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The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: Volume III: Mansfield Park

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  179,426 ratings  ·  5,691 reviews
Adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price grows up a meek outsider among her cousins in the unaccustomed elegance of Mansfield Park. Soon after Sir Thomas absents himself on estate business in Antigua (the family's investment in slavery and sugar is considered in the Introduction in a new, post-colonial light), Mary Crawford and her brother H ...more
Hardcover, 584 pages
Published November 17th 1988 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1814)
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Tali Avishay I think she may be taking laudanum. That was a usual medication for gentle ladies at the time, and would account for the lethargy. As for her…moreI think she may be taking laudanum. That was a usual medication for gentle ladies at the time, and would account for the lethargy. As for her background - it's interesting that Jane Austin not only makes her a totally ineffective woman, both as the head of a household and as a mother, but also a very selfish one - As is seen in her treatment of Fanny, and her preference of her pug to her daughters. Another interesting point is that Jane Austen states that the youngest sister, Fanny's mother, is of a similar character, and therefore unable to manage her house - and she also shows a similar selfishness, preferring her sons over her daughters, and enforcing little Betsy's will over the older Susan's rights (not to speak of her total obliviousness of Fanny's feelings). It seems that Jane Austen either sees this ineffectiveness as a family trait (which has skipped the middle sister, Mrs. Norris) or else is being ironic - and actually sees all three sisters as selfish and self-centered, each in her own way and in her own sphere.(less)
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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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
“The best things in life are free,
but you can give them to the birds and bees.
I want money.” – The Flying Lizzards

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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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Henry Avila
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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

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
Deborah Markus
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
Feb 13, 2008 Charity rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Feb 22, 2008 Oceana9 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Jan 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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 .
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.
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
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
"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
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
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
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
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
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
The first part of this book is a little slow but as you come to the end of the book all of this background information makes the story and characters much more complete in my opinion, and therefore worth the effort. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was sad to see that so many did not because they were expecting Fanny to be like Elizabeth, or Emma, from Austen's other novels. I, as many, did not first love Fanny but as I came to understand her more I really came to admire her strengths and want ...more
I have not read anything by Jane Austen in years and it really is a delight to discover how much I enjoyed Mansfield Park. This story of Fanny Price, the young girl brought to be raised with her cousins in a life of more purpose and to also be less burden on her own parents, includes all sorts of incidents and episodes one expects in literature of the time and a bit more than I've come to think of as coming from Austen. This is a more grown and mature author we see with more complex plot and cha ...more
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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen was the last of the Austen tomes I had to read. All that are left are the smaller, more obscure reads. I really enjoyed this one. Fanny was a delightful character who I could really relate to. I loved how she said more by not saying anything a good portion of the time. I didn't agree with the critics who called Fanny "annoying" or "always right". I thought that she was infinitely more complex than that. Just the fact that she co
Letto in inglese / Rilettura.
Mansfield Park è un classico godibile, leggero, che offre un bell'affresco dell'età vittoriana e che riesce ad esemplificare, soprattutto grazie allo stile ironico ed intelligente di Jane Austen, tutte le contraddizioni, i pregi ed i difetti che hanno caratterizzato quel periodo storico in Inghilterra.
Fanny, la protagonista del romanzo, seguita dalla tarda infanzia fino alla prima giovinezza, è una ragazza con cui è allo stesso tempo facile e difficile sentirsi conn
Nov 19, 2010 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animals in my play
Recommended to Mariel by: a sight to behold
I read Mansfield Park in high school (probably around fourteen or fifteen). I viewed the 1999 film when it came out and the recent tv version (ugh) more recently (the casting couch must've won that battle. Hope they raided the change 'cause I doubt it did anything for anyone's career). It's hard to separate the movies from my old memories.

Fifth wheel Fanny Price isn't a part of the reindeer games of her jerk-off cousins. They are the bitchy girls in my neighborhood who thought they were cool be
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Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) 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 fr
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