Mansfield Park, our third novel for the Jane Austen Book Club, is a better read than Emma. The story started so right, as if intending to touch a soft spot in a reader. Fanny Price came from a poor family and was sent to live with her well-off relatives in Mansfield Park Estate. It’s like a Cinderella story for the sole point of view of coming from rags to riches, with the variation of having wicked cousins (minus Edmund) and a bitchy Aunt Norris.
An initial major unacceptable part for me was for Fanny having a crush-turned-to-love for her elder cousin, Edmund. I soon convinced myself that this fiction was set ages ago (18th century). Oddly, there was a point that I wanted her to end up with Henry Crawford especially when he tried his best to win her by meeting her biological family at their humble abode. She could have really fallen for Henry (who in the latter part had an affair with Maria, Fanny’s elder cousin, when she rejected his proposal) as the story progressed if not for the mind-boggling trust issue. It’s a dealbreaker when you are being pursued by someone who is claiming and trying to prove that he’s no longer a bad guy. Truly, trust is love’s first cousin.
While in those times that marriage is more indicatively a business, it is surprising that Fanny’s mother reminded her that she married for love. Her mother, trapped at having several children in a nearly hopeless situation, still not persuading Fanny to marry just to save them from poverty. In the end, Edmund confessed that he loves her and apologized for being so blind to this truth.
I don’t know, but personally I think Fanny is too good to have ended up with Edmund. Seems like she reserved herself for him right from the start. Although there’s actually no better man other than him in the story. I prefer the more acceptable ending of she being married with someone who is not her relative. Of course, neither to settle with a half ass guy.
I’ve also seen the 1999 film adaptation. Some parts differed from the book. While some Jane Austen fans dislike Mansfield Park primarily because the main character, Fanny, is shy, timid, lacking, self-confidence, physically weak and sort of annoying (because she is always right): boring, as you may call it, very different from other main character in Austen’s novels, but for me, it was absolutely an enjoyable piece whether you read or see it, whichever you prefer.
And yes, this remains to be my favorite line:
But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.
As an aside, I was particularly interested in this book because it was mentioned in Book 3 (Eclipse) of Twilight Saga.
(This is my entry for the Jane Austen Book Club October novel, Mansfield Park. Our November read would be Lady Susan. Click here for complete reading schedule.)
0 thoughts on “Mansfield Park”
I have finished the book 🙂 Now I just need to sit down and write down my thoughts. To be honest, I was disappointed. I guess I enjoyed the tv series more than I did the actual story 😦
Sintas last blog post..Building a Friend
I actually preferred Emma to Mansfield Park, but that’s just because I’m weird. 😉 I think your Jane Austen book Club’s a great idea, but I wouldn’t be able to catch up because of all my other reading! But I love tracking everyone’s progress and reading vicariously through you guys. 😉
J.s last blog post..Deadly Cupcakes
I loved it when you said, “Truly, trust is love’s first cousin”.
I haven’t tried Jane Austen’s books…maybe now that I’m free of the Twilight series, I could take a peek.
among Jane Austen’s novels, Mansfield Park was the hardest to digest for me. for more or less the same reasons you cited: compared to Elizabeth Benett’s liveliness, Fanny can be so frustratingly lame sometimes. But at least, when needed, she knew how to stand up for her principles, and you’ve got to admire her for that.
rinas last blog post..extras (extras lang, unfortunately)
i am the ultimate Jane Austen loser. i never even got to finish Northanger Abbey! 😦 I should try reading her again, i might just like it this time
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That would be February’s novel. You might want to read with us by then. 🙂
for some reason, it has always been a struggle for me to get past the first few pages of Mansfield Park. among jane austen’s heroines, fanny often lags behind her peers because she lacks the vitality and pull of say, elizabeth b. or even emma. nothing wrong with that really, but it’s kind of hard to appreciate her qualities when you can’t even convince yourself to finish the book. 🙂
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I definitely found the story slowly picking up. I agree that it’s especially difficult to go on reading when we’re no attracted to the main characters. 🙂
I am anot yet done rereading the book… but made a short post…http://reninlagrio.blogspot.com/2008/10/passing-by-mansfield-park.html
The flow of the novel is more predictable (since Fanny was described as good all through-out the story)and less irritating than Emma…
I read that short post few days ago. I especially agree that the existence of extramarital affair and incest in the novel was so surprising!