Monday, April 15, 2013

A-Z Challenge: M is for Mansfield Park

Wow, it's time for 'M' posts already and because 'M' is the 13th letter of the alphabet and there are a total of 26 letters in the alphabet, that means we are half way through A-Z! Good on us! So far, I'm having a blast!

In keeping with my "All Things Grad School" theme, M is for Mansfield Park. I'll be studying Jane Austen for my Master's thesis and Mansfield Park just happens to be Austen's third published novel (1814). Like all of Austen's novels, Mansfield Park centres around a major female character, in this case, Fanny Price. At age ten, Fanny moves from the home of her economically poor parents to be raised by her alternately rich Aunt and Uncle whose home goes by the same name as the novel's title. From the onset, her cousin Edmund is the only member of the family who takes a liking to Fanny and therefore treats her with kindness. Inevitably, Fanny falls in love with Edmund and after a few misguided infatuations with other characters, Edmund realises his love for Fanny as well. All ends happily (so to speak) in Austen's novels.

I won't get into my theory that Austen's novels actually make a mockery of "happy endings" and marriage in particular because I'm sure it would bore you to tears. On the other hand, if you care to read it, leave me a note in the comments and I would be more than willing to email it you.

Mansfield Park is Austen's longest novel and it also, in my opinion, is her most boring novel. When I was reading Austen's collection of complete novels, Mansfield Park was the hardest to get through. Interestingly enough, though, it was my analysis of Mansfield Park that my professor felt was the strongest in my paper. If you've read an Austen novel or even watched a film adaptation, you know that her work is known for its central strong female characters. While Mansfield Park does centre around a female character, Fanny Price just doesn't have the strength and independence embodied by Austen's other leading ladies. Mansfield Park and the dear Fanny Price find their place at the bottom of my Austen novel ranking.

I have yet to watch the 1999 film adaptation of Mansfield Park or the 2007 television adaptation. I have them in my possession, though, and hope to get to them soon. Perhaps the screen versions will hold my attention better.

Have you read or watched Mansfield Park? What did you think?


  1. I haven't read or watched them. Based on your rousing recommendation, I just might hold off. :)

    Visiting from A to Z Blogging~

  2. Mansfield Park is the one Austen book I have not read.

  3. I haven't read this book either. Not a big fan of 19th century novels, myself.

  4. Hey I have nominated you for the Liebster blog award. Check out my blog (and the one who nominated me) for the rules if you decide to do it. :)