Rebecca's Reviews > Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
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Jan 23, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: british-classics

This is my favorite Austen, which flies in the face of the idea that Pride and Prejudice is at the top of the heap. Mansfield Park is not as emotionally satisfying as Pride and Prejudice, but it is a more interesting read in terms of the light that it shines on Austen's mind. Besides Northanger Abbey, which is a genre book, Mansfield Park is the only book that Austen started as an adult. Her other books were revisions of stories she had originally penned as a teenager. And, Mansfield Park engages with Austen's world on a much more sophisticated level. Austen wrote in a letter that the novel was "about ordination," and it is about the ordering, reordering, disordering elements in her own time. She touches on the French Revolution, slavery, changing gender roles, changing tastes in art...the list goes on. And, in the end, she stakes out a very interesting place between radicalism and conservatism, embracing the necessity of slow, careful change. Of course, it's still an Austen novel so we get a pretty dreamy love interest in Edmund. If you love Austen but haven't found this lesser known gem, give it a try.
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