Mansfield Park (Penguin English Library)
5 journalers for this copy...
The Mansfield Park of the title, a magnificent, idyllic estate which is home to the wealthy Bertram family, stands as a bastion of English tradition and stability. The novel's heroine, Fanny Price, is a "poor relation" living with the Bertrams, acutely conscious of her inferior status and yet daring to love their son Edmund--but from afar. However, with five marriageable young people on the premises, the peace at Mansfield cannot last. Courtships, entertainments and intrigues throw the place into turmoil, and Fanny finds herself unwillingly competing with a dazzlingly witty and lovely rival. As critic Margaret Drabble has pointed out, the house becomes "full of the energies of discord--sibling rivalry, greed, ambition, illicit sexual passion, and vanity," and the novel becomes ever more engrossing as it builds to Mansfield's final scandal and, finally, a satisfying conclusion. Unique in its moral design and brilliant interplay of the forces of tradition and change, Mansfield Park was the first novel of Jane Austen's maturity, and the first in which the author turned her unerring eye on the concerns of English society at a time of great upheaval.
The participants of this bookring are:
Wakira, Spain ***
spaceystacey, New Jersey
and back to Antof9
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Happy reading everyone!
A word of caution - I didn't know the story at all, and regretted reading the introduction as it had lots of plot spoilers in it, and I don't think it really helped me to enjoy or understand the book any more.....so you may prefer to read it at the end (or not at all).
Oops have sealed the book in an envelope and forgot to note my favourite quote.....probably something from the horrendous Mrs Norris!
Sending it on to Talkland today.
Off topic but relevant; I have been mentally put an 'O' where it shouldn't have been Jo and I have only realised today I have been reading your name wrong. I had this vision of you being a bit bonkers but it looks like I might be the mad one not you!!!
I had forgotten this novel. I read it years ago at school. It is a most excellent book and though some people think Fanny Price is insipid and a prig, I rather like her. She has strong convictions and moral centre. She is an introvert and is afraid of people. Fanny is a gentle soul surrounded by selfish family and amoral friends. Most of the characters in the book flow free in water of life and washing up where they least expect it and certain not where they want to be. Fanny lets life flow over her while all the time being anchored firmly by her morals and insight.
This is a book about marriage, the Good (Fanny's), the Bad (Julia's) and the Ugly (Maria's). Maria marries for money and position. Julia marries in haste being swept along by events. Fanny marries for love, staying firm and true. It is also a novel about change. Fanny's life is changed by circumstances beyond her control. In the other characters' lives it is due mainly to their own actions and their desire for change. It also shows that some events, though at the time may seem trivial and not of much importance, are the pivot or the spark that cause the direction of life to change irrevocably. The arrival of Mr Yates and the members of house catching the acting bug is one such moment.
The one thing I think many critics forget about this book is how young some of the characters are. Fanny is only eighteen and the oldest of the younger players is only in their mid twenties. I know some might say, "Well, they grew up fast in those days." In some ways they probably did and in the lower classes they definitely did. The Bertrams and the Crawfords are near the top of society. Their lives are cushioned to a vast degree compared to most who lived at that time. I think, the girls and woman of this time and in the more elevated positions of society were protected, not only from physical love but emotional love too. There was much emphasis on a woman's purity and innocence. These are her most prized assets. Virginity and reputation are easily lost and can never be replaced. Fanny's reputation is pure and therefore her worth high. Julia's reputation is slightly tarnished but Maria's has been destroyed. Maria's worth at the beginning of the novel is the highest but by the end hers is lowest.
This novel shows Jane Austen's genius as a writer and commentator on life. Her observations and insight are spot on. Her work is a joy to read. I would recommend everyone to at least read one of her books. She is truly one of the greats of English Literature.
This masterpiece is on its way to Germany and Nikel27.
Jane Austen is one off my absolute favourite authors and love all her books. This one I haven't read so often then the other books from her.
I loved the story. and look forward to reread some more books from Jane Austen.
thanks for letting me join this BookRay.
As soon as I get the address from the next member the books will go to the postoffice. Hopefully before I wil go on vacation.
goes to the next member wakira/Spain
Here's the link to the book: Mansfield Park