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Mansfield Park: 09/03/12
I've found that audio books are the best way for me to listen to and actually finish a Jane Austen novel. I chose Mansfield Park first on a bit of a whim. In Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford, Jane says her favorite heroine is Fanny Price. Curious to see why vampire Jane might feel that way, I decided to start there.
Mansfield Park is Austen's third novel. It opens with Fanny Price, age ten, being sent to live with her wealthy cousins at Mansfield Park. Though she is the most quiet and best behaved, she is forever treated as an inferior and an outsider, especially by Mrs. Norris, the middle sister of the three adult sisters who make up Fanny's family (mother and two aunts).
It was not through Fanny, that I found my connection with the novel. Instead, it was Mrs. Norris. She is the prototype for Hyacinth Bucket of Keeping Up Appearances. From there I couldn't help but continue to draw comparisons between the novel and the television comedy.
If Mrs. Norris is Mrs. Bucket, then Fanny is from Daisy's side of the family. She is sent, then, to Violet, the wealthy and successful sister. Of course Hyacinth's family is far more dysfunctional than Fanny's but there's still some odd ball family dynamics.
Comment #1: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 at 01:06:08
Congrats on finishing Mansfield Park this is definitely my least fave Austen as it seems to be the least funny and sparkling unlike P&P. I also found the romance difficult. However it has been a few years since I've read it-I should definitely give it another try to see if maturity has softened my view of the book.
Comment #2: Friday, September 07, 2012 at 20:32:10
I find all of the romance of Austen's books difficult. Her idea of romance and mine are very separate things. I liked Mansfield Park because romance isn't really the point (until very near the end).