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10 Thoughts on Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

3.5 stars? (Rounding to 4)

Title: Mansfield Park

Author: Jane Austen

  • Date read: March 10, 2017
  • Rating: 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4-ish?
  • Genre: Classic / Historical Fiction (Regency)
  • Age: Adult
  • Year pub: 1815
  • Pages: (I read it in a collection with tiiiny type, so not sure it counts… Some edition is listed on Goodreads as 560 pages so I’m going with that)
  • Illustrator: Hugh Thomson (does two illustrations count?)
  • Fave character: Fanny, Edmund (sometimes)
  • Source: (Collection) from library sale
  • Notes: In collection Jane Austen: Her Complete Novels

[Mansfield Park on Goodreads — see my review on Goodreads here]

10 Thoughts About Mansfield Park

(in the form of things I liked and disliked)

LIKES

1. Fanny, poor thing, and how she stuck firm to right even though she was a timid introverted soul who was so Cinderella-ed (a word which here means trodden upon by jerkish relatives/acquaintances/“friends”, and basically treated like dirt. [Oh, joy.]) that it was painful to read. She was nice. 🙂

2. Edmund (sometimes; when he was being sweet and not A BLIND FOOL). He was an excellent character at times—so sweet and thoughtful and kind. 🙂 Especially in contrast to every other character in the book… Anyways, at times he was great! (We won’t talk about the other times, which is why they’re in parentheses.)

3. I had enormous fun connecting Cinderella parallels whether they were intended to be there or not. (I needed to make something fun in this…)

4. How everyone pretty much got their due at the end… more or less. It made it almost worth it.

5. On that note, it’s hard to explain exactly, but I did like the outlook on things. Putting value on being moral and standing up for your beliefs and a quiet life in the country, versus a life of vice and doing what everyone else does and city life; and doing all of it through the story and dialog, too. ’Twas well-done. (It does make me think that Jane Austen would hate living in our modern era. Just sayin’.)

Bonus like: a quote that I loved (the speakers are Edmund, then Mary Crawford, then Edmund again)

You are speaking of London, I am speaking of the nation at large.”

“The metropolis, I imagine, is a pretty fair sample of the rest.”

“Not, I should hope, of the proportion of virtue to vice throughout the kingdom. We do not look in great cities for our best morality.”

DISLIKES

1. Every character in the entire book, except Fanny, and her brother William, and occasionally Edmund, are all HORRIBLE HORRIBLE BEINGS. It’s exhausting to read a book about this. (Okay, maybe I’m being sliiightly unfair. There were occasional moments of almost-human decency scattered through the cast. BUT IT WAS RARE.)

2. Mrs. Norris. I LOATHED MRS. NORRIS. The stingy aunt of Fanny, she’s basically a cross between an evil-stepmother and the type of miser that Scrooge was trying to be all his life and never quite made it to, with a dash of thorough mean-spiritedness. SHE WAS HORRIBLE, OKAY. UGH. -_- One of the worst characters in the history of EVER. Excuse me a moment, I need to go scrub my memory with bleach to get rid of my memories of her…

3. Mary Crawford. Can I get another UGH in, please? Because UGH. She’s this frilly little light-hearted soul who blinds Edmund in a really stupid kind of love (I can’t see WHY) and pretends to be BFFs with Fanny, but is actually self-centered and has not a bit of good deep down, really, and is thick as thieves with her awful brother and thinks he’s amusing and the best. Blech. -_- Speaking of…

4. Henry Crawford. He’s awful. I didn’t loathe him as much as Mrs. Norris and Mary through most of the book, but he’s awful. He’s a worse person than they are, definitely. I mean, deciding to purposefully try to make a girl fall in love with him, just to break her heart? SERIOUSLY WHO DOES THAT? *is disgusted*

5. Basically, it was way too long to spend reading a 150,000+ word novel about horrible characters being horrible to a poor put-upon heroine, and all the characters being paired with the wrong characters through almost the entire book until like the last two pages (I’m not even exaggerating), in which all that happens is awful things to the heroine. IT WAS HARD TO HANDLE, OKAY. I don’t usually say books are too long, but I would have been okay with this being a third of the length instead of suffering through that. many. pages. Don’t get me wrong—it was well-written and I did enjoy things about it (see above) but the subject matter was just so unpleasant that I, personally, had a hard time reading it.

Conclusion

Overall, not my favorite, but regardless, Jane Austen’s still a fairly excellent author, and I’m very pleased to have finally read her 6 novels. 🙂

Have you read Mansfield Park, or any Jane Austens? Let me know what you think of them!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages…

~ The Page Dreamer

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

 4starrating

Title: Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen

review

I’m in a bit of a conundrum, as it’s perhaps a 3-star book, but Henry Tilney is by all means a thoroughly 5-star fellow… So my 4-stars is an (unsatisfactory, no doubt, to all parties…) attempt at consolidating the two thoughts…

I read this for the Northanger Abbey Read-Along held by Amber Stokes @ Seasons of Humility, and I’m so glad I did! (Of course, I had been quite diligently reading a chapter per day, give or take; but quite failed in drawing it out over the last few days and had to finish early. ;))

My general lack of patience with (read: loathing for) Isabella, Mr. Thorpe, and at points General Tilney, coupled with poor Catherine’s being rather trodden upon in “friendship” with the poisonous lacy cupcake known as Isabella, prevented my specifically “enjoying” most of the story. I can’t really read about characters being used in that way, or about nasty people, without my blood boiling and ending up greatly disliking it. It’s just a kind of story I can’t read, personally. Definitely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” (Unfortunately, this accounts for most of the book?)

But every instance which involved Mr. Tilney, as well as those parts with him and Catherine and Eleanor Tilney as a trio, were a delight and well worth the reading!

Tilney must rank up there with my favorite of the Austen heroes, methinks, following after Mr. Darcy but for quite different reasons! Henry is a delightful character, I loved his lines of wit and humor, and the part where he was frightening Catherine with his fabricated tales of horror concerning her arrival to the abbey, was hilarious. 😄

Henry and Catherine make a sweet pair, and adding in Eleanor, make a very delightful set of companions, whom it would be a joy to hang out with!

The bits that were rather making fun of other books, which was fun, and Tilney (and his sister), make the book worth reading, and I’m quite glad to have (at long last!) read Northanger Abbey. 🙂

Now I need to reread Pride and Prejudice sometime, and I now really hope that Amber Stokes @ Seasons of Humility will hold another readalong for Emma or Mansfield Park someday so I can finally read those too, because I really like this readalong format. 😀

I’m just going to leave you with this fabulous quote from Henry which is further proof of his awesomeness. He and I would get along splendidly. 😄

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” — Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

(Hey, he said it, not me. ;))

(I quite apologize if all that comes out of this attempted review is that Tilney is awesome; I’m afraid I’m shallow like that. *cough*)

factoids

Genre/Category: Historical Fiction / Romance / Classic

Age Group: YA/Adult?

Published: 1817 (Whew! Nearly 200 years old!)

Pages: 192 pages

Series?: No

When Read: March 1 – 27, 2016

Favorite Character: Henry Tilney, naturally. 😉

Source: Read in a collection of all of Jane Austen’s novels which I found at a library book sale.

Other Notes: Read for the read-along at Seasons of Humility.


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer