Mansfield ParkPaperback Wordsworth Classics
- Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 400 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 194mm x 24mm | 240g
- Publication date: 1 January 1998
- Publication City/Country: Herts
- ISBN 10: 1853260320
- ISBN 13: 9781853260322
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Illustrations note: notes, bibliography
- Sales rank: 6,631
Introduction and Notes by Dr Ian Littlewood, University of Sussex. Adultery is not a typical Jane Austen theme, but when it disturbs the relatively peaceful household at Mansfield Park, it has quite unexpected results. The diffident and much put-upon heroine Fanny Price has to struggle to cope with the results, re-examining her own feelings while enduring the cheerful amorality, old-fashioned indifference and priggish disapproval of those around her.
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By Nicholas Whyte 20 Feb 2010
It is a peculiar case: some very interesting characters and family dynamics, with a wealth of layered detail, but I found the basic social message of the book rather uncongenial. Austen's heroine is Fanny Price, informally adopted by her rich uncle and aunt; Fanny is generally passive and when she expresses an opinion tends towards priggishness (with the author's full approval); the stable conservative world of Mansfield Park is under threat from the cosmopolitan horrors of London, but Fanny supports the resistance. Most of the climactic events take place off-screen in the last few chapters, which is a bit unsatisfying. (Also the kind rich uncle clearly has made his money thanks to slavery.) The book does have its points of interest, but I would advise anyone thinking of casual dabbling in Austen to stick to Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.
Back cover copy
Mansfield Park is a study of three families-the Bertrams, the Crawfords, and the Prices-with the isolated figure of the heroine, Fanny Price, at its center. Fanny's quiet passivity, her steadfast loyalty and love for the son of the family who regard her as the poor relation, and who have taken her under their roof, are not appreciated until they are tried against the brilliant and witty Mary and Henry Crawford, the unfortunate consequences of whose influence are felt by everyone.