Mansfield Park (Wordsworth Classics)

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Adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price grows up a meek outsider among her cousins in the unaccustomed elegance of Mansfield Park. Soon after Si... more on BookSpot

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    Adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price grows up a meek outsider among her cousins in the unaccustomed elegance of Mansfield Park. Soon after Sir Thomas absents himself on estate business in Antigua (the family's investment in slavery and sugar is considered in the Introduction in a new, post-colonial light), Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive at Mansfield, bringing with them London glamour, and the seductive taste for flirtation and theatre that precipitates a crisis. While Mansfield Park appears in some ways to continue where Pride and Prejudice left off, it is, as Kathryn Sutherland shows in her illuminating Introduction, a much darker work, which challenges 'the very values (of tradition, stability, retirement and faithfulness) it appears to endorse'. This new edition provides an accurate text based, for the first time since its original publication, on the first edition of 1814.

    Reviews of Mansfield Park (Wordsworth Classics)

      • Even though Jane Austen is my favorite, Mansfield Park is not. Mansfield Park is a romance set in the nineteenth century. Fanny Price, its heroine, is a poor young girl who has lots of siblings that her parents can barely afford to raise them. Her aunts decided they would take Fanny in and raise her themselves. Ever since Fanny set her foot in Mansfield Park, she knew her worth - or rather lack of it - she became introverted and passive, and allowed her aunts to treat her in an unfavorable manner. One aunt especially, Aunt Norris, treated her in the same way she would treat any maid in the mansion; her other aunt, Lady Bertram, was more kind to her yet she was too dependent on her, she would not stop asking her for things to do or errands to run. Fanny Price grew up with her four cousins: Tom, Edmund, Maria, and Julia. She loved them all but they treated her as an unwanted poor relation. The only one who was truly kind to her and loved her was Edmund, which led Fanny to have a stronger relationship with him than with any of her other cousins. Since their childhood, Fanny fell in love with Edmund, but she kept it in her heart and did not tell him anything about it. Edmund, on the other hand, loved Fanny dearly as a friend and even took her as his confidante. Fanny's character is extremely passive and weak; she allowed others to determine her life for her. She did not have a say in her moving to Mansfield Park; she would never dare to stand up for the harsh treatment she received from her aunt; she did not tell the person she loved how she felt about him; she even allowed him to friend-zone her and gave him advices when he asked during the period when he was infatuated by Miss Mary Crawford - who only showed Edmund any attention because she was looking forward to marrying into wealth and connections. On the other hand, Henry Crawford shows Fanny Price some attention, merely to amuse himself, but Fanny was smart enough to not fall for him, which shows how strong her character can be when she puts her mind to it; she simply behaves passively out of fear of making someone hate her more than she suspects they already do. It is not one of Austen's best works, yet I would not say that it is completely horrible. What I dislike the most about it is the lack of events of actions in the novel, it progresses really slowly, and it is due to the fact that we are following a weak character. I understand that Austen meant for Fanny to be passive and kind; but, in my opinion, she is too passive and weak to be the heroine of the novel. At the same time, we are following her and her thoughts, which minimalizes all the other characters’ roles resulting in a slow and boring novel.

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