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Old 08-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #16
fantasyfan
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I thought very seriously of choosing a work that got many votes but still lost. However in the end I decided to select a wonderful novel by Jane Austen that would be unlikely to ever get into a short list.

I propose Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

Mansfield Park is the first of Austen’s mature novels considering that both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice are elaborations of lost earlier works {"Elinore and Marrianne" and "First Impressions" respectively}. Yet it is probably the least read.

There are a number of features which make this novel stand out as a masterpiece--albeit a flawed gem. This is the only work in which Austen portrays life in the lower classes and she does so with realism and vigour. Her writing is quite subtle and she makes use of significant symbolism and inter-textuality to develop her themes--these also set this novel apart from her other works. The characterisation is very sharp and a dark ambiguity pervades the plot in a way unmatched until Persuasion.

What makes this a flawed work would seem to be that Austen’s creative process was so powerful that the novel took on a life of its own and began moving down paths that she possibly found uncomfortable. This is very apparent in her treatment of Mary and Henry Crawford in the book and the creative decisions of Jane Austen in working these characters into the tapestry of the novel.

All this makes Mansfield Park a fascinating work to explore. It deserves to be better known than it is.

It is available free of charge from PG and many other sources.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 08-05-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #17
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Do we wait for sun surfer's ruling on this?

Or can I get going?
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #18
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It's literature. I would probably pass on reading it. I read Pride and Prejudice and while I can admire Austen's work, it just isn't subject matter that appeals to me.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #19
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I'm afraid I'm with HIMS. I can admire the work from afar, but it just doesn't float my boat. I knew issy would be raring to go, though .
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #20
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I haven't read MP in decades, and I remember how irritating I found some of the characters. It's not a happy book in the way P&P or Emma are. I expect to read it with a lot more appreciation now--aging's good for some things!

In defense of Mansfield Park, Nabokov, who had no use for the rest of Austen's works, still thought it was a great novel.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:45 PM   #21
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I read Pride and Prejudice twice thinking a second read would help me appreciate it more, but I'm still not a fan of that book. However, I liked Persuasion better. I am willing to give Mansfield Park a try. Thanks, fantasyfan!
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:24 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I haven't read MP in decades, and I remember how irritating I found some of the characters.
I suspect that they are the same characters I found irritating. But perhaps that's why the novel is so oddly fascinating.

Bookworm girl wrote:
"I am willing to give Mansfield Park a try. Thanks, fantasyfan!"

You're welcome! I personally think there are many memorable moments in this novel.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 08-05-2012 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:55 PM   #23
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Mansfield Park it is! I'll start the discussion thread soon.

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I have a few possibilities in mind, and I'll probably post the choice tomorrow and Sun surfer can rule on it.
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Do we wait for sun surfer's ruling on this?

Or can I get going?
fantasyfan, I wasn't worried about what any of you would've picked, and issybird, you can get going on it! The confirmation is really only just a fail-safe now that we don't vote on the lottery pick anymore, to prevent say 50 Shades of Grey somehow being chosen. (although that would be quite a discussion )
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:07 PM   #24
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...to prevent say 50 Shades of Grey somehow being chosen. (although that would be quite a discussion )
That's what I would have nominated. A legend in its own lunchtime.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:14 PM   #25
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That's what I would have nominated. A legend in its own lunchtime.
Well, there's always next time.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:30 PM   #26
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I shall join in on this too, as I have only read MP once before, many years ago and agree it deserve to be revisited.

Good choice, fantasyfan!
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:52 AM   #27
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uhu, I read it once during my Austen period, and it is the one I liked least - so glad to have a chance to have another go, or at least follow the discussion!
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