Mansfield Park (The Penguin English Library)

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9780140620665: Mansfield Park (The Penguin English Library)
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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 heroines, a girl from a poor family brought up in a splendid country house and possessed of a vast reserve of moral fortitude and imperturbability. She is very different from Elizabeth Bennet, but is the product of the same inspired imagination.

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Review:

The Mansfield Park of the title, a magnificent, idyllic estate which is home to the wealthy Bertram family, stands as a bastion of English tradition and stability. The novel's heroine, Fanny Price, is a "poor relation" living with the Bertrams, acutely conscious of her inferior status and yet daring to love their son Edmund--but from afar. However, 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. As critic Margaret Drabble has pointed out, the house becomes "full of the energies of discord--sibling rivalry, greed, ambition, illicit sexual passion, and vanity," and the novel becomes ever more engrossing as it builds to Mansfield's final scandal and, finally, a satisfying conclusion. Unique in its moral design and 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.

Review:

"Full of the energies of discord - sibling rivalry, greed, ambition, illicit sexual passion, and vanity" (Margaret Drabble)

"Jane Austen is the pinnacle to which all other authors aspire" (J.K. Rowling)

"Jane Austen at her most genteelly ascerbic" (The Times)

"Austen looks at her world with a cool, undressing gaze...she is a formidable opponent of hypocrisy and sentimentality" (Observer)

"Who needs eReaders when book publishers are repackaging classic tales in beautiful covers like these? ... Perfect for fans of the author" (Bella)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780141439808: Mansfield Park (Penguin Classics)

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