Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Book - 1992
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Random House, Inc.
Introduction by Peter Conrad

At the center of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park is Fanny Price, the classic “poor cousin” who has been brought to live with the rich Sir Thomas Bertram and his wife as an act of charity. Over time, Fanny comes to demonstrate forcibly those virtues Austen most admired: modesty, firm principles, and a loving heart. As Fanny watches her cousins Maria and Julia cast aside their scruples in dangerous flirtations (and worse), and as she herself resolutely resists the advantages of marriage to the fascinating but morally unsteady Henry Crawford, her seeming austerity grows in appeal and makes clear why she was Austen’s own favorite among her heroines.

Mansfield Park encompasses not only Austen’s great comedic gifts and her genius as a historian of the human animal, but her personal credo as well—her faith in a social order that combats chaos through civil grace, decency, and wit. With an introduction by Peter Conrad.

Baker & Taylor
The private and social worlds of three families are revealed through the experiences of the heroine, Fanny Price

Publisher: New York : Knopf ; St. Martin's Press ; Modern Library, 1992
ISBN: 9780679412694
Branch Call Number: AUS
Characteristics: xxxvii, 473 p


From the critics

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Feb 14, 2019

A more reserved heroine, but with plenty of plot twists

I liked Mansfield Park, despite its length. I saw it as something of an extrovert's guide to an introvert's world. I don't think Fanny was portrayed as too flawless; her emotions were all over the place, just as many other people's would be. I might have found her too good to be real if her emotions and thoughts hadn't been the main lens through which the reader sees the story, but that would be another story, as they say. Having acted in seven plays, I think the theatrical segment of the story is very well done, although with all the emotional tension involved in that subplot (some of which I can relate to), it was rather stressful to read. This book is somewhat bleaker and less satisfying than, say, Pride and Prejudice, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing or a departure from Austen's intentions - although without a guiding hand such as hers, I highly doubt that the central couple could have survived such a quantity of turbulent events and deceptive interlopers!

SPPL_Kristen Mar 26, 2018

I can believe my girl Jane followed the masterpiece Pride and Prejudice with Mansfield Park.

Aug 27, 2017

I love this book. Many reviewers describe Fanny as prissy or boring but I see her as having humility rather than weakness and integrity rather than being boring. She is only 18 and has yet to receive genuine love sufficient to enable her to blossom in confidence. Whilst she will always be gentle and considerate she will lose her shyness and insecurity once truly loved by one she can love and cherish in return. Just some real TLC is what she needs to turn the ugly duckling into the swan she really is.

The book is about comparisons: those who carry an inner light of principles and those who have not learnt to listen to it, those who chose stillness and contentment as opposed to those who need constant movement and entertainment, those who value true love and honour as opposed to those who value status and money, chaos and intemperance vs order and duty.

It was written at the beginning of the 1800s which was a time of incredible change. Holding to time honoured principles and not throwing out the good for a new not so good was Austen's perspective.

Whilst I did not agree with some of the judgement on others Fanny makes, at the core she does have the gift of discernment. The one flaw in the book was the final treatment of Maria (pronounced Mariah). She made a serious error which cost her a lot but then her family turned their backs on her. There was no room made for her to develop contrition and learn from what she had chosen to do. I wish Austen had ended the book otherwise but then again, it was probably in keeping with the times; a fallen woman was severely judged in those times. Otherwise, this is one of my favourite novels.

HMWLibrary2017 Jul 14, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Mansfield Park" and at certain times would even characterize it as a "page-turner." It's a classic for a reason. That said, I am conflicted about the characters of Fanny and Edmond. Does Austen really want us to fully identify and sympathize with them? They're so uptight and prudish! Did Austen really want us to sympathize with their more modern and educated cousins? I'm so curious to know what others think.

Jun 20, 2017

Mansfield Park is a beautiful story and book. I absolutely loved it. It was kind of slow at first, but that doesn't last. Fanny is by far my favorite Jane Austen heroine. She is sweet and kind and quiet and polite. She never disappoints you. I absolutely adore her. And Edmund is perfect for her. Despite the fact that for a while he fancies himself deeply in love with a wicked woman, he too is wonderful. I just love this book so much! I cannot wait to find a good adaption of it!

charmeleon Aug 12, 2016

I love most classical literature novels, by all the classical novelist; Jane Austen. Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Victor Hugo to name a few. Mansfield Park did not disappoint me at all.

Apr 09, 2015

After about 20 years I thought it was time for a re-read of Austen's books. My opinions of this particular book haven't really changed. I still can't appreciate the characters of Fanny and Edmund. The moral overtones of the story and characters really annoys me.
And in the end I rather wish Fanny hadn't gotten the man she wanted because I really think she deserved better.

EuSei Feb 28, 2014

(Contain spoilers.) I firmly believe no librarian ever read Mansfield Park, otherwise Lord Bertram’s burning all the copies of Lover’s Vows he found would have banished it from libraries! (Chuckle!) This third book has all Miss Austin’s talented penmanship, but very little—or nothing, rather—of the comic situations I found in Pride and Prejudice and most especially in Emma. This is a deeper, more serious novel, highly moralizing, with lots of inner thoughts and questionings, which sometimes might get a bit long to the modern reader unused to this kind of literature. Through this book—as in all her others—she makes very clear what she expected (not only society), that “girls should be quiet and modest” and “perfectly feminine.” She condemned, on people in general, the “want of that higher species of self-command, that just consideration of others.” In the story 10 year-old Fanny Price, goes to live with her wealthy uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Bertram, in their beautiful and tranquil estate of Mansfield Park. There she meets four cousins, two girls and two boys, of which, second son, the mature and highly honorable Edmund, becomes her ideal since the beginning. (Edmund was not a priest, but was ordained a couple of chapters before the end of the book.) The story evolves through ups and downs, lots of misunderstandings, to culminate in a happy ending. Unlike what is portrayed in movies inspired by Mansfield Park, Fanny is not treated unkindly, nor relegated to a dungeon-like room. Her sleeping quarters were a “little white attic” with connection to the old “school-room” which contained her plants, her books—of which she had been a collector from the first hour of her commanding a shilling—her writing desk, and her works of charity.” The lack of fire in that room was due to her Aunt Norris constant meddling and a shocked Lord Bertrand belatedly corrects this injurious situation. British society was then divided into classes and Fanny, while enjoying much of the benefits of living with the family, belonged to a very poor branch—hence the differed treatment she received. “If tenderness could be ever supposed wanting, good sense and good breeding supplied its place,” Jane Austen writes about the Bertrand family in relation to Fanny. Miss Austen’s high moral standards permeate the entire book, it is full of Fanny’s eagerness to do what is right and proper, to think good thoughts and do good deeds. Good and evil were clearly discerned and exposed in the situations Austen weaves; the elopement of a married woman with a bachelor is to her a “sin of the first magnitude.” I feel sure Jane Austen, whose heroines were invariably highly principled, moral young women, would have been devastated had she a chance to see the state of today’s youth, particularly of girls. I only wish young women would read more of this kind of literature instead of the filth available now in all American libraries.

Feb 16, 2014

This is the first Jane Austen book I read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I plan on reading more of her books in the future.

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EuSei Feb 28, 2014

You need not hurry when the object is only to prevent my saying a bon-mot, for there is not the least wit in my nature. I am a very matter-of-fact, plain spoken being, and may blunder on the borders of a repartee for half an hour together without striking it out. (Edmund to Mary Crawford)

EuSei Feb 28, 2014

Henry Crawford had too much sense not to feel the worth of good principles in a wife, though he was too little accustomed to serious reflection to know them by their proper name, but when he talked of her as having such a steadiness and regularity of conduct, such a high notion of honor, and such an observance of decorum as might warrant any man in the fullest dependence on her faith and integrity, he expressed what was inspired by the knowledge of her being well-principled and religious.

Nov 18, 2012

Never had Fanny more wanted a cordial.

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Dec 03, 2017

Benvolia thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

EuSei Mar 11, 2014

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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