Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – Book Review

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.

My Review

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?’

My answer?

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!!

Other Jane Austen Works I’ve Reviewed

My Socials

12 thoughts on “Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – Book Review

  1. I would have to agree with you wholeheartedly. I found it a very interesting character study and commentary on the social standings of Austen’s era.
    And I’m delighted to hear you’re going to give Pride and Prejudice a go. I’m quite envious of you in many respects because I’d love to be reading it for the first time myself. It’s just such a brilliant read imo. But I would say that become such an avid Austen fan! I admire your commitment to giving the classics a shot and dedicating a month to reading them. Personally I’m very much a mood reader so the idea of challenges or themed reading is enough to send me running for the hills…or more accurately into a book slump! I basically resent any book I perceive as being forced to read oops! But if you find yourself struggling with Austen or any of the other traditional classics then don’t berate yourself. I’m very much of the opinion that we should follow our hearts with regards to reading as a hobby. And sometimes certain books, despite being adored by many others, just aren’t for us. And that’s perfectly okay.
    I’d also like to add that I think it’s brilliant how reader based social media has connected me to other people too. Reading is traditionally such an intimate experience, a very solitary hobby… but now getting to share my passion for a variety of books with all sorts of people makes my heart sing. 😊✨

    Like

  2. She sounds like a total babe! I like original characters and as a person that’s perennially insecure and, quite literally, still figuring out how to work this life, it’s wonderful to feel seen in literary works.

    Also, cheers to you for being able to read a classic! I’ve tried a number of times to properly get into one, but I haven’t been able to. When I was making my blog calendar—rough scribbles in my journal—, I designated July as the “Month of Classics”. Let’s see if I make up enough excuses to get out of actually doing it. Happy reading!

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    1. A lot of people think that Fanny Price is quite dull and plain…dare I say rather uninteresting! But it’s that different style of leading character that makes her stand out for me. She’s trying to balance so much; she has to be grateful to her extended family because her life is literally balanced on their whims due to her lack of financial or social standing which makes her have to watch every word, action etc. And if she’s too much of a goody-two-shoes it’s because she’s quite unspoiled like her cousins which makes for interesting reading imo.
      I do love reading classics. Always have done. I quite like seeing the different styles of writing etc. They feel very escapist to me. But I know not everyone feels that way about the classics which is okay. Be boring if we were all the same! Best of luck with your classics endeavour this summer. I hope you stumble upon a classic book that you fall in love with 😊

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      1. I know a bit about being financially dependent on a perennially capricious person, so I understand why Fanny would take to blending into the background rather than answer her drawing much attention to herself. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not boring behaviour as much as it is an act of self-preservation. 

        In totally unrelated news😉, I dug out my copy of Pride and Prejudice from the recesses of my e-library a few minutes ago. Ofcourse, I can’t say for certain that I’ll enjoy it—seeing as this might be my 10000th attempt to read the book—but I’m willing to try!

        One thing that always brings me back to reading is the thrill of meeting new people. As a somewhat antisocial person, I find solace in literary characters and I find the process very educative. And, with all the amazing quotes I’ve seen online, I can’t wait to see what characters await me.

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        1. I would have to agree with you wholeheartedly. I found it a very interesting character study and commentary on the social standings of Austen’s era.
          And I’m delighted to hear you’re going to give Pride and Prejudice a go. I’m quite envious of you in many respects because I’d love to be reading it for the first time myself. It’s just such a brilliant read imo. But I would say that become such an avid Austen fan! I admire your commitment to giving the classics a shot and dedicating a month to reading them. Personally I’m very much a mood reader so the idea of challenges or themed reading is enough to send me running for the hills…or more accurately into a book slump! I basically resent any book I perceive as being forced to read oops! But if you find yourself struggling with Austen or any of the other traditional classics then don’t berate yourself. I’m very much of the opinion that we should follow our hearts with regards to reading as a hobby. And sometimes certain books, despite being adored by many others, just aren’t for us. And that’s perfectly okay.
          I’d also like to add that I think it’s brilliant how reader based social media has connected me to other people too. Reading is traditionally such an intimate experience, a very solitary hobby… but now getting to share my passion for a variety of books with all sorts of people makes my heart sing. 😊✨

          Like

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