About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet’s lady, wiih all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.

Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen’s more serious novels. It tells of Fanny Price, who at the age of 10 was sent to live with her uncle, Sir Bertram (her family is very poor.) She found friendship only in Edmund, Sir Bertram’s second son. Maria and Julia, her two cousins, have always meant well but been condescending, and the eldest son didn’t have much to do with her. When Fanny is eighteen, the Crawfords, Henry and his sister Mary arrive. Henry is the epitome of a fickle young suitor, while Miss Crawford is trying to catch Edmund. Fanny, who is secretly loves Edmund, is forced to watch all of this.

Mansfield Park is full of interesting character studies, and all of the characters are well-drawn. Unlike many people, I didn’t hate Frank Churchill from Emma, and I didn’t hate Henry Crawford either. He’s just…well, fickle. Edmund was rather dull, but he is extremely kind.

This definitely wasn’t one of my favorite Jane Austen’s. Pride and Prejudice and Emma I liked a lot more, though it was better than Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. I just have Sense and Sensibility (and Lady Susan) to go!

The relationships between the characters were really interesting; I felt for Fanny a lot, when she is ignored by her cousins and excluded from outings. And at the beginning, when at the age of 10, she has to leave behind everyone she loves at home. Mansfield Park is less witty than Pride and Prejudice and Emma, but I did like it.

Read Mansfield Park:

  • if you like Jane Austen
  • if you like romance
  • if you like British literature

386 pages (in my very old Bantam classics edition.)

 
Very Good! I would recommend this book!
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