Mansfield Park | Book Review

I’m not a big fan of classics. They typically put me to sleep and make me want to loose my mind. There is one author that does not do that to me and that person is Jane Austen. So, a few years ago, at one of the library book sales, they had Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and I bought it. I thought that it was about time to finally pick up the book and read it. Well, let’s say that I was highly disappointed. Please be aware of the spoilers that you might find!

Mansfield Park

Title: Mansfield Park

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics

Released: August 1, 2005 (Originally May 1814)

Pages: 427 (Paperback)

From its sharply satiric opening sentence, Mansfield Park deals with money and marriage, and how strongly they affect each other. Shy, fragile Fanny Price is the consummate “poor relation.” Sent to live with her wealthy uncle Thomas, she clashes with his spoiled, selfish daughters and falls in love with his son. Their lives are further complicated by the arrival of a pair of witty, sophisticated Londoners, whose flair for flirtation collides with the quiet, conservative country ways of Mansfield Park.
Written several years after the early manuscripts that eventually became Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park retains Austen’s familiar compassion and humor but offers a far more complex exploration of moral choices and their emotional consequences.

Jane Austen

About the Author: Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.
Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years until she was about 35 years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.
Austen’s works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew’s A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.

My Review:

I had the worst experience while I was reading this book. I just hated every second reading this book for some reason. There were so many times that I wanted to give up on this book because I just didn’t like it. Somehow, I prevailed and I finally finished it and I feel so much better.

Don’t get me wrong – the language of the words was just beautiful. The book was beautifully written. I loved the language and the style the book was written in. You do have to get over the fact that it is Old English because it was originally written in 1812 but I loved the lines. The descriptions that I got out of this book spoke to me so much and I could see everything that happened through the book, even the five pages it took all the characters to figure out who was going to play a certain character in the play. 

I want to know why so many people like Fanny. Fanny was so annoying and sort of a brat to me. I mean she was taken from her old home to go live at Mansfield Park but once she moved for the last time, she started to act like the snoppy rich people I don’t like at all. I do feel bad that Fanny some how ended up with her second cousin or something without knowing it but at the same time, that is a little gross. But, in some states you can marry your first cousin…

This has to be Jane Austen’s darkest book. It’s not as dark as some of the books I have read in my life but it was darker than the other Jane Austen books. Mrs. Grant has to be that dark character to me through the whole book. I know what you are going to say. Why Mrs. Grant? All of her actions with her friends and her husband I just didn’t like. The whole time that she was included in the story, I felt like she was hiding something. Here I am, a day later, still feeling like she was hiding something.

This book teaches the reader a very important lesson that I feel like everyone needs to get once in their life – You should never let people tell you what you can be and what you are. Fanny grew up in a poor, secluded life before she came to live over at Mansfield Park, where they all have money and treat each other with high fashion. Fanny basically went from being the Fairy Godmother to needing a Fairy Godmother. I sort of felt like Edmund (her husband) sort of told her to be the rich, high fashioned person that everyone needed to see. If only he would have accepted Fanny for who she was.

Every so often, I like to read a book that makes me think. You know? You sometimes need to challenge yourself with something that you are not used to just to keep you on your toes. Mansfield Park was that book. I’m a sucker for new, high vocabulary words because I love to be learning. I’m also really good at knowing a bunch of high leveled vocabulary but never using them. Mansfield Park had words in there that I had no clue what they were, so I learned new words, but it made me think about all the things that are currently in my life. I thought about how lucky I am to be where I am in my life and how I should love all the people that are around me.

Will I be reading this book ever again (unless I have to read it for school)? No. Am I going to be getting rid of this book and donating it? Yep. I just had to give this book a 1 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and it is the same for here. I loved the development and all the language of the book but I just did not like the flow of the book and most of the characters found within the novel. If you are a person that is into fast paced books, this is not the book for you. If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will probably like the book along with the Classic Novel fans.

Have you read this book? Who was your favorite character? What is your favorite Jane Austen novel? What are you currently reading and how is it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Happy Reading,

3 thoughts on “Mansfield Park | Book Review

  1. Hi Ann,
    I wonder if you have seen the movie version of Mansfield Park, directed by Patricia Rozema in 1999? Here is a link to it on IMDB.
    It is truly my favourite adaptation of an Austen book. I hope you’ll see it and let me know if it changes your miind about the story.
    Sincerely, Catherine Basaraba, Art Director, Toronto Canada

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have yet to watch the movie but I want to give the movie a try. I’ll definetly get back to you after I watch the movie about my thoughts of the story!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s