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Mansfield Park

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  192,204 Ratings  ·  6,060 Reviews
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 neighborhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for flirtation. Mansfie ...more
Hardcover, Clothbound, 507 pages
Published November 3rd 2011 by Penguin Classics (first published July 1814)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) She's not "out of it"--she has opted out. Austen says as much: she's bone idle, and prefers doing needlework and petting her dog to actively…moreShe's not "out of it"--she has opted out. Austen says as much: she's bone idle, and prefers doing needlework and petting her dog to actively participating in life. After all, she married a rich man, that's what servants are for. There are plenty of wealthy women in the world today who sit around watching TV, going to the hairdresser, lunching--and little else. They pay other people to take care of their houses, their kids, their meals and clothes. Their only mission in life is to be as comfortable and fashionable as possible. You don't have to be disabled to be brain-dead. You don't even have to be rich, to be selfish and lazy. Today she'd sit glued to reality TV all day, if she were working class, or reading one Harlequin Presents after another, or something.

Sir Thomas is so wrapped up in his business that he hardly notices his own children are there unless they, like Tom, get so into debt or make such fools of themselves that he has to pay attention. Again, like plenty of workaholics the world over in our day and age he knows the servants and busybody Aunt Norris will take up the slack. Wifey doesn't bother her pretty little head, but then she doesn't have to--he can afford it. Just like plenty of absentee parents today--they bring in the money and find somebody to take care of things. Au pairs, nannys, housekeepers, schools--whoever.(less)
Mary Catelli The Hapsburgs were in trouble not because of a first cousin marriage but because they had been interbreeding for generations. One is not that…moreThe Hapsburgs were in trouble not because of a first cousin marriage but because they had been interbreeding for generations. One is not that dangerous.(less)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëSense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Penguin Clothbound Classics
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Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenPersuasion by Jane AustenThe Promise by Lauren  HunterSense and Sensibility by Jane AustenThe Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
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8th out of 180 books — 99 voters

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Aug 12, 2007 Greyeyedminerva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was astounded to find that many of the reviews on this site criticize this book for the main character, Fanny Price, & her timidity and morality. It is very different from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, whose smart, sensible heroines make the novels, but I actually enjoyed this book immensely for its social commentary.

Most of the characters in this book singlemindedly pursue wealth, status, and pleasure regardless of their personal and moral costs. Their antics are pretty
Sep 01, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only hardcore Austen fans
(This is usually the part where I offer abject apologies for my review's length, but I don't feel like it this time. It's long. Continued on the comments section. You have been duly notified.)

Ah, Fanny Price. We meet again.

Our previous meeting was…. How shall I say? Underwhelming. Unsatisfying. …Lacking is really the word I’m looking for. There was something missing in every encounter I had with you that made me want to tear my hair out.

Now I know why, and it was entirely to do with what I brou
Sherwood Smith
Most Austen aficionados agree that Pride and Prejudice is a great book. Jane Austen thought it might be too "light and bright and sparkling"--that its comedy might outshine its serious points--but its continued popularity today indicates that her recipe for brilliance contained just the right ingredients.

Yet a lot of modern readers loathe Mansfield Park, despite its being thought by others the greatest of all Austen's work. What's going on here?

Frequently leveled criticisms:
* Fanny is a stick
Aug 10, 2015 Eve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2015
“The best things in life are free,
but you can give them to the birds and bees.
I want money.” – The Flying Lizzards

 photo image.jpg1_zpsrlvlrb6t.jpg

This is the last of Austen’s books that I’ve finally finished, a goal I’ve been working towards since I was sixteen. I saved this one for last because although it’s one of my favorite films, it seemed like it would be a clunky and slow-paced novel. I was definitely wrong. Maybe it’s the timing of it. This book will forever remind me of my grandmother’s passing. She passed away two w
Holly Goguen
Jul 25, 2008 Holly Goguen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Holly by:
Shelves: literature, favorites
I have seen no small amount of reviews toting Fanny Price as Austen's least likable heroine, and to be honest...I'm not sure where they get that impression from. Granted, Fanny's characteristics often shine by what they are not, next to the undesirable character traits of those around her.....but does this appropriateness of demeanor, attention to honor and morals, and respect toward elders (especially the ones least deserving of it) truely mean she is not fit for her lead status? I think not. A ...more
Jason Koivu
"I can not but think good horsemanship has a great deal to do with the mind." Jane Austen always did a great job of planting ridiculous declarations in the mouths of characters she wished to discredit. Character was her strong suit and there's some good'uns here in.

Within Mansfield Park there are characterizations so delicate and actions of importance utterly unassuming. Some seem meaningless in their modesty. Excellent work by a diligent author. Dangerous pitfalls for the casual reader.

The who
Henry Avila
Feb 05, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fanny Price's mother had two sisters, as beautiful as she, one married an affluent gentleman , Sir Thomas Bertram, everyone said this would enable her siblings, to do the same. But England hasn't enough rich men, to accommodate deserving ladies. Another married a respectable clergyman, but with little money. Sir Thomas's , friend, Reverend Norris, good but dull , and gets him a church and a cottage in Mansfield Park, Northampton, on his vast estate. The kind Sir Thomas , is very willing to help ...more
May 21, 2010 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unexpected
My reading of Mansfield Park was attended, part of the way, by two poets talking about the difficulty of writing (or to me, reading) Austen’s kind of novel:

A young poet’s ignorance of life will go unnoticed. Meter, rhyme, felicitous phrases, and what not mask the underlying weakness or banality. With fiction, where dissimilar characters suffer and grow and interact, there is no place to hide. One either knows what people go through or doesn’t.
(James Merrill)

Then she’s a novelist. I don’t know w
Jul 02, 2011 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Austen fans, regency fans
I'm really not surprised that not a lot of people like Fanny Price. She's timid, moralistic and extremely passive. But really, what were people expecting her to do, exactly? Tell her cousin she loves him? B-slap Miss Crawford? Fanny is low in society, brought up to be grateful to everyone, and has no independence (dowry, etc,.). A lot of women were like that in those days. Many shy people also have a higher regard for authority than others, because of authority's 'better' judgement, and that is ...more
The filling of the reading sandwich between my first time with Mansfield Park ten years ago and last week is Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, which I happened upon two years ago. Cain's book was a revelation to me. At last, I finally understood my essence—after years of wondering what's wrong with me, why I crave so much time alone, why gatherings of people exhaust me, why, yes indeed, I steer my grocery cart abruptly away if I see someone I know in ...more
Deborah Markus
Dec 09, 2014 Deborah Markus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mansfield Park is probably Austen's least liked novel. Northanger Abbey may be flawed, but it's a romp and a quick read; Persuasion may be dark, but it's tender and passionate, and contains quite possibly Austen's greatest proposal ever.

But what does Mansfield Park have to offer? A heroine who possesses every 18th-century feminine virtue? Hardly a recommendation to a 21st-century reader. A main character so physically delicate one can hardly imagine her surviving her wedding night, let alone ch
Mansfield Park is perhaps not the one of Austen's novels which appeals the most to modern sensibilities; after all, reasonably faithful adaptations have been made recently of several of Austen's other novels, while Mansfield Park was changed into something Austen lovers barely recognized. Mansfield Park is the home of Fanny Price, the poor relation of Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram (Fanny's mother's sister), who took her to live with them from her impoverished Portsmouth home; Fanny is largely over ...more
Feb 13, 2008 Charity rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to end their love affair with Jane Austen
Shelves: 1001books, brit-lit, blah
Argh! I am very surprised that I was able to finish this book. I found it to be completely tedious. If this had been the first book I had read by Jane Austen, it would have been enough to turn me off from the rest of her works.

Fanny was too virtuous a character to be likable. She was dull as powder and entirely too submissive. I would have much more enjoyed reading about the spunky Miss Mary Crawford. She would have proved to be a more approachable heroine and her high jinx could never be boring
Nov 25, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, re-read

This review contains some spoilers.

About a year ago I started a Jane Austen project, which has involved listening to the six major novels on audiobook, most of them narrated by Juliet Stevenson, who is simply wonderful at bringing Austen’s characters to life. It says something about me that in this period I have listened to Persuasion twice. It says something else about me that I left this book until last. That I did so won't come as a big surprise to admirers of Jane Austen's novels. This is th
Jan 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brit lit lovers
I don't think this book would have been so disappointing if I hadn't just seen the movie adaptation of it (specifically, the 1999 version). I saw the movie first, and liked the plot so much that I started the book. I enjoyed reading P & P and S & S, so I assumed I would enjoy Mansfield Park also. I quickly found out that the movie was much more entertaining -- but more importantly than that, its social/political message was more palatable to me than the book's.

In the movie, the protagoni
Feb 22, 2008 Oceana9 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who can stand nineteenth-century British novelists.
Fanny Price. Yes, the protagonist's name is really Fanny Price. This book is uber-Austen, so expect all the Austenish things: a saintly heroine, clever talkin', love triangles and love squares. Much walking amongst the shrubbery. Letter-writin'. Good brother vs. bad brother. (Both are hot.) Evil rich sisters (both are hot.) Poor, destitute cousin taken in by "charitable" impulses (Fanny is not hot, but then, of course, gets hotter and hotter as people begin to notice her. She is hottest when blu ...more
Sep 16, 2015 Elham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes. I'm giving all the Austen's 5 stars because you know, I love them. But there are certainly different layers of a 5-star rate. I will judge them all after reading the rest of her books : Sense and Sensibility and Emma .
May 02, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I keep coming back to read Jane Austen in spite of liking only two of the five* that I have read previous to Mansfield Park. I love her prose and dialogues but her tales of “conjugal felicity” are usually less than riveting for me. Still, I keep coming back for more of her romantic shenanigans so I guess – for me – her prose is more important than her plot at least where Austen is concerned.

So I started Mansfield Park with some trepidation, once again wondering why I bother. The
My wonderful English teacher at school, Mr Flint, encouraged us to always read around the writer. So at A'level, studying 'Emma' he urged us to read the other five Austens.

Thus 'Mansfield Park' first read at 17. Fanny = Put upon heroine of epic proportions, noble, insightful, courageous and brave. Re-read at 32. Fanny = self righteous prig, judgemental little minx, singularly unattractive whinger. Another 15 years on and I opted for 'Murder at Mansfield Park' instead.

(This results in something
Apr 03, 2016 Giedre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people dislike Mansfield Park because they can’t warm up to Fanny Price. True, Mansfield’s Fanny is no Elizabeth Bennet—she is certainly not the wittiest Austen heroine. She is, in fact, rather dull and a tad too moralistic. A bit of a watering pot, too. But that is exactly the point of Fanny Price as a heroine—to be almost the exact opposite of Elizabeth Bennet. While Fanny moves in the same social class Elizabeth does, she is a poor relation and doesn’t have the same privileges.
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Fanny always struck me as a sad sack, and Edmund as needing a nice big shot of testosterone so he could step it up a notch. I really need to reread this one to see if I can develop more appreciation for the main characters.

Maybe my problem is that I want all of my Austen heroines to be more like Elizabeth Bennet.
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
Jun 28, 2015 Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah* rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"But then I am unlike other people, I dare say...."

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Mansfield Park is my absolute favorite novel by Jane Austen. This may come as a bit of a surprise because generally it is considered her least popular work. And I can understand how many people could not like it, especially when compared with the heroines from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Fanny Price is neither headstrong or sassy. She doesn't assert her will over others, possess a cool logical mind, or sass others. Many criti
Jan 31, 2016 Marquise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I was surprised that this novel had an introduction that shouldn't have been there to tell how readers and academics have reacted to the female lead with such tendentious phrasing. I rarely read the intros and most times it's after I've finished, this time I made an exception and thought it'd have been either left out or restricted to the end of the novel, because I think it may contribute to predispose the new reader towards certain opinions on Fanny Price.

That said, I didn't find the heroine
My least favourite Austen novel. When I first read Mansfield Park years ago I thoroughly enjoyed it but on re-reading, I no longer felt the same.

The main characters (Fanny/Edmund) were the worst, they were bloody awful, I can't believe I ever used to like them. I was more entertained by the secondary characters even though all of them were one dimensional and horrible, despite them being flat and unlikeable they still managed to be more endearing and entertaining than Fanny and Edmund.

Fanny ha
Feb 09, 2016 Sub_zero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2016
Bueno. Pues ya está. Ya he leído una novela de Austen. Y la experiencia, en contra de mis más pesimistas pronósticos, ha sido bastante grata. Creo que he hecho bien en tomar contacto con la autora a través de Mansfield Park, novela gruesa, pero casi siempre amena, que tira más por la vertiente satírica y socialmente comprometida que por el romance folletinesco. El intenso y barroco mundo interior de los personajes cuesta un poco de digerir en ciertos aspectos, pero la autora compensa esta caract ...more
I have generally enjoyed my excursions into Austen-land, but if Austen were a modern writer, I'd call this book a sophomore slump. It was her third, and much of the plot and character interactions were very derivative of Pride and Prejudice but without that book's humor or sting.

Fanny Price is one of a brood of children, and her mother sends her to live with wealthy relatives to relieve her own family of some of the burden. Fanny thus grows up as the "poor cousin" in a wealthy house, generally n
Aug 24, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il personaggio di Fanny Price perlopiù non suscita simpatia nel lettore contemporaneo poiché è stato concepito dalla stessa autrice con questo preciso scopo, lo scopo di non piacere. Naturalmente questa sottile intenzione non poteva venire percepita dal lettore georgiano e vittoriano, il quale vedeva di certo nella giovane Price – letteralmente “prezzo”: il prezzo da pagare per essere amata, poiché si sa che la Austen non lasciava niente al caso, neanche i nomi – la perfetta realizzazione della ...more
This is my favourite of Jane Austen's novels. I appreciate the wit of Elizabeth Bennett, and I understand why people might be put off by Fanny Price, but I don't find Fanny at all weak or priggish. Fanny is every bit as strong as Elizabeth Bennett, if in a quieter and more thoughtful way. She shows great insight into the people around her and maintains her integrity in the face of overpowering disapproval from those who hold a lot of power over her.

Jane Austen is more than Elizabeth Bennett. Eac
Mar 05, 2016 Poiema rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Mansfield Park stands apart from other Austen novels because the protagonist, Fanny Price, appears to be the very antiithesis of a heroine. Shy, retiring, and content to be in the background, Fanny Price would have been embarrassed to have found herself a main character in a novel. Plucked from humble circumstances at the tender age of 10, Fanny was recipient of family benevolence and taken in to live at Mansfield Park with Sir Thomas and his cultured family. Being of sensitive nature, her subse ...more
Jun 18, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has become one of my favorite Jane Austen books. I could not get through it as a teenager, but now that I am older, I like it and find myself re-reading it often.
The heroine, Fanny Price, is unusual for Austen; unlike the confident, clever heroines like Elizabeth, Emma, and the Dashwood sisters, Fanny has no real talents, except that she is kind, a good listener, helpful, and tries to do the right thing. This is sometimes a nice change, though occasionally as a modern women I sometimes find
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Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry
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“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” 931 likes
“Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” 268 likes
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