Prejudice).
  ktoonen | Mar 23, 2012 |
Here is my review of Mansfield Park Revisited: http://currentscene.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/mansfield-park-revisited/ ( )
  Cyberlibrariannyc | Aug 9, 2011 |
Mansfield Revisited is what I would classify as an 'old school' Austen sequel, closely mirroring the plot of the original and observing both the language and etiquette of the Regency era. Joan Aiken has written a respectful and formal continuation to Mansfield Park, which, though slowly paced and familiar in design, is easier to read (at half the length) and slightly more satisfying. My favourite character, Mary Crawford, maintains her wit and influence. Aiken does not try to restore or redeem her character, thankfully, but does seem to 'punish' her in the style of Victorian novels. Her brother Henry rebounds from one Price sister to the other, Tom's bad fortune continues, and Edmund and Fanny are packed off to Antigua for the whole novel (much to my relief, sorry to say!) The replacement heroine of the piece is Susan, Fanny's younger sister, who is thankfully rather less introverted and more spirited than her sibling. Naturally all the single men must fall in love with her, admiring her intelligence and lack of pretension, etc., but at least Susan's admirable qualities are demonstrated and not merely inferred by the omniscient author! In my opinion, Susan also punches below her weight when she comes to make her choice between Henry Crawford and 'Cousin Tom', but I'm sure Austen would have approved. A well written and pleasant follow-up to one of my least favourite novels. ( )
2 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Feb 11, 2011 |
What a delightful book! I thought the beginning was a little wobbly (but then I was on the rebound from "Orley Farm"-Trollope so it's hard to follow that) but about halfway thru I found that, even though I was very sick with a virus/sinus/earache something that this book was superior to sleep! I do so love sleep. I think about it when awake, relish that first moment getting all snuggled under the covers, feel lucky to be there in my comfy bed, etc. Anyway, the story's momentum really did get moving halfway thru and I was found surprises around every corner. I do love NOT knowing what's going to happen next. This writer pulled it off effortlessly. I bought it and did not have buyer's regret. I would recommend this book to all my fellow Janeites except those purists (you know who you are, I used to be one too) that refuse to consider such a book. ( )
1 vote Lesliejaneite | Dec 30, 2010 |
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In Aiken's sequel to Jane Austen's complex and fascinating novel, after heroine Fanny Price marries Edmund Bertram, they depart for the Caribbean, and Fanny's younger sister Susan moves to Mansfield Park as Lady Bertram's new companion. Surrounded by the familiar cast of characters from Jane Austen's original, and joined by a few charming new characters introduced by the author, Susan finds herself entangled in romance, surprise, scandal, and redemption.… (more)

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