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Mansfield Park (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

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Item Number 424082  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   507
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.84" Width: 5.05" Height: 0.96"
Weight:   0.84 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2003
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Age  18
ISBN  0141439807  
EAN  9780141439808  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
The private and social worlds of three families are revealed through the experiences of the heroine, Fanny Price.

Publishers Description

Listen to audio presented by Literary Affairs: Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park."View our feature on Jane Austen.

Begun in 1811 at the height of Jane Austen's writing powers and published in 1814, Mansfield Park marks a conscious break from the tone of her first three novels, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice, the last of which Austen came to see as "rather too light." Fanny Price is unlike any of Austen's previous heroines, a girl from a poor family brought up in a splendid country house and possessed of a vast reserve of moral fortitude and imperturbability. She is very different from Elizabeth Bennet, but is the product of the same inspired imagination.

Buy Mansfield Park (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen, Kathryn Sutherland, Marcelo K. Silva, Michael Tisserand, Jim Forbes, Tracy Hemmy & Laura Evert from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780141439808 & 0141439807

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More About Jane Austen, Kathryn Sutherland, Marcelo K. Silva, Michael Tisserand, Jim Forbes, Tracy Hemmy & Laura Evert

Jane Austen 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, biting irony and social commentary have gained 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. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.

Jane Austen was born in 1775 and died in 1817.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Everybody likes to go their own way  Apr 29, 2010
Even the best authors in the world sometimes put out something that... well, isn't up to their usual standards. For Jane Austen, that book was "Mansfield Park" -- her prose is typically excellent, and she weaves a memorable story about a poor young lady in the middle of a wealthy, dysfunctional family. But put bluntly, Fanny Price lacks the depth and complexity of Austen's other heroines.

As a young girl, Fanny Price was sent from her poor family to live with her wealth relatives, the Bertrams, and was raised along with her four cousins Tom, Edmund, Maria and Julia.

Despite being regarded only little better than a servant (especially by the fawning, cheap Mrs. Norris), Fanny is pretty happy -- especially since Edmund is kind and supportive of her at all times. But then the charming, fashionable Crawford sibilings arrive in the neighborhood, sparking off some love triangles (particularly between Maria and Henry Crawford, even though she's already engaged.

And the whole thing becomes even more confused when Henry becomes intrigued by Fanny's refusal to be charmed by him as the others are. But when she rejects his proposal, she ends up banished from her beloved Mansfield Park... right before a devastating scandal and a perilous illness strikes the Bertram family. Does Fanny still have a chance at love and the family she's always been with?

The biggest problem with "Mansfield Park" is Fanny Price -- even Austen's own mother didn't like her. She's a very flat, virtuously dull heroine for this story; unlike Austen's other heroines she doesn't have much personality growth or a personal flaw to overcome. And despite being the protagonist, Fanny seems more like a spectator on the outskirts of the plot until the second half (when she has a small but pivotal part to play in the story).

Fortunately she's the only real flaw in this book. Austen's stately, vivid prose is full of deliciously witty moments (Aunt Norris "consoled herself for the loss of her husband by considering that she could do very well without him"), some tastefully-handled scandal, and a delicate house-of-romantic-cards that comes crashing down to ruin people's lives (and improve others). And she inserts some pointed commentary on people who care more about society's opinions than on morality.

And the other characters in the book are pretty fascinating as well -- especially since Edmund, despite being a virtuous clergyman-in-training, is an intelligent and strong-willed man. The Bertrams are a rather dysfunctional family with a stern patriarch, a fluttery ethereal mother, a playboy heir and a couple of spoiled girls -- Maria in particular develops a crush on Henry, but doesn't bother to break off her engagement until it's too late. And the Crawfords are all flash and sparkle: a pair of charming, shallow people who are essentially hollow.

"Mansfield Park" suffers from a rather insipid heroine, but the rest of the book is vintage Austen -- lies, romance, scandal and a dance of manners and society.
Not a bad book - just not phenomenal as I had expected  Feb 16, 2010
I wanted to love this book - of course I wanted to - I wanted it to have the magic of Austen's other work. Sadly, I was disappointed. It is absolutely not a bad book - just not a phenomenal one as I had expected. The plot and the characters come across as far too didactic and judgmental and perhaps even (gulp) a tad anti-feminist. I'm trying to rethink the book so that I can reach any other conclusion - I'm trying to remember it was a product of its times - yet, I haven't been able to come around yet.

Would I recommend this book for you? Are you hoping for another Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility? Well, then no. Are you looking to enjoy Austen's lavish prose, intricately developed characters, and an accurate depiction of what women realistically could strive for in the early 19th century? Then absolutely, you'll love this book.
My least favorite Austen, even the second time around (3 1/2 stars)...  Jul 21, 2009
Three sisters got married. The first married a baronet, the second a clergyman, and the third one married a penniless soldier. Which one of the three is banished from the family? A no-brainer here. But in a misguided effort to help out Mrs. Price, Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris agree to care for Fanny, the only daughter from seven children. Fanny Price is shy and awkward with a weak disposition. She misses her family horribly, especially her brother William. Mansfield Park, her new home, is a cold place where she is treated like nothing more than a charity case. Edmund Bertram is the only exception. He has treated Fanny with kindness since her arrival, and he reminds her a great deal of William. But as Fancy gets older, and her two female cousins begin to court, she develops other feelings for Edmund. And now that the Crawfords have come to visit, and Edmund develops a crush on Mary Crawford, it seems that Fanny will no longer be a priority in his life. She is lonelier than ever. Maybe, just maybe, the charming Henry Crawford will be able to make things better...

Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility are on the top of my "to be read every couple of years" list. Mansfield Park, however, has never sparked my interest and attention quite the same way as the aforementioned three. I thought I'd feel differently about it now, but I still think Fanny Price is dull, Edmund is fickle, Mary the liveliest character in the book (no wonder Edmund likes her) and Henry a little too suspiciously charming. Even though the novel opens with a rather hilarious first chapter (Austen had a wonderful way with irony), the story sort of goes downhill from there, going from boring to worse. The book is not terrible, but it's not Austen's best effort either -- at least not by my measure. But don't let me stop Mansfield Park fans from loving it, or from those of you who haven't read it from trying it. Anything written by Austen is definitely worth reading.
An overlooked heroine  Jul 6, 2009
Mansfield Park seems to appear quite frequently on people's "least favourite Austen book" lists, but over the years I've come to think more and more highly of it. I've become very fond of timid, frail little Fanny, whose heart is a good deal warmer than those of the more flamboyant female characters. She's affectionate, loyal, and prepared to stick to what she feels to be right even though she suffers all the more for it because she's so powerless.

But Fanny is not a beguiling heroine to hang a whole novel on, and Austen does not attempt to. Mansfield Park is a rich and complex work, with ambiguous characters, plots within plots, and layers of symbolism that aren't what I usually associate with Jane. Her use of the play "Lovers' Vows" is sheer brilliance in what it shows us of the characters and their entwined relationships, even down to the fate of the performance itself. On a smaller scale, the game of "Speculation" does something similar.

Mary Crawford can be seen as a portrait of what Elizabeth Bennet might be if she had all the wit and liveliness we love, but without solid virtue at her core. Mrs Norris is, I think, Austen's nastiest female character (in the six novels, at least; I'm not counting Lady Susan). She makes Lady Catherine seem like a cuddly granny. Edmund is very silly for most of the book, but it's (mostly) convincing, and it's forgivable, because he gets there in the end. Henry Crawford plays the villain, but he had a very good chance of being the hero.

The editor of my edition says he considers Mansfield Park "one of the most profound novels of the nineteenth century", which is high praise indeed. I'll content myself with saying I like it very much.
Jane Austen's Third Novel  May 16, 2009
First of all, the heroine's name is Fanny. I'm sorry but I can't get past the name. I know it was probably a very popular & fashionable name back when the book was published but for me, names are very important, & this is a horrible one.

Other than her name, I like Fanny. She is very quiet & kind, despite being treated exactly like the unwanted relation that she was. She has an enormous amount of patience to put up with all the idiocy that surrounds her. She always does what she believes to be right even when it seems like the whole world is trying to push her in the opposite direction.

Fanny has two love interests. Her first love is her cousin that she's grown up with, almost as brother & sister, which makes it even more weird to our modern world. But I suppose it's not so unusual for their time & it's understandable since she probably didn't know that many young men & no one was as kind to her as Edmund was. He was basically her only friend.

Her second love interest is the charming Henry Crawford, a new neighbor to Mansfield Park. He & his sister have moved to the country from London. They are everything that is fashionable & turn the Bertram family upsidedown. At first he does not really like Fanny, she is just something to help him pass the time while his sister flirts with Edmund. He notices how quiet & reserved she is & his first goal is to make her attach herself to him. As he persists & gets to know her, he actually starts to genuinely care for her (as genuinely as a man like him can care, anyway).

Will Fanny hold on to her love for Edmund or will she fall for the charms of Henry. Will Edmund continue to be blinded by Mary Crawford's beauty & wit? You'll have to read the book to find out...or, I suppose, you could watch one of the films.

This story is somewhat different than Austen's other books. Most Austen fans will say that this is not their favorite & I agree. I do still enjoy it, though, & have read it several times because I just can't get enough of her storytelling.

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