Henry Avila's Reviews > Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
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Fanny Price's mother had two sisters as beautiful as she, one married an affluent gentleman Sir Thomas Bertram, and everyone said this would enable her siblings, to do the same. Nevertheless little England hasn't enough rich men, to accommodate deserving ladies. Another married a respectable quiet clergyman, with little money. Sir Thomas's friend, Reverend Norris good yet dull , gets him a church and a cottage in Mansfield Park, Northampton, on his vast estate. The kind Sir Thomas is very willing to help the last of the sisters. Still she has pride with a streak of stubbornness... this young woman marries a coarse , hard drinking Lt. in the marines, Mr. Price, to the disgust of her family and soon her own regret . The fertile Mrs. Price has nine children at the time, when our story commences there will be more. The sister who married the clergyman wrote a letter to Mrs. Price, to send a child of hers to Mansfield Park , to be raised in all the advantages that wealth can provide. Mrs.Norris, strangely is not a nice woman, indeed just the opposite. She likes to scheme though, when ten year old Fanny, arrives scared, homesick for her brothers and sisters especially William , a year older in fact the eldest child of the poor dysfunctional family. Their father is disabled from the military with a small pension, but a big thirst, it doesn't benefit anyone that he still gets drunk everyday... The lonely, timid girl, meets her aunt and uncle, she is quite reserved, and her gorgeous cousins, Maria, 13, and Julia, a year younger, and the boys, wild Tom, 17, and gentle Edmund, 16, they have nothing in common. ..The girls have a teacher in the mansion, Fanny joins them , in class, she feels isolated and miserable, this unfamiliar environment, is frightening and the cousins, while not mean, aren't really friendly either. Living upstairs in a cold modest room , Fanny, develops tremors in this place, whenever her terrifying uncle , speaks to her . Aunt Bertram, is the laziest woman on Earth seldom leaving her sofa, though basically an agreeable person, that is always tired. You can't say that about the other aunt, Mrs.Norris, who lives a short distance away , and comes constantly to Sir Thomas's opulent house, she increasingly grows to hate Fanny. Why? Maybe the clergyman's wife and now happy widow, thinks the little girl is an intruder, too low bred to fit into a classy upper class family, and will hurt their standing in society. She, when older will not go to balls with her cousins, to afraid even if asked to come, but is never invited, of course to Fanny's relief. Yet the girl is becoming beautiful, which nobody notices, not even her only friend cousin Edmund, who has eyes for another woman, pretty , lively, rich Mary Crawford the sister of Edmund's friend Henry , the handsome pleasure seeker with money, too, he likes to flirt with every attractive woman, it doesn't hurt that he is fabulously wealthy, unlike the second son, Edmund, studying to be a minister. Which Miss Crawford, abhors not enough salary for her taste. And Edmund wants to marry , Mary, jealous Fanny nevertheless becomes secretly enamored of her sweet cousin. Henry tells Fanny , ( who knows all his foibles) after properly disclosing it to Sir Thomas, this... his love for her, and receiving permission to proceed, yet she greatly dislikes him. An ungrateful woman of 18, how can she refuse a honorable proposal such men, are scarce ...He has flirted with Maria and Julia both liked it, before, but will she ever trust his love? This book will show again why Jane Austen was and is such a magnificent writer , to those few who doubt this obvious conclusion...
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Reading Progress

June 27, 2014 – Shelved
June 27, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 16, 2014 – Started Reading
November 30, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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message 1: by Dolors (last edited Dec 01, 2014 04:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dolors Heh, the witty and humorous tone of this story leaks through the tangled gossamer of relationships among the characters. Austen is always a safe refuge to find smart and dignified evasion, right? :)

Henry Avila You are correct, a diignified , mostly, glimpse into the gentle well educated ,upper class in Regency England.The wealthy also have problem but they eat well and have good homes and plenty of money with great manners. I enjoy the view, Dolors.

Aditi Delightful review Henry! :-)

Henry Avila Aditi, thanks as always, this a good book to read, for Austen admirers.

Aditi Henry wrote: "Aditi, thanks as always, this a good book to read, for Austen admirers."

Pleasure :)

message 6: by Arah-Lynda (new) - added it

Arah-Lynda Wonderful review Henry. I am looking forward to this one myself.

Henry Avila It is a good book and thanks Arah-Lynda, Austen was a great writer.

message 8: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Fantastic review! Haven't made it to this Austen yet but now I definitely shall. She is so funny and great. Excellent review and analysis.

Henry Avila Spen, thanks, Austen knew people and their foibles...

message 10: by Henry (last edited Feb 05, 2015 05:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Henry Avila Sandra, I thank you, a worthwhile book to read.

Joudy What an excellent review, Henry
Sad to say ,It has the reputation of being disliked by more of Jane Austen`s fan than any of her other novels. but of course different readers will respond to this novel in different ways, each with their opinions.

Henry Avila It does , but doesn't deserve , a quite delightful story as all her novels are...thank you my friend.

Melindam I love the novel, but belong to the group that cannot like Fanny Price (not for want of trying). :)

Henry Avila Fanny is not perfect...which makes her contraversial...

Melindam I can understand that growing up in Mansfield Park and with her circumstances & her dependence on her relations goodwill influences her character strongly & and does not offer an easy life for her. Yet I cannot help finding her a judgmental little prig on every re-read. Yes, the fact that she is always right also doesn't help. :)

Henry Avila She is very insecure.. feels like a fish out of water and jealous of Mary...wants Edmund for herself but lacks confidence. I give her a passing grade...a good person but lonely.

Melindam I will read The Annotated Mansfield Park by Jane Austen & David M. Shapard & let you know, if my attitude to Fanny has changed. :)

Henry Avila OKAY...

message 19: by Stacy (new) - added it

Stacy I have not heard of this one by Austen, but now want to read it! Thanks Henry for the great review!

message 20: by Henry (last edited Mar 25, 2017 12:14AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Henry Avila This is Austen's most disliked book by her fans, yet I found it terrific...the main character has flaws like we all do...Thanks again, Stacy.

message 21: by Stacy (new) - added it

Stacy You are welcome! Yes, and that is what (I think) is one reason why Austen is such a joy to read-- it is so realistic. The characters are believable.

Henry Avila I AGREE...when fictional people become real...it is fun to read about them.

message 23: by Stacy (new) - added it

Stacy : )

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