Mansfield Park

I finished Mansfield Park today, and I really wish I could reclaim those hours of my life spent reading this book.

As Jane Austen’s third book, I had higher expectations for it. Written in 1814, I’m sure there are many aspects of English countryside lifestyles that I am unfamiliar with, and hence, couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Mary Crawford was the most colorful and delightful character in the book, but I don’t think Jane Austen meant for her to be the most approachable character.

Edmund is very uppity, and very oblivious to anything relating to emotions.
Fanny is so meek and timid, it drives a modern woman up the wall.

Henry Crawford is another manifestation of Mr. Wickham, although I did find Henry Crawford more charming than Mr. Wickham overall.

The book could have been more successful without the entire volume 2. So much of nothing happened, I was more shocked at the levels of boredom and tediousness of life back in the early 19th century then anything else. I can see why so many movie representations of the novel stray so far from the actual storyline. The entire slave-trade incident in Antigua that Sir Thomas Betram is involved in gets only slightly mentioned in one sentence in the book, when it was given a much higher significance in the movies. I really did hope that Henry Crawford and Fanny would marry. I liked the Crawfords, for all their faults and selfishness, at least their characters had some life to them.

This book was such a let down compared to the life, the wit and the amazing characters of Pride and Prejudice.

I do still want to read Northanger Abbey, but I have no desire to read Emma or Sense and Sensability.

I guess I can start the Friday Night Knitting Club this week.

Find this book at your local library

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5 responses to “Mansfield Park

  1. lol… I think you’re right… Mansfield Park is a major let down! But I think you’re being hasty about Sense and Sensibility… It’s awesome! I suggest you read it… 😀

  2. Ugh, I hate that “why did I bother?” feeling. At least you can stand around at cocktail parties and expound upon the merits of Pride and Prejudice over Mansfield Park to people who’ve read neither and be impressive.

  3. Yaake: I probably will end up reading Sense and Sensability, and Emma too. I’ll just have to go into it with lower, or no expectations. =)

    Devourer: You bring up a good point, although with these two books, any topic will probably quickly shift to their movie counterparts.

  4. lookingforlifeshumor

    MP is often the least favorite of the Jane novels… and in some ways is so different from the others. But if you consider how loyal and constant Fanny is (even though the others don’t seemingly deserve it)… she is very consistent with the values inherent in all of Jane’s gooks. Also, look at how Henry effectively goes into his “relationship” with Fanny just for the entertainment of it rather than for a real regard of Fanny, it is no surprise that they don’t get together at the end. Still – so many say that this is their least favorite of the six, so you are in good company!!!

  5. I went into this book knowing it wasn’t her most popular novel, but I still had some hopes for it.

    You are right, Fanny in her own timid way, was the strongest character in terms staying the same all throughout the novel, and never changing her values based on her surroundings and peers. Even pious Edmund wasn’t so strong as her.

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