First published: 1814
Read from June 4th to 19th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
'We have all been more or less to blame ...
every one of us, excepting Fanny'
Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen's most profound works.
This is the second Jane Austen book that I've read this summer, and I was really excited to get to another of her books. I knew this was a morality epic, so I was interested in seeing what Austen did with it. However, I'll also admit that it had me wondering if I would enjoy it as much as the other Austen books I have read.
That being said, I actually think that Mansfield Park has been one of my favorites so far. I need to re-read Pride and Prejudice (which I was planning to do anyway) to really see which I like more now I think. I really enjoyed Emma too though, so Mansfield Park didn't beat it out too badly. I can definitely say I enjoyed it a lot more than Sense and Sensibility though.
I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much is because I probably related to Fanny more than any of Austen's other heroines (of the ones I've met so far). While Fanny is supposed to be some symbol of great morals or something in this book, that has nothing to do with why I really related to her. I saw some criticism of Fanny over her personality especially at the beginning of the book. And true that she does seem somewhat unsure of herself and all of that. She's not as confident as many of Austen's other heroines. However, that helped me relate to her, and I definitely think I can find more of myself in Fanny than any other character in Austen's books so far. Besides that, I also think that Fanny's character makes perfect sense considering her position.
Fanny really did grow over the book though, I think, and that made me enjoy her even more. She becomes more confident with herself, and I liked seeing that.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and I'm looking forward to getting to another Jane Austen book soon.