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!Download Ebook õ Mansfield Park ã Die aus rmlichen Verh ltnissen stammende Fanny Price w chst in der Familie ihres Onkels Sir Thomas Bertram im Herrensitz Mansfield Park auf Von ihren selbstverliebten Kusinen Maria und Julia hat das scheue und gutm tige M dchen, dem es angeblich an feiner Bildung mangelt, Einiges zu erdulden Doch nach Jahren voller R ckschl ge und Irrt mer ist schlie lich sie es, die ihre fast schon verloren geglaubte gro e Liebe findet In ihremerschienenen vierten Roman zeichnet Jane Austen ein facettenreiches Sittenbild des englischen B rgertums am Beginn desJahrhunderts You can t see me right now but i m rolling my eyes so hard i can see the back of my head. I was astounded to find that many of the reviews on this site criticize this book for the main character, Fanny Price, her timidity and morality It is very different from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, whose smart, sensible heroines make the novels, but I actually enjoyed this book immensely for its social commentary Most of the characters in this book singlemindedly pursue wealth, status, and pleasure regardless of their personal and moral costs Their antics are pretty hila I was astounded to find that many of the reviews on this site criticize this book for the main character, Fanny Price, her timidity and morality It is very different from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, whose smart, sensible heroines make the novels, but I actually enjoyed this book immensely for its social commentary Most of the characters in this book singlemindedly pursue wealth, status, and pleasure regardless of their personal and moral costs Their antics are pretty hilarious, and I think Fanny s passive and proper nature makes her an ideal medium through which to observe all the frivolous and shallow people around her Aside from being funny, the book also raises the issue of a girl s duty to marry well should personal happiness be sacrificed for money and connections Whether you will like this book depends on why you read Jane Austen Don t read these novels as you would a Harlequin romance, because that s not what they are, as this book shows The love story and the happily ever after element are a lotprominent in PP and SS, but in Mansfield Park it is definitely less important than the social commentary Most Austen aficionados agree that Pride and Prejudice is a great book 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 What s going on here Frequently leveled criticisms Fanny is a stick Most Austen aficionados agree that Pride and Prejudice is a great book 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 What s going on here Frequently leveled criticisms Fanny is a stick The moral stances against the Lovers Vows and against the Crawfords are baseless and pompous The marriage of cousins is not just disappointing, it s disgusting The ending is disappointing Edmund is a dreary hero Henry would have been much better a match for Fanny.Fanny is a stick The ink spilled about Fanny pegs her as physically weak, humorless, and worst of all she disapproves of innocent and harmless fun like the play for what seem to be self righteous reasons.Fanny s physical weakness seems easy enough to dismiss as a criticism However uninteresting continuous illness is for a modern reader unless it s a reader who loves hospital and doctor stories , that is actually a slice of reality 200 years ago Fanny s physical state is an observant portrait of a sensitive child who was never given the warmth of a fire in winter, who wore cast off clothing, and probably was fed last in the nursery, maybe even the leavings that the bigger cousins didn t want She gets a headache being cooped up indoors, suggesting allergies Aunt Norris made it her business to see that giving Fanny as much as her cousins got was unnecessary waste and Lady Bertram was too indolent to notice Sir Thomas had little to do with the children s upbringing, so he didn t see it either we discover this when he comes to the nursery for the first time, and discovers that Fanny has never had a fire in winter There is plenty of corroborative detail of this sort of treatment of poor relations raised as charity cases by wealthier relatives, if one reads period memoirs, letters, even sermons Aunt Norris says later in the book to Fanny Remember wherever you go you are always least and lowest, and no contemporary reader ever pointed this out as unbelievable.Fanny s character is retiring, but that s understandable considering the way she s been raised Austen who had a brother adopted into a wealthy relation s family seems to understand what it would be like for a young person to be taken from her home, crowded and humble as it was, to be raised in a completely different manner and manor Fanny is an acute observer, at least as acute as Mary Crawford is, and farcharitable Probably so, for Fanny was able to descry emotional changes in both Mary and Edmund as well as herreadable cousins, and Mary while seeing Julia s plight, and shrugging it off did not see Fanny s adoration for her Cousin Edmund Mary was also able to talk herself into believing Fanny s unswerving politeness to Henry, and her occasional flushes of anger, as expressions of love Fanny sees into everyone s heart, and feels for them all, deserving or not excepting only Henry She sees his love, but she does not trust it, or him Though Austen does say later she might have married him, after time if Edmund had married first.Fanny has no humor If you compare the number of moments of laughter, you ll find that Fanny exhibits farsense of humor than Anne in Persuasion or Elinor of Sense and Sensibility, much as I love both characters, especially Anne I suspect many readers overlook examples like this bit in Book One, Chapter XII, where Tom has just come in during a hastily arranged ball, and is bitching to Fannythey need all be in love, to find any amusement in such folly and so they are, I fancy If you look at them, you may see they are so many couple of lovers all but Yates and Mrs Grant and, between ourselves, she poor woman must want a lover as much as any one of them A desperate dull life hers must be with the doctor, making a sly face as he spoke toward the chair of the latter, who proving, however, to be close at his elbow, made so instantaneous a change of expression and subject necessary, as Fanny, in spite of everything, could hardly help laughing at A strange business this in America, Dr Grant What is your opinion I always come to you to know what I am to think of public matters After which Austen makes it clear that, despite the situation, Fanny cannot forebear laughing out loud Later, she and brother William talk and laugh in the coach all the way to Portsmouth I just can t see Anne Elliott cracking a smile in either situation The real sticking points are Fanny s disapproval of the Crawfords, and.The moral stance Fanny takes against the play I ve seen modern readers inveigh against this as a harbinger of lugubrious Victorianism They overlook the fact that in Austen s day, it was a sign of disrespect to carry on as if unconcerned when the head of the house was away, and in danger of his life And even now, who among us would like to make a long, fatiguing trip just to come home and discover that our own room out of all the rooms in a big house is the scene of an ongoing party As for the Crawfords and ther innate badness, Austen tries to show us attractive people who can be kind, are socially acceptable, but were raised without any but the most superficial moral awareness, much less conviction.Many feel that this novel is filled withdelicious wit and comedy than any of the others outside of Pride and Prejudice Contemporary psychology, psychiatry, and social sciences of various sorts worry anxiously at the nature versus nuture debate, as we try to figure out why we are the way we are Austen tries to show us that someone without morals may reform, but it takes time and effort as well as love And would Henry Crawford have reformed I ll come back to that.The marriage of cousins is disgusting No getting around that, not what with we know about genetics, so we grow up regarding our cousins as being as off limits as siblings On first reading Austen s novels, my then teenaged daughter was only slightly less repulsed by the marriage of cousins than she was at Emma s marrying a guy well old enough to be her father and who acts like oneoften than not But the truth is that these things were quite common during Austen s time And, given the sequestered lives country girls lived, it was a miracle if they met any young men outside of their handy cousins who presumably at least had the proper rank in life there was still a tendency for parents to feel it was better for older and wiser heads to select husbands for their innocent daughters, and handy male cousins, well known to the family, also rounded out estates nicely.Edmund is a dull hero Is he really dull He exhibits about as much of a sense of humor as does Mr Darcy, which is to say very little When he s with Fanny he is, at best, the kindly, well meaning, but rather patronizing older brother.In fact Edmund is at his worst in his scenes with Fanny He s insensitive and condescending he s a typical teen age boy in the early scene when he tries to talk Fanny into being glad to live with Aunt Norris Even his being a teenager is no excuse for such insensitivity, for he has to have observed her unsubtle cruelties Unless he believed that Fanny really was a second class member of the family which observation does not redound to his credit In all their other scenes, he s unfailingly kind except when he permits Mary to monopolize Fanny s horse, which is prompted by his crush on Mary , and when he tries first to to bully Fanny into participating in the play, and then he tries to bully her into marrying Henry despite his vaunted principles, which he knows Henry doesn t share, his motive being that giving Fanny to Henry will bring Mary closer to himself He does care about Fanny in his own peculiar way, but there is absolutely no chemistry he calls her Sister right until the end, when he wants to denounce his own sisters for straying from societal norms, so that Austen s unconvincing narrative that he fell in love after just the right amount of time carries a strong whiff of incest.Edmund also comes off poorly when he discusses Mary Crawford with Fanny, metaphorically wrinkling his nose over her rather free speech and attributing her frankly expressed opinions to bad upbringing He proves himself a first class hypocrite when he denounces the acting scheme, but then gives in because Mary wants to act and then he s so involved with Mary that he totally overlooks theserious trouble going on between his sisters over Henry The evidence is there Fanny sees it but Edmund doesn t.Mary falls for him in spite of herself, and here is our clue that the Edmund the family sees is not the Edmund the world sees She sees Edmund as a man and not as the family s moral windvane It s through her eyes that Edmund becomes mildly interesting He was not pleasant by any common rule, he talked no nonsense, he paid no compliments, his opinions were unbending, his attentions tranquil and simple She s fascinated by this kind of guy she s never met one before and in her company, Edmund comes alive In some of their passages he exhibits intelligence and even a faint semblance of wit I think the internal evidence is clear that, had they married, it probably would have been happy for a few months But once the reality of being a minister s wife really hit Mary, and the newness wore off, she would have felt imprisoned, and made Edmund s life hell That she craved some kind of peace and security was clear enough, but not as a minister s wife She knew her limitations, and was satisfied enough with herself to not wish to change.If one speculates, as I do, about what happens after the end of each novel, it s easy to see Edmund carrying a torch for Mary Crawford for the rest of his life and Fanny knowing it There s too much a sense of settling for second best when he marries Fanny which brings me to my own problem with this novel.In his essay on Mansfield Park in Lectures on Literature, Vladimir Nabokov says, An original author always invents an original world, and if a character or an action fits into the pattern of that world, then we experience the pleasurable shock of artistic truth, no matter how unlikely the person or thing may seem if transferred into what book reviewers, poor hacks, call real life There is no such thing as real life for an author of genius he must create it himself and then create the consequences The weakest point in Pride and Prejudice is the coincidence that brings Darcy and Elizabeth face to face at Pemberley Jane Austen tried to smooth it as much as she could, having had Mrs Gardiner grow up in the area, and making it possible for Elizabeth to visit because she is safe in the knowledge that the Darcy family are away But still, when he comes round the side of the stable and their eyes meet, it s an interesting moment, and a moment we hoped for, but not an inevitable moment.InMansfield Park, until the very last there are no coincidences Each action unfolds with dramatic integrity, flowing logically from the preceding Where the consequences falter is at the end of the third book, when Austen shifts from showing us the novel in a series of exquisitely detailed scenes Abruptly the story is tucked away and the narrator steps up and addressed the reader directly, telling us what happened We are told what happened, we re told why, and in short, we re told what to believe.Austen kept the subsequent actions off stage because delicacy dictated such a course A lady would not show Henry s crucial decision to run off with Maria Bertram Rushworth making some readers think it an arbitrary decision We re told in Austen family lore that Jane s sister Cassandra begged Jane to end the book differently, with Fanny marrying Henry, but Jane was obdurate.I suspect that Jane Austen intended this bit to be the convincing piece of evidence against Henry He saw Mrs Rushworth, was received by her with a coldness which ought to have been repulsive, and have established apparent indifference between them for ever but he was mortified, he could not bear to be thrown off by the woman whose smiles had been so wholly at his command he must exert himself to subdue so proud a display of resentment it was anger on Fanny s account he must get the better of it, and make Mrs Rushworth Maria Bertram again in her treatment of himself.This passage echoes his first conversation alone with Mary, when he decides so idly to make Fanny fall in love with him We already know from earlier evidence he likes the chase Never all the way to marriage He makes jokes about that With this decision about Fanny, we see that he stirs himself to action if any woman resists his flirtation, even someone as insignificant as Fanny early on in his pursuit, he can t even remember if he saw her dancing, though he professes to remember her grace.But saying that Henry pursues Fanny all the way to proposing marriage just because she resists him is too simple The reason he doesn t ask Maria Bertram to marry him when she s dropped as many hints as she can that she s not only willing, but expecting a proposal, is that though he finds her extremely attractive all those rehearsals of the tender scene prove that he has no respect for her He knows she s selfish and a hypocrite, which is fine for idle flirtation Fanny is the first woman he respects And that respect might might be enough to change him, some readers think, before we re abruptly thrust out of the story, just to be told by the narrator that the deserving got their happy ending, and the others didn t.Finally, in Fanny s and Henry s relationship there is that fascinating element of the reformed rake, the taming of the beast, that was as much a draw to women readers in Romantic poetry check out Byron and the reactions from his audience, in old letters and articles as it is now I wonder if, in fact, readers 200 years ago were as disappointed with this ending as modern readers are now saying out loud, Well, this is the way it ought to be, but internally rewriting the story so that Henry does resist Maria s angry, selfish intentions despite her physical allure, and Fanny gets her passionate and reformed Henry, rewarding him with all that devotion and sensitivity that seems wasted on Edmund Opinions in Austen s circle seemed to have been mixed, and the book apparently did not sell as well as the others.Why did Austen end it the way she did Were Fanny s feelings for Edmund real love They don t read that way to me It could be my opinion is colored by Edmund s reactions to Fanny, for chemistry has to go two ways if it s to be sustained, but her admiration, sparked so early in her teens, seems the kind of crush romantic youngsters form and then grow out of She s clear sighted enough to see Edmund s faults concerning Mary, but she doesn t seem to see his other vagaries She does see Henry s faults, but at the very end, it seems she is slowly being won over through his alterations when they walk together in Portsmouth on a Sunday morning, energy sparks between them She cares for his opinion, she watches him It seems to me that this is the start of real love, the love of a mature woman But then, quite suddenly, it all is thrown away, theunconvincing because Austen resorts to telling us what to think, after an entire novel in which she had shown, so beautifully, living and breathing characters.Consistency, in Nabakov s sense, is sacrificed moral truth is firmly asserted, at the cost of artistic truth I don t blame that on Fanny, but on her creator Upping my rating from 3 stars to 4 on reread Mansfield Park isn t as easy to love as most of Jane Austen s other novels, but it has a lot of insights to offer into the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of not just Fanny, but all of the other characters who live in and around Mansfield Park, a country manor in England Like Kelly says in her truly excellent review of this book, it s called Mansfield Park not Fanny or Foolishness and Awkwardness for a good reason The other thing that Upping my rating from 3 stars to 4 on reread Mansfield Park isn t as easy to love as most of Jane Austen s other novels, but it has a lot of insights to offer into the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of not just Fanny, but all of the other characters who live in and around Mansfield Park, a country manor in England Like Kelly says in her truly excellent review of this book, it s called Mansfield Park not Fanny or Foolishness and Awkwardness for a good reason The other thing that helped me was mentally repeating the mantra that stood me in good stead when I was rereading Rebecca This is not a romance novel If you read it with the standard romantic expectations, you re likely to be disappointed A starry eyed view of romance and happily ever after is not the point of Mansfield Park and, really, not of any of Austen s other novels, Darcy and Wentworth notwithstanding Here it s muchabout the social commentary, and often about the ways people hurt others through their selfishness or lack of consideration.After rereading both Mansfield Park and Persuasion, I think that Fanny is just as good a heroine as Anne Elliot, and actually they have a lot in common in their personalities sensitive, rather shy, physically weak, kind hearted and giving to a fault Anne just got the benefit of a better romantic plot line and sorry notsorry, Edmund a farappealing hero in Frederick Wentworth.Once I stopped trying to squeeze Fanny and Edmund into the roles of romantic heroine and hero, I was able to appreciate how nuanced and realistically Austen drew these characters Fanny is the poor cousin who is taken in by her Aunt Bertram s family as a young girl She s a sensitive soul and a quiet personality, with an unfailing moral compass Fom the modern point of view she can be a bit of a prig at times, but she was in line with the social expectations for her time, especially for a dependent young woman.Fanny struggles with her health, partly because of her Aunt Norris unflagging and unasked for efforts to keep Fanny humble and always, always useful, and to save the Bertrams money at Fanny s expense her rooms are bitterly cold in winter there s never a fire in her sitting room until her inattentive uncle realizes it one day Aunt Norris, by the way, is a brilliant creation, a shockingly appalling person that still makes you laugh And Fanny also struggles with her unrequited love for her cousin Edmund, the only truly loving person in the Bertram family toward her So it s a rough blow for Fanny when the fashionable, self centered and worldly brother and sister team, Henry and Mary Crawford, sweep into town and upend everything at Mansfield Park Edmund s sisters, Maria and Julia, fight over Henry s attention Maria s engagement to another man not posing much of an obstacle in her mind she d love to trade up personality and intelligence wise Edmund promptly falls for Mary Crawford, who can t quite believe she s really giving a second son and one who s going to be a clergyman the time of day Edmund is still absentmindedly kind to Fanny, but he s completely head over heels for Mary, to Fanny s vast chagrin.I never thought Mary quite as unworthy a person as Fanny does, though that may be my modern perspective talking Henry clearly starts out as a player and a user, but Fanny s sweetness and goodness start to change his jaded heart Mansfield Park is so insightful about people s faults and foibles and personal relationships Just, look somewhere else if you want a soul satisfying romance.Bonus material After reading Mansfield Park, I jumped into Sherwood Smith s Henry and Fanny An Alternate Ending to Mansfield Park to see if she could convince me that, just maybe, Jane Austen got the ending wrong here She is pretty convincing Give this a shot if you re interested It s one of the few JAFF Jane Austen fan fiction, for the uninitiated works I think is really good.Initial review Fanny always struck me as a sad sack, and Edmund as needing a nice big shot of testosterone so he could step it up a notch I really need to reread this one to see if I can developappreciation for the main characters.Maybe my problem is that I want all of my Austen heroines to belike Elizabeth Bennet