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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park (1814)

by Jane Austen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,181297168 (3.83)5 / 1056
Mansfield Park is the study of three families--the Bertrams, the Crawfords, and the Prices. The story's heroine, Fanny Price, is at its center. She is adopted into the family of her rich uncle Thomas Bertram, and is condescendingly treated as a poor relation by "Aunt Norris." Of her cousins, only Edmund, a young clergyman, appreciates her fine qualities, and she falls in love with him. Unfortunately, however, he is drawn to the shallow and worldly Mary Crawford. Fanny's quiet passivity, steadfast loyalty, and natural goodness are matched against the wit and brilliance of her lovely rival. Jane Austen skillfully uses her characters' emotional relationships to explore the social and moral values by which they attempt to order their lives.… (more)
  1. 131
    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. 90
    Lover's Vows by Elizabeth Inchbald (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: The play they are rehearsing in Mansfield Park. Worth a quick skim.
  3. 20
    Celia's House by D. E. Stevenson (atimco)
    atimco: Very similar plot.

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Fanny is quite a different bird than most that fly through the books I normally read, self-effacing, eager to please, and horribly self-conscious. I'm not used to that as a main character in an Austen book. Still, it works. She's shy and sensitive, and while we all like to poo-poo such characters in novels, they're generally quite wonderful people in real life.

So am I giving this novel a pass because I felt something for Fanny? Possibly. Otherwise, I probably would have been up in arms against the stupid man who just HAD to have her and all the family members and friends who just HAD to have her marry the cad. Seriously. What's up with these people? If a girl says, no, it should be NO. Seriously.

Quite besides that, I really enjoyed the tale and the twists and turns, from the awful production of the play to the horse-riding to the nasty social crap in a society known for being really crappy with social crap.

Still, if it wasn't for Fanny being so likable and beset amongst all her betters, I'm not quite sure I'd have cared so much. This novel walked a fine line and I liked it quite a lot. In any lesser hand, this would have been an unqualified disaster. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
This was so boring - the whole plot could've been done with in less than 100 pages... I liked Fanny as a character and it was good to see her grow, but barely anyone else had any redeemable qualities. Not even Edmund (though apparently on Fanny's side) asked her what she actually wanted, but always just assumed and rarely let her confirm. And every single time Mrs Norris opened her mouth I wanted to hit something. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
Fanny Price is sent to live with her rich aunt and uncle, Lady Bertram and Sir Thomas Bertram, and their family at Mansfield Park.

The most serious of Jane Austen's novels and perhaps the most difficult to get into. ( )
  Robertgreaves | May 27, 2020 |
Can I admit it? Loyal Janeite though I am, this is my least favourite of Jane's novels.
Not for the usual reason, though. I actually like Fanny, and I don't think she's a prude (I think these need to be read in the context of their periods; see review of Jane Eyre); on the contrary, her naivete awakens a tender, protective feeling in me. The reason I (gasp) didn't like it:
if a normal novel goes
exposition --> rising action --> climax --> falling action --> resolution,
Mansfield Park goes
exposition--> rising action --> "assume falling action (and resolution) happened."
Yep. And, no less, after spending a good couple hundred pages convincing you that no, that resolution will not, under any circumstances, be possible.
To wit: Several hundred pages: "Edmund thinks of Fanny as a sister. Edmund is in love with Miss Crawford. Edmund will never fall in love with Fanny. Edmund thinks of Fanny as a sister. Edmund is in love with Miss Crawford. Edmund will never fall in love with Fanny. Ever."
Second-last page: "Eventually Edmund stopped loving Miss Crawford. Then he started loving Fanny, so they lived happily ever after." Or, more precisely: "I only entreat everybody to believe that exactly at the time when it was quite natural that it should be so, and not a week earlier, Edmund did cease to care about Miss Crawford, and became as anxious to marry Fanny as Fanny herself could desire." She does not even describe it happening, or when it happened, or A. NY. THING. Just, as the sort of wrapping-up conclusiony epilogue stuff, she mentions that it happens, the way she describes the state of the Gardiners at the end of P&P or Charlotte Bronte talks about St John at the end of Jane Eyre. As a postscript. As an afterthought. As though that event weren't the point of the WHOLE. BLOODY. NOVEL.

(deep breath)
It was good to get that out.

In other news, Edmund. At the beginning, when he's the only person in the entire world being a little bit decent to Fanny, I was all like "Awww he's such a nice guy." But later in the book, especially when he's in love with Miss Crawford, his relationship with Fanny becomes increasingly selfish. he is the taker; she is the giver. (Of emotional energy and care, not gold chains.) Case in point: when they dance together at the ball, does he ask how she's doing? Does he consider the idea that she might want companionship? No. He takes advantage of her niceness for "peace": "His mind was fagged, and her happiness sprung from being the friend with whom it could find repose. “I am worn out with civility,” said he. “I have been talking incessantly all night, and with nothing to say. But with you, Fanny, there may be peace. You will not want to be talked to. Let us have the luxury of silence.”" Because he's suffering, her comfort is irrelevant. Who cares whether Fanny is happy when Miss Crawford doesn't like clergymen? During that entire period, she supports him and comforts him; their relationship is centred around his comfort, and hers is irrelevant. That doesn't seem like friendship, in love or not in love. Thus, Edmund is not, in fact, an exception from the way that *everyone* uses and takes advantage of Fanny -- yet another thing which makes MP's conclusion so disappointing, as this does not change right up to the end.

And last comment: I can't resist saying this, but this has more of that creepy Regency rape-culture obsession with women being persuadable all the time that there is in Northanger Abbey--only there, it's coming from John Thorpe, who's a creep, and here it's from people you're supposed to respect, like Sir Thomas. Worrying. ( )
  Chiara_Quinn | Apr 13, 2020 |
'The Adelphi edition of the works of Jane Austen was originally published by Martin Secker' ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, Janeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomson, HughIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Agujari Bonacossa, DianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bonacossa della Valle di Casanova, EsterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, R. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Claybaugh, AmandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dobson, AustinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drabble, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MaggiePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mudrick, MarvinAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, JosephinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, CarolinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, KathrynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanner, TonyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanner, TonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, HughIllustratorsecondary 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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(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.
Haiku summary
A maid of pure heart,
Enduring persecution,
Her wisdom triumphs.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439807, 0141028149, 0451531116, 0141197706, 0141199873

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175927, 1909175536

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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