Mansfield Park is the fourth book I read by Jane Austen, and I think this was the one that took the most time to read. Although I have read it with a little less joy than her other books, I can still say that it is a lovely Jane Austen classic.
If I were to compare Mansfield Park with her other books, I would say that I like the main character Fanny more than Elizabeth Bennet and Emma in her other novels. But neither the humour in Pride and Prejudice nor the enthralling story in Emma is in this book. It was a much slower novel than all of them, and the ending was far less elaborate than the others. But it was still a beautiful Austen novel.
Mansfield Park begins when Fanny Price leaves her poor and rude family home, which does not quite fit her fine spirit, and comes to Mansfield Park, the home of her aunt, full of wealth and kindness. Although it is tough to get used to living in this house where she settled at a young age, as time passes, she begins to adapt to the rules and style of this house with the help of her cousin Edmund. As in every Austen novel, a magnificent picture of society is presented to you through events and characters.
Jane Austen does not shy away from giving life lessons through each character. I can’t help but admire the author’s power of observation in each of her books. You cannot always encounter such deep and three-dimensional characters. Watching Fanny develop throughout the book and following the ridiculous events around her made me feel as if I was hearing all about her from my distant relatives. And of course, there is an abundantly undiscouraged love story like in every Austen novel. Enjoy reading!
After her impoverished family sends her to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle at opulent Mansfield Park, Fanny Price finds her life forever changed by the aristocratic Bertrams and the city-dwelling Crawford siblings. But is it for the better? While the others seem content to abandon what’s right to further their own interests, Fanny decides to hold true to her heart – a choice that will make or break her future.
Mansfield Park is largely considered to be one of Jane Austen’s most ambitious novels, a darkly satirical glimpse into morality and social mobility within the nineteenth-century British class system.
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Jane Austen was an English novelist whose books, set among the English middle and upper classes, are notable for their wit, social observation and insights into the lives of early 19th century women.
Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 in the village of Steventon in Hampshire. She was one of eight children of a clergyman and grew up in a close-knit family. She began to write as a teenager. In 1801 the family moved to Bath. After the death of Jane’s father in 1805 Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother moved several times eventually settling in Chawton, near Steventon.
Jane’s brother Henry helped her negotiate with a publisher and her first novel, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, appeared in 1811. Her next novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’, which she described as her “own darling child” received highly favourable reviews. ‘Mansfield Park’ was published in 1814, then ‘Emma’ in 1816. ‘Emma’ was dedicated to the prince regent, an admirer of her work. All of Jane Austen’s novels were published anonymously.
In 1816, Jane began to suffer from ill-health, probably due to Addison’s disease. She travelled to Winchester to receive treatment, and died there on 18 July 1817. Two more novels, ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’ were published posthumously and a final novel was left incomplete.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: