The Classics Adventure: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Its taken me forever to get a book review up and that’s because I’ve been stuck on Mansfield Park for over a month.  This book and me needs to have a little chat because thanks to it, I’m now 2 books behind on my Reading Challenge.  But, with some late nights and skimming through, I finished it.  Don’t judge…I’ll explain myself in just a little bit.

Moving along with The Classics Adventure, our Jane Austen books are halfway done.  Next up will be Emma, another one that I’ve read before in college.  I’m just wondering if it’ll have a different perspective of it.  So, okay, I’ve done everything to avoid talking about this.

Let’s check out Mansfield Park! If you remember or didn’t know, I reviewed the movie Mansfield Park back in February.  You can check that out HERE! I’ll do a little comparison also.

Mansfield Park

by: Jane Austen

mansfield park

Mansfield Park is named for the magnificent, idyllic estate that is home to the wealthy Bertram family and that serves as a powerful symbol of English tradition and stability. The novel’s heroine, Fanny Price—a “poor relation” living with the Bertrams—is acutely conscious of her inferior status and yet she dares to love their son Edmund—from afar. With five marriageable young people on the premises, the peace at Mansfield cannot last. Courtships, entertainments, and intrigues throw the place into turmoil, and Fanny finds herself unwillingly competing with a dazzlingly witty and lovely rival…Unique in its moral design and its brilliant interplay of the forces of tradition and change, Mansfield Park was the first novel of Jane Austen’s maturity, and the first in which the author turned her unerring eye on the concerns of English society at a time of great upheaval. – Goodreads

I gave Mansfield Park 2 stars out of 5 in Goodreads.  Let’s just toss that out there so that it’s out of the way.  Jane Austen tosses all that romance thing out the window.  This is about society before any of the lovey-dovey things here.  Fanny Price is boring and simple. She doesn’t have an attitude and is kind of wimpy.  I mean like she walks across the lawn and gets tired and fragile.  You see what I mean? With this out of the way, Fanny Price is not an impressive heroine.

On the other hand, we have our dude.  He’s no Mr. Darcy, not by a long shot.  Edmund Betram is the second son of the Bertrams and he aims to be a religious man.  I have no problem with that.  None whatsoever.  But, Edmund is kind of boring also.  I mean, he doesn’t really understand his own feelings.  For the longest time, he was all into getting the beautiful and wealthy Mary Crawford to be his wife and right at the end, it turns out he realizes he should be with Fanny.  Is that a spoiler? You pretty much would expect it, right?

However, I do credit a book where it deserves.  Mansfield Park is about the society and it shows a more mature side of where Jane Austen is looking at.  The era where the society was less respectful of inferior status, the confusing world of relationships and the morals of what to do and what not to do.  Plus, how it differs between how women and men are treated in different situations. There’s a whole lot of stuff going on in Mansfield Park and the characters and yet, its just so hard to get engaged into the story.  For once, the beginning was still durable but as I hit the middle, I just wanted to fall asleep every time I picked up the book.

Mansfield Park is a different Jane Austen style.  The story is more reflective of the society in that era than being the focus of the romance or love rivalry with its characters.  Its a pretty dry read, mostly because our main heroine, Fanny Price and the love she’s fighting for, Edmund aren’t the typical main characters that are fun and attractive.  They are really boring and its hard to cheer them on when I’m not even sure how much I like their characters….

Now, in comparison, the 1999 movie gives Mansfield Park a nice makeover.  Fanny Price is many times more interesting as she has talent and a brain and a ton of creativity.  There’s a personality there that makes her so much more likable.  Even Edmund, although still a little boring as a character, reveals a little of his own feelings.  Plus, the Crawfords carry on a much more convincing show as Henry tries to court a ton of ladies and ends up truly desiring Fanny whereas Mary puts a lot of focus on Edmund and shows her true colors as a love rival. I feel a little like I got false hopes from the movie and maybe that’s what makes this whole reading the novel part feel so exhausting.

Have you read Mansfield Park? What did you think of it? 

P.S. I’m taking a little break from Classics and getting on with some more YA and another indie novel lined up.  It’ll be fun 🙂 I’ll even add in some comics and graphic novels!

6 thoughts on “The Classics Adventure: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

  1. Pingback: 2015 Reading Challenge! | Tranquil Dreams

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