Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Book Review: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Before I've struggled with reading Jane Austen's books, mainly because they're pretty heavy to read and I always end up falling asleep after one chapter. But I've set myself the task to read books out of my reading zone and different genres. 

Mansfield Park starts with a young girl called Fanny Price, who is adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas, and cousins at a country estate called Mansfield Park. Soon after, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive at Mansfield from London to stir things up a bit! The whole novel revolves around romances as Fanny's female cousins make a beeline for Henry and Edmund sets his sights on Mary. But both the Crawfords are not the type of people with the best intentions or suitable personalities. 

Even though the exciting and shocking moments make not seem as eye-popping to us as it would now (take an innocent hand touching or eye gazing which can take half a page of detailed description as the most exciting parts) but it's an experience in values and etiquette from past times that you can't learn from a history book. 

Although I did get angry at Fanny for being feeble and sub-servant to her aunt, her refusal of Henry Crawford's hand in marriage shows a progression in the female position in society. Even if her uncle and relatives aren't understanding and react angrily, Fanny sticks to her guns and marries the person she's most suited to and loves in the entire world. She knows Henry wasn't the man she wanted to marry, even if he was a gentleman and someone her parents approved it, he wasn't who she wanted. 

Overall, if you're looking for a Jane Austen book to try other than Pride & Prejudice, give Mansfield Park a go. It may not start off the quickest, but wait for the build up to the drama!

Have you read this book before? What's your opinion of Jane Austen?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

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