Books | Fiction / Classics
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. Mansfield Park shows Austen as a mature novelist with an almost unparalleled ability to render character and an acute awareness of her world and how it was changing. Through the stories of Fanny Price, the Bertrams, and the Crawfords, she tackles the themes of faith and constancy and the threat that metropolitan manners could pose to a rural way of life. Mansfield Park is as amusing as any of Austen's novels, but, according to the critic Tony Tanner, it is also arguable that it is 'her most profound novel (indeed... it is one of the most profound novels of the nineteenth century).'
Random House Publishing Group
Community ReviewsSee all
"This was my first Jane Austen book! At first, it was very hard for me to follow along in the conversations. Maybe if I had watched the movie before reading the book, I would have understood it better, but it was like I was just reading gibberish for the first few chapters. Continuing though, the drama just sucks you in and keeps you reading. The characters were not very favorable to me, and the book ended on a weird note, but I'm hoping my next Jane Austen book will be better. "
"I absolutely loved this book. It was, in my opinion, her most interesting book. Every single new situation felt so real and fit so well with all the characters that it makes as simply impossible to put down. It also challenged my expectation of a love story and ever time I thought I knew what was going to happen next I was so wrong. Her depiction of sensibility and delicacy also made me take a look at myself and how gentle of a person I was as compared with who I wanted to be. Anyways, slow moving but so so good!"
"Interesting, little talked about book by Jane Austen. "