Jane Austen thought it might be too "light and bright and sparkling"--that its comedy might outshine its serious points--but its continued popularity today indicates that her recipe for brilliance contained just the right ingredients. Yet a lot of modern readers loathe Mansfield Park, despite its being thought by others the greatest of all Austen's work.
A edition Fanny Price, at age ten, is sent from her family home in Portsmouth to live at Mansfield Park, her uncle's country estate in Northamptonshire. It is a jolting change, from being the elder sister of many, to the youngest child in the home of Sir Thomas Bertram, husband of her mother's older sister.
One day, her cousin Edmund finds her weeping on the attic stairs and helps her. She wants to write to her older brother William.
Edmund provides the writing materials, the first kindness to her in this new family. Her cousins are Tom Jr. Her aunt, Lady Bertram, is kind to her, but her uncle frightens her unintentionally with his authoritative demeanour. Fanny's mother has another sister, Mrs Norris; the wife of the clergyman at the Mansfield parsonage.
Mrs Norris and her husband have no children of their own, and she takes a 'great interest' in her nieces and nephews; Mrs Norris makes a strict distinction between her Bertram nieces and lowly Fanny.
Sir Thomas helps the sons of the Price family find occupations when they are old enough. William joins the Navy as a midshipman not long after Fanny arrives at Mansfield Park.
He visits them once after going to sea, and writes to his sister. When Fanny is fifteen, Aunt Norris is widowed and moves into a small cottage. The frequency of her visits to Mansfield Park increases, as does her mistreatment of Fanny.
Tom Bertram incurs a large debt and to pay it, Sir Thomas sells the living of the parsonage, freed up by the death of Uncle Norris, to clergyman Dr Grant. When Fanny is sixteen, Sir Thomas leaves to deal with problems on his plantation in Antigua. He takes Tom along and trusts to Aunt Norris for the others.
Maria accepts his marriage proposal, subject to Sir Thomas's approval on his return. One year later, the wealthy and worldly Henry Crawford and his sister, Mary Crawfordarrive at the parsonage to stay with Mrs Grant, their half-sister.
The arrival of the fashionable Crawfords enlivens life in Mansfield and sparks romantic entanglements. Mary and Edmund begin to form an attachment but she is disappointed to learn that Edmund will be a clergyman. Fanny fears that Mary's charms and attractions have blinded Edmund to her flaws in morality.
Maria believes Henry is falling in love with her and treats Mr Rushworth dismissively, provoking his jealousy, while Julia struggles with jealousy and resentment towards her sister. Fanny observes this while Aunt Norris, blinded by her self-importance and Edmund, infatuated with Mary, fail to perceive the various flirtations.
Encouraged by Tom and his friend Mr Yates, the young people decide to put on an amateur performance of the play Lovers' Vows. Edmund objects, believing Sir Thomas would disapprove and feeling that the subject matter of the play is inappropriate for his sisters.
After much pressure, Edmund reluctantly agrees to take on the role of Anhalt, the lover of the character played by Mary Crawford, ostensibly to prevent an outsider from playing the part.
The play provides a pretext for Henry and Maria to flirt in public. Fanny observes this, but Aunt Norris, caught up in the excitement of staging a play, does not.Nov 08, · In her third novel, Jane Austen created a flawed but sympathetic heroine in the young Emma oodhouse.
idely considered her finest work, Austen's Emma once again deals with social mores, particularly those dealing with ethical actions and social status. J.K. Rowling named Argus Filch's cat Mrs.
Norris after the character in Mansfield Park as a nod to Jane Austen, who is one of Rowling's favorite authors. (Source)Jane Austen actually knew a lot abo. Women's Education in Mansfield Park In Mansfield Park, Jane Austen presents three different kinds of formal education for women. Two of these have the ultimate goal of marriage, while the third is, possibly, as close to a gentleman's education as a woman's could be.
Writing Help. Get ready to write your paper on Mansfield Park with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more. Starting an essay on Jane Austen's Mansfield Park?
Organize your thoughts and more at our handy-dandy Shmoop Writing Lab. - In Mansfield Park, Jane Austen presents her readers with a dilemma: Fanny Price is the heroine of the story, but lacks the qualities Jane Austen usually presents in her protagonists, while Mary Crawford, the antihero, has these qualities.