Mansfield Park (Paperback)

Author: Austen, Jane

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Product Overview

Specifications

Publisher Trafalgar Square
Mfg Part# 9781847491367
SKU 217056236
Format Paperback
ISBN10 1847491367
Release Date 8/2/2010
Author Info
Jane Austen
Jane Austen was the daughter of a well-connected country clergyman in a small village in southern England, and was distantly related to the aristocracy. She had six brothers and a sister--Cassandra, her best friend and confidante. Although she often wrote about marriage and courtship, Austen never married, nor did her sister. The Austen household was lively, jolly, and bookish, and Jane and her siblings loved performing in amateur theatricals (a pastime which plays a vital part in the plot of her novel MANSFIELD PARK). Jane and Cassandra were taught mostly at home, and learned only the trivial accomplishments necessary to proper young women of the period--music, drawing, dancing, etc.--but Jane was also widely read in literature, including the classics. She began writing her witty, satirical novels to amuse her family, but eventually (1809), when she began writing more seriously, she kept her work secret. All together, she completed six novels that parody the social mores of the time, writing about middle-class provincial life with psychological insight and humor. In 1816, she became afflicted with Addison's disease; she died the next year at age 41 in Winchester, and was buried in the cathedral there. Her gravestone bears a long and affectionate inscription attesting to "the benevolence of her heart, the sweetness of her temper, and the extraordinary endowments of her mind," but omitting any mention of her career as a writer. Austen is revered for her satirical portraits of English life, and for her use of the interior monologue to convey character--a relatively new device at the time she was writing. Her contemporary, Sir Walter Scott, praised "the exquisite touch which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment." Her work is also the prototype for a debased version of it, the perennially popular "Regency" romance. By the end of the 20th century, her work--the reputation of which had fluctuated widely since her death--became popular again, and was the source of several movies and TV adaptations.
Praise
"'Mansfield Park' is a fairy tale....The charm of 'Mansfield Park' can be fully enjoyed only when we adopt its conventions, its rules, its enchanting make-believe. Miss Austen's is not a violently vivid masterpiece....Novels like 'Madame Bovary' or 'Anna Karenina' are delightful explosions admirably controlled. 'Mansfield Park', on the other hand, is the work of a lady and the game of a child. But from that workbasket comes exquisite needlework, and there is a streak of marvelous genius in that child."
"'Is she queer?--Is she prudish?' These are not quotations from contenders in the brouhaha over Jane Austen's sexuality. They are questions the rakish Henry Crawford in 'Mansfield Park' asks as he wonders about the nerdiest of all heroines, Fanny Price. The erotic charm that makes other women in that novel yield one after another to Henry's desire fails to make a dent on this mousy and withdrawn girl...Henry Crawford's sense that Fanny is either queer or prudish also describes two contending traditions of Austenian reception that have prevailed since the mid-19th century...Those adhering to the elegaic tradition...believe Austen gives us a reassuringly orthodox world...where...the desires of gentlemen and ladies for each other are obviously complementary, mutually fulfilling, and above all inevitable...[In] another, anti-normative tradition...Austen has been suspected of sexual abnormality for a good long time..."
From the Publisher
Annotation Jane Austen's beloved novel concerns two sisters, Elinor the practical and Marianne the romantic, who are forced to leave their home with their mother and younger sister and live in reduced circumstances in the West of England. The girls must rely on marrying well if they are to survive in the world, and the way in which this goal is eventually accomplished provides the plot of this delightful novel, the first of Jane Austen's to be published.
Editors Note Born into a poor family, Fanny Price is raised amid the daunting splendour of Mansfield Park by her rich uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram. Treated as an inferior by most of the family, Fanny forms a close attachment to her cousin Edmund, the only person to show her kindness.
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Format: Paperback
Condition: Brand New
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