Title: Mansfield Park
Author: Jane Austen
Genre/Themes: Classic Fiction, Romance, Family Dynamics, Societal Expectations
Blurb from Goodreads
Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle’s absence in Antigua, the Crawford’s arrive in the neighbourhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for flirtation.
Mansfield Park is considered Jane Austen’s first mature work and, with its quiet heroine and subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, one of her most profound.
I think it ought not to be set down as certain that a man must be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself.
Mansfield Park features my favourite Austen heroine! I know!!!!
Quite the unpopular opinion I have when it comes to Ms Austen’s leading ladies.
Don’t get me wrong, I love them ALL but I think Fanny Price shades it for me.
Fanny Price frequently gets a bad rep for being dull and boring or much too pious; for not having the same spark or fieriness as an Elizabeth Bennett or an Emma Woodhouse.
Yet I absolutely adore her.
And it’s probably because of all these things because I don’t see them as character flaws but rather something that makes her feel very honest to me as the reader.
It’s her ordinariness that I think I love the most. I found her to be the most real of Austen’s female protagonists because she is so hopelessly flawed and insecure.
Fanny Price doesn’t even have quite that same romantic starring role as Austen’s other female protagonists in the storyline either. It’s almost as if she is a passenger in her own life story because of the myriad things going on at Mansfield Park, and of the focus of the novel on what it means to be poor or supposedly less than those in the higher classes.
But yet amidst all this, Fanny somehow is able to bring forth this undeniable strength and independent will from underneath her insecurities.
And it is that indomitable will that has always appealed to me. In spite of her shyness and her quietness she finds her own way to be the kind of person she wants to be….
….even if that is the kind of person who has the hots for her cousin!!!
*tries not to vomit*
Different times people, different times!!!!!
One of those hypothetical questions that is frequently posed to book readers is ‘what literary character would you like to be friends with?’
Fanny Price for sure.
Because she would be a loyal and kind friend who values integrity above all else, and she would always have my back. And we would definitely bond over the passing of judgment on the follies of others!!!
One of my all-time favourite five star reads
“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”
Indeed it is Ms Austen, indeed!!