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Mansfield Park (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – January 17, 1998
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The heroine of the book is Fanny Price, a powerless and socially marginal young woman. To almost everyone she knows, she barely exists. As a child, she is sent to live with the family of her wealthy uncle. Her parents give her up without regret, and her uncle only takes her in because he is deceived into doing so. Fanny's wealthy relations, when they deign to notice her at all, generally do so only to make sure she knows of her inferiority and keeps in her place. Fanny is thus almost completely alone, the only kindness she receives coming from her cousin Edmund. Forced by circumstances to be an observer, Fanny is a faultlessly acute one, as well as the owner of a moral compass that always points true north.
Those who dislike "Mansfield Park" almost invariably cite Fanny as the novel's central fault. She is generally accused of being two things: (1) too passive, and (2) too moral.
The charge of passivity is perplexing. Surely it is evident that for her to challenge those in power over her is extremely dangerous - in fact, when she finally does challenge them, on a matter of the greatest importance to her and of next to no importance to them, she is swiftly reminded of the weakness of her situation by being deported back to the impoverished family of her parents, who receive her with indifference.
The charge of morality is easier to understand - many readers feel themselves being silently accused by Fanny, and they don't like it. The interesting thing is that those same readers often enjoy "Pride and Prejudice", even though it is evident that the same moral standards are in place in both books. So, why do readers feel the prick of criticism in one and not the other?Read more ›
Fanny is undoubtedly one of Austen's less assertive characters, although she does mature into a woman who knows what she wants and will accept no less. I loved Fanny and her honesty, the little girl who fears the stars in her eyes and still manages to grow up into a respectable - and respected - woman. Her complexities are subtle and understated, making the reader work at times to understand her motivation, although anyone who has felt like an outcast even once, or anyone who respects honesty, will identify with her. In true Austen fashion, the observations are witty, with pointed social analysis and cynicism dressed up in sly humor. Fanny's aunts in particular are skewered, but no one, not even Fanny, is spared.
Readers picking up this novel for the sheer delight of it will find it difficult to put down, as its language is accessible and free-flowing.Read more ›
Fanny Price is only a child when she is sent from her impoverished home to live with her aunt at the grand Mansfield Park. A quiet child, Fanny is overwhelmed by her wealthy and privileged family and is painfully homesick - a condition that the Bertrams cannot possibly understand. Hasn't she been removed from a life of near-squalor and no prospects? But the noble-yet-cold Sir Thomas Bertram, his child-like wife Lady Bertram, his self-centred eldest son Tom and his daughters Maria and Julia are not cruel to Fanny in the way that the evil step-family was cruel to Cinderella - simply misguided and so removed from her situation as to not understand the first thing about her. But from her second aunt, the loathsome Mrs Norris, Fanny receives only criticism and thinly-veiled scorn. Only the youngest son Edmund, with ambitions to become a quiet country clergyman, shows genuine compassion and sympathy to her, and soon the cousins are as close as siblings.
Fanny grows into a young woman, but keeps her timidity - which hides a bright mind and a clear sense of right and wrong. From London come the glamorous Crawford siblings - the rakish Henry Crawford who shamelessly flirts with Maria, even though she is engaged to one Mr Rushmore, and the witty Mary Crawford, who soon captivates Edmund.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a huge fan of Jane Austen novels. I love and appreciate all her works. The book was a typical love story but with a timeless classical twist.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
I did not like this book at all! I prefer Pride and Prejudice.Published 10 days ago by Karen Sunderland
No dinosaurs! I repeat NO DINOSAURS! I thought this book was about was about Jurrasic Park. I was deviced! Don't put park in the title unless it's about dinosaurs!Published 14 days ago by bubba
It's taboo for first cousins to fall in love to each other and get married. However, Mansfield Park is fiction. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Rosa Mendel
I found the story to be slow and the language to be stilted.Published 15 days ago by DAVID B KNUDSON