Charity's Reviews > Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
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's review
Jan 13, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 1001books
Recommended for: people who want to end their love affair with Jane Austen
Read in February, 2008

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.

I have seen several reviews referring to a character named Edward. Huh? Wasn't his name Edmund?? Was I reading the same book? Talk about your forgettable characters.

The shining star in this book was Mrs. Norris...probably the LEAST likeable character. She is the epitome of 'characters you love to hate'. Reading about her antics was the saving grace in this otherwise vanilla novel...much like reading the parts about Satan in Paradise Lost. Villains add depth.

However, Mrs. Norris couldn't entirely save this one for me. 2 best.
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02/18/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8)

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Jessica Yes. Fanny drives me CRAZY! Definitely the most frustrating of the Austen books.

message 7: by Jen (new) - rated it 1 star

Jen C. I agree! I don't think a good book requires a likable protagonist, or even necessarily a relatable one. But a good book does require a multi-dimensional protagonist, not a flat sketch of a person, as Fanny is. Emma, Elizabeth, Anne-- these characters succeed as protagonists because Austen introduces us to their flaws, inconsistencies and rich inner lives. When a novel's fringe characters are described with more depth than its three main characters combined, it's impossible to feel any connection to the story.

D.G. I'm right there with you Charity. Miss Austen was definitely "mailing it in" when she wrote this book.
I hated the cookie-cutter characters that where either "good" or "bad" and hated Fanny and Edward (hahahahaha, Edmund) for being such hypocrites. It didn't even seem right for them to fall in love, them being so similar. It was as if they were looking to fall in love with about narcissism.

I think I gave it a 3 because of the language (it was beautiful after all.) Too bad we can't give half stars...

Gabriella While I do agree with you on Mrs. Norris being the least likeable character that you love to hate, I did indeed enjoy Fanny. I feel that she was so virtuous and submissive because she felt like it was expected of her. She was after all taken in by the Bertrams and could therefore not deny their requests and act out in any kind of improper manner. As for Edmund and Fanny I'm glad he ends up with Fanny rather than the annoyance that is Miss. Crawford, whom is only interested in wealth and her own opinions. I also do agree with you on being glad this was not my first Austen book. While it was not the best it was not that bad either.

message 4: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Don't discourage me!

Brittany Tedious to read is the best way to put it. It took me two years to force myself through this book.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Fanny was dull and submissive but her opinions about other people were always right. She was the only one who was unsure of Crawfords' nature. She was also right about theatre.

As to falling in love with Edmund, there never has been a better couple.

message 1: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Donovan Deleted user--I so agree--if Fanny and Edmund hadn't finally become a couple, I would have been depressed! They were perfect for one another. And, yes, Fanny was so smart to keep saying no to Crawford.

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