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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Book Reviews: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Book Reviews: Mansfield Park by 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 heroes, a girl from a poor family brought up in a splendid country house and possessed of a vast reserve of moral fortune 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 the 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 is one of the most profound novels of the nineteenth century." 

About the Series: Each Norton Critical Edition includes an authoritative text, contextual and source materials, and a wide range of interpretations- from contemporary perspectives to the most current critical theory-as well as a bibliography and, in most cases, a chronology of the author's life and work. 

According to the critic Tony Tanner, it is also arguable that it is "her most profound novel is one of the most profound novels of the nineteenth century."  

and a wide range of interpretations-from contemporary perspectives to the most current critical theory-as well as a bibliography and, in most cases, a chronology of the author's life and work.

Book: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park is the third published novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1814 by Thomas Egerton. A second edition was published in 1816 by John Murray, still within Austen's lifetime. The novel did not receive any public reviews until 1821. ---Wikipedia

  • Originally published: 1814
  • Author: Jane Austen
  • Characters: Fanny Price, Henry Crawford, Edmund Bertram,
  • Adaptations: Mansfield Park (1999), Mansfield Park (2007),
  • Genres: Novel, Romance novel, Historical Fiction, Bildungsroman 

About the Author: Jane Austen

Austin was born on December 16, 1775, in the family of a parish priest in Steventon Township. Received a better family education, the main textbook is the father's literature collection. 

The Austen family loves to read popular novels, mostly a vulgar pastime. Her teenage studies were parodies of popular novels of this kind, which formed the tone of irony in her work. 

Her six novels "Sense and Sentiment" (1811), "Pride and Prejudice" (1813), "Mansfield Garden" (1814), "Emma" (1815), and "Northanger Abbey" published after the author's death (1818), and "Persuasion" (1818). 

Most of them take the daily life of the middle class in the township as the theme and reflect the style of British society at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century through conflicts in love and marriage. 

The works often ridicule people's despicable and ridiculous weaknesses such as stupidity, selfishness, snobbery, and blind self-confidence through comic scenes. 

Austen's novels appeared in the early part of the 19th century, sweeping away the faux-romantic trend, inheriting and developing the excellent tradition of realism in Britain in the 18th century, preparing for the climax of realistic novels in the 19th century, and playing a link between the past and the future. important role.

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Book Summary: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

In fact, it was a long time ago when I read the original book. I remember that I was a little impatient when I read it. 

After all, the Cinderella heroine Fanny is not a very likable girl: delicate and sensitive, shy and timid, and rarely spoken. 

Quiet, she is not as lively and funny as Elizabeth, not as vigorous as Emma, ​​not as passionate as Anne, and not even as simple and charming as Catherine. 

It is true that she knows the general situation, distinguishes right from wrong, and has a great spirit of sacrifice and perseverance to endure humiliation. Under Edmund's education, she has been trying to be a virtuous person and she has really done it. 

The dull and awkward part of her character should only be Blamed on her dependent situation rather than nature. But such people are never popular for long. 

At first, we will pity her life experience and admire her virtues and integrity, but soon, our attention will be attracted by other qualities, such as her beautiful appearance, healthy figure, elegant manners, witty conversation, cheerful temperament, etc., just as the Crawford brothers and sisters attracted everyone's attention as soon as they appeared on the stage.

How different is the lively, talkative, attentive Henry from Edmund, who aspires to be a pastor as his sacred profession, and how different is Mary, who can talk and gallop, from Fanny, who is always lovely and cautious. 

Brilliant, these two young men are so lovable, well-bred, and interested in all things, they always come up with something new and interesting, and they know a lot and say no Compared with all this, 

Henry's little hobby of getting girls to fall in love with him seems harmless, just an unconscious showing off of his charm by attractive young people That's all, it can add interest to life without any loss, can't it? It's just part of his charm. 

As for Mary's big words from time to time, or some sarcastic witty remarks about men and women's love, priesthood, and property inheritance, there is nothing wrong with it. 

Isn't it normal for young girls to be playful, active, and fashionable? Isn't this the embodiment of her exuberant vitality?

In this way, although through Fanny's sharp eyes, we have seen some seemingly specious things about the brother and sister again and again, I still choose to turn a blind eye, be fascinated by them like Edmund, and try every possible reason to justify them, until Henry and Maria eloped, and Mary wrote to Fanny to try to cover up and make up for the scandal, 

I was still on Mary’s side emotionally, and read the passage Mary accused Fanny of: 

“She ( Fanny) why not him? It's all her fault, naive girl!--I'll never forgive her. If she'd done it right, they might be getting married by now. Henry must be very happy and busy now, without thinking of others. He would not bother to see Mrs. Rushworth again. The result would be nothing more than regular annual flirting at the Sutherton and Everingham gatherings." 

I even felt a little sympathetic to Henry, thinking that, as Mary said, if the steadfast and virtuous Fanny had agreed to be his wife earlier, wouldn’t it just be possible to save this lovely but unprincipled young man from the scandal? Naturally, it can be avoided.

Then came what Fanny thought when she heard the bad news: 

"She thought again of Miss Crawford's strange letter, which she had read so many times that she was almost memorizing it. Yes. The cover-up of her younger brother, the attempt to cover up the scandal, and the obvious agitation in the letter all confirm the authenticity of the scandal in front of her. If there is such a woman in the world, how dare she Miss Crawford is the woman who would trifle with such a colossal crime, and try to cover it up, in order to escape the inevitable."

If those words weren't clear enough, Lionel Trilling's comment on this couldn't be more explicit: 

"His (Henry's) role requires him to remove Maria from a marriage devoid of joy. freed her and placed her in a life of idle indulgence. His sister's refusal to acknowledge the event as having any moral importance conclusively demonstrated her lack of seriousness. We first thought that It should be the modern people's point of view that refuses to condemn sex and sexual freedom, but it is not. Because what is to be condemned here is not the sexual activity itself, but the sexual activity as a game, a drama, or personal will, The expression of personality, or the symbol of power, prestige, and autonomy, in short, is the use of sexual activity as an act and insincere activity. It is this use of sexual activity that caused D.H. It’s child’s play.”

These words were like a slap in the face, and every word and every word seemed to be accusing me, which made me feel ashamed. 

Only then did I clearly see that Fanny was not what I always thought she was, just a country girl who was reserved and rigid and would only obey her cousin? She had meticulous observation and judgment, and her kind and soft-hearted nature saved her from being Mean, she can stick to the principles not because of a simple mind but a real character. 

This valuable virtue is repeatedly emphasized by the author from beginning to end, but I think it is just a moral advantage imposed by the author on the protagonist and ignored it. 

Like all smart people, I am used to playing tricks on big and small occasions to avoid responsibility and escape punishment, and I think that those who stick to principles and are willing to sacrifice for principles are either simple-minded, boring, or deep-minded and have other plans. 

When did I no longer really believe in the existence of truly wise and resolute people? I looked at the Crawford brothers and sisters’ words and deeds with approval and even admired their frivolous cleverness. 

I always felt that they were like that. It's pretty and cute, and it's okay to be a little naughty, right? It's okay to be a little willful, right? It's okay to be a little deviant, right? The moral bottom line retreats again and again in the face of charm until a big mistake is made and there is no way to retreat. 

In fact, if you really look into it carefully, when they talk about hurting other people's feelings and take pleasure in it, they are so understated, and when they ask others to be responsible for their crimes, they are so natural. 

With such deep-rooted selfishness, domineering and irresponsible sense, how can it be a " The evaluation of "cute" can be mixed up?

Lionel Trilling's comment on Mary's image is very pertinent: 

"When we first read "Mansfield Park", those words that Mary said sounded pleasant, but when we read them again, those words lost their luster. We began to feel that there was something unpleasant in her tone, which was insincerity. Austen was the first writer to express this modern bad quality. This kind of Insincerity is different from the hypocrisy of earlier writers. Mary's intention was not to deceive the world, but to comfort herself; she played the woman she thought she should be. When we are attracted by her charming performance We also see through her moral role at the time, but we are disturbed that she thinks it is necessary. Mary Crawford is the first modern type, that is, a carefully cultivated sensitivity The glorious image of a man of virtue, virtue, and intelligence.”

Looking back and thinking about myself, I couldn’t help feeling more ashamed. As a modern person, while blatantly denouncing this materialistic society, he is always ready to surrender to various desires. 

In the world in the book, there is a final bottom line that cannot be retreated, and there is also a recognized moral standard. What about in real life? Bragging, lying, cohabitation, and elopement seem to be nothing nowadays. 

We have already half-heartedly admitted that violence can be beautiful, pornography can be beautiful, fragmentation can be beautiful, chaos can be beautiful, and all behaviors are beautiful. 

With a plausible excuse, it's just waiting for someone to get a chance to practice it. Do we really still have that thread in our hearts telling us that there are certain things that we must not do and must not think about? Can we really tell the difference between crime and sin?

Looking back at "Mansfield Park", it seems that I am not as impatient as I was at the beginning. "When our anger at Mansfield Park dies down, we may discover how dearly it speaks to the unspeakable secret desires of our hearts." 

It has no Pride and Prejudice It is not as clear-cut as "Sense and Sensibility", not as generous as "Emma", nor as humorous as "Northanger Abbey". 

However, it is its obscurity and stagnation that make it unique. The ambiguous and hard-to-define characters make us hesitate. It is a book that people can never underestimate even if they don't like it.

Mansfield Park's Book Reviews 

"Mansfield Park" (Mansfield Park) is not Jiaojiaoer, no matter when it first came out, or now, it is often neglected and criticized more than it is praised. 

If you browse the Amazon website casually, the number of people interested in it is completely incomparable. Jane Austen's Pride, Reason, and Emma. 

I didn't like it at first, the heroine is weaker than ever, the hero is vacillating, and the plot is too long. 

I browsed an interview-type book review by ASByatt before and singled out this story as "the most sympathetic"-although for several other female authors, she chose a different perspective. 

I was influenced by her, and I was born On the other hand, looking at what she said, it started like a fairy tale, and I immediately associated it with Cinderella, the root word "Cinder" of "Cinderella", which condensed Fanny's gray life, which couldn't be more appropriate.

Opening the black-skinned penguin that had been in the cabinet for a long time, I reread "Man" almost verbatim, including brief notes and version changes. 

The first sentence of almost all review articles is "This is the first work of Jane Austen in her mature period". 

That alone is a huge amount of information. The so-called "maturity" is actually on the verge of death, so it is even more precious in the author's career. 

Between maturity and youth, there is a sudden stop for nearly ten years, which consumes a quarter of life. 

If you look back with a simple and obsessive mentality, it is simply too extravagant to waste. 

During this period of time, not only did she stop writing, but her letter paper was also scarce. It is difficult for future generations to guess, and it is difficult to grasp it accurately. 

She has experienced relocation, bereavement of her father, refusal of marriage, poverty, squeeze, away from the beloved writing desk given to her by her father, and still never has even a moment of alone space. 

I have always wondered if Austin would not have returned to the world of writing if the manuscripts at the bottom of the box hadn’t been published and even sold like hotcakes. 

The first volume of "Man" is quite a bit like the wax torch turning into ashes and tears before drying up, especially because of the lingering smoke, which makes the air cold and lonely.

Chapter XVI deals with the East Wing of Mansfield Park. Fanny's bedroom is in the attic, and the small hall in the East Wing was originally a study room for her and her two cousins ​​to attend classes. 

Abandoned for a long time, it was picked up by Fanny. The girls were afraid that they would lose their dignity by claiming the small room and disliked the rule of their aunt, Mrs. Norris, that they could not live alone for Fanny. Every time the hostess, Mrs. Bertram, talked about this room, it was as if the most luxurious room in the Mansion. 

Therefore, to Fanny, it is like infinite kindness. Austin only said a few words, explaining the complexity behind a hut. If the walls could talk, they would probably not only vomit air-conditioning but also pantothenic water. 

Then, she went on to say what it meant to Fanny, referring to the plants she planted, the books she collected, the scrolls she wrote, and "her writing desk", and on the day after she suffered unprecedented misunderstanding and slander, she It is such a circle of still life silently waiting for her and comforting her. 

After reading this, it is hard for me not to think of Austen herself who survived in the cracks, so that behind the statement, I don’t know if she sympathizes with Fanny more, or she is purely self-harming, envious that she still has the possibility to live in peace. 

The words that followed were filled with blood and tears:

...though her motives had been often misunderstood, her feelings disregarded, and her comprehension undervalued; though she had known the pains of tyranny, of ridicule, and neglect, yet almost every recurrence of either had led to something consolatory... 

The word "recurrence" used on this occasion can be described as dangerous and bitter.

The low pressure spreads throughout the book, and finally cannot be reborn. On the surface, Fanny is not hot enough, not as clever and brave as any of the early heroines, and her appearance is only barely delicate. 

Like Miss Ann in "Persuasion" later, she is used to swallowing blood and suffering and does not easily show her heart. Far more than contention. 

Does this return to the traditional negative acceptance of fate, and even the image of some old-fashioned virtues, imply the helplessness of reality to some extent? No matter "old girl", "inaction", or "death to die", none of them are not heart-piercing. 

The tone of "Man" is relatively heavy, and "Persuasion" is darker. In terms of writing, the author has partially given up describing the plot with dialogue and describes the inner heart of the characters very realistically, and bites the related parties, such as the room mentioned above. 

Get everything covered. When you continue to penetrate people's hearts instead of delaying the story, the dimension of the novel is actually greatly expanded.

As we all know, Jane Austen is good at portraying small characters, especially villains. "Man" is no exception. 

I even think that the greatest joy of reading is watching this group of sad and angry lives. 

Not to mention that the Bertram family of Mansfield Manor has a strict father and a cold mother, with proud children (except Edmund), and a Mrs. Norris who is jumping up and down. 

Aunt Nuo was the one who proposed to adopt Fanny at first and was the one who kept talking about everything, but she dismissed it when the little girl came, because it took her too much energy to take care of Mr. Norris, and it was impossible to spend extra money. 

After her husband passed away, she moved to a small house nearby. For a while, she said that she was secretly happy because she was economically economical and that she was terribly stingy when she lost her widow. 

At this time, she once again declined the responsibility of raising Fanny, and the reason happened to also involve "a room". 

She did reserve it, but it was only for staying guests, and it could never be used for Fanny's long-term stay, because she had been working so hard for so many years and her body was broken. 

If you drop it, how can you be disturbed by others? Aunt Nuo's inconsistency, selfishness, ungratefulness, and super cheeky, super self-feeling are the pinnacle of Austen's Facebook. It seems that she is like a female version of Mr. Collins. 

The above slanders Fanny extremely, and she just said: "...but I shall think her a very obstinate, ungrateful girl, if she does not do what her Aunt, and Cousins ​​wish her -- very ungrateful indeed, considering who and what she is." 

The capitalization of the two nouns here, I don't think it's because of the proper title, but because of her tyrannical tone and superiority in psychology, at the end, she scolded Fanny "forgot my name, what is it?" Things", as if hearing his voice, he was so mean that it made people back away. 

With these people sitting in town, could Fanny not sink into the deepest and most heavily curtained recesses of the courtyard? People under the eaves, how can they not bow their heads, open their mouths to think about the consequences, shut up and observe their expressions, and carefully understand the general situation. 

It is not without reason that she has an extremely tough and subdued personality.

Another character who writes very little, Mr. Rushworth, the wealthy son-in-law caught by Miss Bertram, is very humorous. He gives people the impression of a fat and rich second generation. Apart from being vain, he likes to play with a little sensitivity and temper. 

Whenever he encounters cold, releases pigeons, takes off the rich man's mask, and is bloody and injured, he attracts sympathy. The highlight of the book is the rehearsal of the family version of Lovers Vow, and Mr. Rushworth, as a quasi-family member, also participated. 

His famous saying, "My lines are forty-two lines", appears several times, "Forty and two", emphasizing the difficulty and his achievements, it is also used to persuade others to win, even when Edmund finally Gives in, Austin left a message for Mr. Rushworth: He offered to count the lines for Edmund. So cute.

I seldom ask other people's opinions when I read books, especially Austen's works. Occasionally, I saw someone face to face, "Austin has never been married all his life, and he still writes about men and women who love to talk about marriage" and so on. 

After being stunned, apart from disdain, he really couldn't think of retaliation. Of course, some senior Jane fans have written a book to specifically deny the premise of this accusation, even if they are not married, it does not mean that they have no love. 

But I have always been too lazy to turn over old papers, so why bother to turn over old papers, I can't help "relying on it or not", I just need to see whether her writing is "good or not" if it is profound, then I have to write, why not? The not-so-famous emotional story "Man" is an example of thousands of twists and turns.

The heroes and heroines are different from any other book. They are neither love at first sight nor friends at first sight. The opening chapter is not enough to stimulate male hormones. 

Edward's sweetheart was not Fanny, he asked her what she thought of Miss Crawford, Austin wrote a rather cruel sentence: 

"Having formed her mind and gained her affections, he had a good chance of her thinking like him; though at this period, and on this subject there began now to be some danger of dissimilarity, for he was in a line of admiration of Miss Crawford, which might lead him where Fanny could not follow." 

Especially "having formed her mind ", like a death sentence, because he already possessed it psychologically and knew it like the back of his hand, Edmund couldn't immediately like Fanny, and her feelings were destined to go to hell for a while. 

Obtaining the consensus of his own body is precisely to set up another challenge that really arouses his desire, so he essentially chooses to ignore such an easy consensus (even if it is insightful). 

A man's emotional desire to conquer and fight, the new and the old are clearly out-matched, just this one sentence is already flesh and blood, deep-rooted three points. It is true that Edmund was far from imperfect, but quite realistic. 

Later, when he and Miss Crawford acted as lovers, they each came to the East Wing to find Fanny to match their lines. Turn, grease what a rich hedge. Another example is Mr. Crawford who is an abusive lover, Mr. Rushworth who is a lover, and the Bertram sisters who deceive each other. 

Miss Jane not only understands love but also understands human nature. Never pull up the fig leaf. For someone who writes so thoroughly, she is no longer qualified. I really wonder who is more appropriate.

"Man" stopped following the footsteps of the owner Sir Thomas. When the curtain falls with a thud, the viewer will be in suspense. This is also a wonderful pen.

Excerpts from the original text: Mansfield Park

I simply replied that I wished her good luck with all my heart, and sincerely hoped that she would soon learn to see things impartially, and not have to learn the most valuable thing we can all learn by hard lesson—knowing yourself, and Knowing my responsibilities, I walked out after speaking. ---Quoted from Chapter Sixteen of Volume Three

Time always works out some tricks between people's intentions and results, both for their own education and for the amusement of their neighbors. ---Quoted from Chapter 17 of Volume Three

Conclusion: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen 

I'm glad that Pride and Prejudice didn't stop me from trying Austen, it's definitely the most unexpected novel I've read in months. 

This roundabout but rigorous, lengthy but not boring language seems to be based on a complete symbol system, but it also has a very mysterious magic. 

Jane Austen's insight into people's hearts (or human nature, although I think it is more difficult to observe people's hearts) is so precise and subtle that it will not lose its charm in any era. 

Such novels can only be written by women. Although the ending is very abrupt, I have already guessed it, but it doesn't matter, because the plot is really the most important thing in this novel.

The descriptions of the twists and turns of interpersonal relationships are too real and detailed. It is estimated that the older you are, the more you will feel the same. 

Jane Austen's language style sometimes confuses me, especially those sentences with double and triple negatives in a single sentence, which makes my head hurt. 

People who hold Kindle and lie under the quilt before going to bed to read it say their hearts are very tired. 

Muhiuddin Alam is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He serves as a consistent contributor to various websites and publications, including Medium, Quora, Reddit, Linkedin, Substack, Vocal, Flipboard, and Amazon KDP. Alam personally read numerous books and, for the past 10 years, has been providing book recommendations and reviews. Find Me: About Me & Google Knowledge Panel.

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