Mansfield Park (Collins Classics)

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9780007420292: Mansfield Park (Collins Classics)

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‘I pay very little regard...to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.’

Humble and lowly, a young Fanny Price goes to live with her wealthy Aunt and Uncle at their grand house, Mansfield Park. Growing up with her privileged and spoilt cousins, the Bertrams, she lives in the shadows of their glamorous lives, but manages to find an ally in her cousin, Edmund.

When Henry and Mary Crawford come to visit, the house is thrown into disarray as romance flourishes between the young people, leading Fanny to finally confront the extent of her true feelings for Edmund.

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Though Jane Austen was writing at a time when Gothic potboilers such as Ann Ward Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho and Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto were all the rage, she never got carried away by romance in her own novels. In Austen's ordered world, the passions that ruled Gothic fiction would be horridly out of place; marriage was, first and foremost, a contract, the bedrock of polite society. Certain rules applied to who was eligible and who was not, how one courted and married and what one expected afterwards. To flout these rules was to tear at the basic fabric of society, and the consequences could be terrible. Each of the six novels she completed in her lifetime are, in effect, comic cautionary tales that end happily for those characters who play by the rules and badly for those who don't. In Mansfield Park, for example, Austen gives us Fanny Price, a poor young woman who has grown up in her wealthy relatives' household without ever being accepted as an equal. The only one who has truly been kind to Fanny is Edmund Bertram, the younger of the family's two sons.

Into this Cinderella existence comes Henry Crawford and his sister, Mary, who are visiting relatives in the neighborhood. Soon Mansfield Park is given over to all kinds of gaiety, including a daring interlude spent dabbling in theatricals. Young Edmund is smitten with Mary, and Henry Crawford woos Fanny. Yet these two charming, gifted, and attractive siblings gradually reveal themselves to be lacking in one essential Austenian quality: principle. Without good principles to temper passion, the results can be disastrous, and indeed, Mansfield Park is rife with adultery, betrayal, social ruin, and ruptured friendships. But this is a comedy, after all, so there is also a requisite happy ending and plenty of Austen's patented gentle satire along the way. Describing the switch in Edmund's affections from Mary to Fanny, she writes: "I purposely abstain from dates on this occasion, that everyone may be at liberty to fix their own, aware that the cure of unconquerable passions, and the transfer of unchanging attachments, must vary much as to time in different people." What does not vary is the pleasure with which new generations come to Jane Austen. --Alix Wilber

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Mansfield Park, the idyllic Bertram family estate, becomes home to a poor young relative, Fanny. In this wealthy world of social accomplishments and flirtations, the sensible Fanny finds herself out of place, yet secretly in love with her cousin, Edmund. Jane Austen employs her unerring wit to brilliantly capture the social and moral values of an English society at a time of great upheaval

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Mansfield Park, Jane Austen, HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I pay very little regard.to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.' Humble and lowly, a young Fanny Price goes to live with her wealthy Aunt and Uncle at their grand house, Mansfield Park. Growing up with her privileged and spoilt cousins, the Bertrams, she lives in the shadows of their glamorous lives, but manages to find an ally in her cousin, Edmund. When Henry and Mary Crawford come to visit, the house is thrown into disarray as romance flourishes between the young people, leading Fanny to finally confront the extent of her true feelings for Edmund. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007420292

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