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Edmund Bertram's Diary by Amanda Grange

Edmund Bertram's Diary

by Amanda Grange

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I started reading this because Mansfield Park is, to me, Jane Austen's most fascinating work. I go back to it again and again because there is always a nuance to be discovered, a character to be better-understood. Just its Portsmouth scenes alone make the whole book worth reading!
So I thought I'd give this book, found at our Friends of the Library book sale, a try. As it claims to be a diary I hoped for lots of lovely little details--kippers overdone at breakfast or problems with the tailor or something. I thought there would be new lines to clarify some of the characters' motivations and shed new light on the entire story.
Perhaps Mary Crawford was not really quite so naughty, Henry Crawford not so guilty? And what about Edmund, one of the hardest of Austen's heroes to like. One would hope that his diary would add something new to help us to care more about him, but that is not the case. Maybe Edmund's feelings for Fanny had secretly been building for years as hers had for him? After reading this, the answer is still, "Who knows?"
Unfortunately, "Edmund Bertram's Diary" would better be described as "Watered Down Extracts from Mansfield Park." There is the occasional new sentence, but occasional is the key word. What is not directly quoted or quoted with a key phrase changed is paraphrased. Even worse, some of the best lines from Mansfield Park have been dumbed-down for the modern reader. Completely destroyed is Mary's quip about Rears and Vices.
Yes, I believe in being true to the source material, but there comes a point when you could practically call this much truth a copy-and-paste job, or better yet, plagiarism.
So, I recommend that if you are really into Mansfield Park, you're better off just rereading it than bothering with this moneygrubbing rubbish. Mansfield Revisited was pretty decent if you must have a sequel or companion to the original. ( )
  aurelas | Dec 23, 2016 |
This retelling of Mansfield Park from Edmund Bertram's perspective got off to a slow start, but I gradually warmed to it. It lacks Austen's voice, and Grange doesn't quite pull off the diary premise. It's supposed to be a man's diary, but it reads more like a woman's diary. It worked for me as a commentary on Mansfield Park and a study of Edmund's character. In the end, it's left me with a craving for Austen's original. ( )
  cbl_tn | Mar 6, 2015 |
This is another retelling of a Jane Austen novel by Amanda Grange, this time through the eyes of Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park. Mansfield Park is maybe my least favorite Austen, mostly because the characters are a bit flat. Hence, this is my least favorite Grange retelling. Still, the book is a nice quick read, so it was still worth reading. ( )
  SimoneA | Nov 7, 2012 |
I really like Edmund as a character so I was eager to read this book. It was nice to see the Austen story through the male perspective. Grange does an ok job of capturing Edmund's personality but I'm sure she's taken a few liberties with the time-period and the original Mansfield Park plot seemed rushed at the end. ( )
  lizzybeans11 | Jan 11, 2011 |
The only detail I remember from Austen's 'Mansfield Park', after studying the text at school many years ago, is the play that the Bertrams and their charity cousin Fanny Price attempt to stage when Sir Thomas Bertram is away in Antigua. Not a thrilling inducement to tackle the novel again, but I thought if anyone could tempt me, Amanda Grange would be the woman!

'My thoughts ran to wine stains on the carpet, white rings on the desk - for I believed Yates to be capable of putting a hot cup down on the polished wood - and all the attendant evils of carelessness, but Tom would not listen.'

Edmund Bertram, the second son of a baronet, is perhaps the most boring of all Austen's righteous male characters. Whereas Mr Darcy is moody and mysterious, and Mr Knightley sensible yet smart, Edmund is just an old head on young shoulders. Already unsure about his future and his feelings for neighbouring orphan Mary Crawford, Edmund's father dumps the added responsibility of looking after the estate and his family onto Edmund's already burdened shoulders, and Edmund ages about fifty years over night. His only respite from a drunken brother and two flighty sisters is meek and mild Fanny Price, Edmund's childhood companion and confidant, who matures into a pretty and intelligent woman right .. under .. his nose.

Amanda Grange does her best - I sometimes suspect she could pull a random background character from any of Austen's novels and add shading and dimension to the barest sketch - but Edmund is just dull. His diary has helped me to overcome my fear of reading 'Mansfield Park' again, however! The Austen diaries are better for 'filling in the blanks' when it comes to much beloved characters, but as most of the content is taken directly from the original novels, with added introspective inserts, reading them as 'introductions' works too. ( )
1 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Sep 20, 2010 |
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Tom was eager to try out his new horse's paces and so we rode out together this morning, jumping walls and hedges, until he was satisfied he had made a good bargain.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425223795, Paperback)

The retelling of Jane Austen?s novel Mansfield Park from the point of view of Edmund Bertram?by the author of Mr. Knightley?s Diary and Captain Wentworth? Diary. At ten years of age, Fanny Price came to live with Edmund Bertram and his family at Mansfield Park. Far from the brat Edmund expected, Fanny became his closest confidante and dearest friend.

But when the fashionable Crawford siblings? Henry and Mary?come to town, they captivate the Bertram family. Henry embarks on a scandalous flirtation with Edmund?s sister, who is already betrothed to another, while Edmund is enchanted by Mary?s beauty and wit. But when it appears that Mary is not all she seems to be, Edmund will turn to the one woman who has always been at his side to find the happiness he deserves?Fanny.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:37 -0400)

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In this retelling of Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park from the point of view of Edmund Bertram, Edmund will turn to the one woman who has always been at his side to find the happiness he deserves--Fanny Price.

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