Mansfield Park: A Norton Critical Edition / Edition 1

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Overview

The text is that of a new authoritative text, which closely follows the one Austen oversaw when the novel was revised and reprinted in 1816.
Supporting materials include an introduction, annotations, and a map.
"Contexts" includes contemporary materials on the slave trade, religion, conduct literature for women, and landscape design that illuminate this dark and often disturbing novel. Elizabeth Inchbald’s adaptation of Lovers’ Vows (the play staged by the characters in Mansfield Park) is included, as are writings by Humphry Repton, Thomas Gisborne, Hannah More, and Mary Wollstonecraft, among others.
"Criticism" presents a superb selection of critical writing about the novel.
The critics include Jan Fergus, Lionel Trilling, Alistair Duckworth, Nina Auerebach, Claudia L. Johnson, Joseph Litvak, Edward Said, B. C. Southam, and Joseph Lew.
A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.

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What People Are Saying

Elizabeth Bowen
"The technique of the novel is beyond praise, and has been praised. The master of the art she choose, or that choose her, is complete: How she achieved it no one will ever know."
Russel-Mitford
"I would almost cut of one of my hands if it would enable me to writer like Jane Austin with the other."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393967913
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Series: Norton Critical Editions Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 213,025
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Austen (1775–1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature.

Claudia L. Johnson is Professor of English at Princeton University. She is the author of Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel and Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender, and Sentimentality in the 1790s, editor of the Mansfield Park Norton Critical Edition, and author of many articles on eighteenth-and nineteenth-century literature.

Biography

In 1801, George Austen retired from the clergy, and Jane, Cassandra, and their parents took up residence in Bath, a fashionable town Jane liked far less than her native village. Jane seems to have written little during this period. When Mr. Austen died in 1805, the three women, Mrs. Austen and her daughters, moved first to Southampton and then, partly subsidized by Jane's brothers, occupied a house in Chawton, a village not unlike Jane's first home. There she began to work on writing and pursued publishing once more, leading to the anonymous publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and Pride and Prejudice in 1813, to modestly good reviews.

Known for her cheerful, modest, and witty character, Jane Austen had a busy family and social life, but as far as we know very little direct romantic experience. There were early flirtations, a quickly retracted agreement to marry the wealthy brother of a friend, and a rumored short-lived attachment -- while she was traveling -- that has not been verified. Her last years were quiet and devoted to family, friends, and writing her final novels. In 1817 she had to interrupt work on her last and unfinished novel, Sanditon, because she fell ill. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, where she had been taken for medical treatment. After her death, her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published, together with a biographical notice, due to the efforts of her brother Henry. Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      December 16, 1775
    2. Place of Birth:
      Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      July 18, 1817
    2. Place of Death:
      Winchester, Hampshire, England
    1. Education:
      Taught at home by her father

Read an Excerpt

About thiry years ago, Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income. All Huntingdon exclaimed on the greatness of the match, and her uncle, the lawyer, himself allowed her to be at least three thousand pounds short of any equitable claim to it. She had two sisters to be benefited by her elevation; and such of their acquaintances as thought Miss Ward and Miss Frances quite as handsome as Miss Maria, did not scruple to predict their marrying with almost equal advantage. But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them. Miss Ward, at the end of half-a-dozen years, found herself obliged to be attached to the Rev. Mr. Norris, a friend of her brother-in-law, with scarcely any private fortune, and Miss Frances fared yet worse. Miss Ward's match, indeed, when it came to the point, was not contemptible; Sir Thomas being happily able to give his friend an income in the living of Mansfield; and Mr. and Mrs. Norris began their career of conjugal felicity with very little less than a thousand a year. But Miss Frances married, in the common phrase, to disoblige her family, and by fixing on a lieutenant of marines, without education, fortune, or connections, did it very thoroughly. She could hardly have made a more untoward choice. Sir Thomas Bertram had interest which, from principle as well as pride, from a general wish of doing right, and a desire of seeing all that were connectedwith him in situations of respectability, he would have been glad to exert for the advantage of Lady Bertram's sister; but her husband's profession was such as no interest could reach; and before he had time to devise any other method of assisting them, an absolute breach between the sisters had taken place. It was the natural result of the conduct of each party, and such as a very imprudent marriage almost always produces. To save herself from useless remonstrance, Mrs. Price never wrote to her family on the subject till actually married. Lady Bertram, who was a woman of very tranquil feelings, and a temper remarkably easy and indolent, would have contented herself with merely giving up her sister, and thinking no more of the matter; but Mrs. Norris had a spirit of activity, which could not be satisfied till she had written a long and angry letter to Fanny, to point out the folly of her conduct, and threaten her with all its possible ill consequences. Mrs. Price, in her turn, was injured and angry; and an answer, which comprehended each sister in its bitterness, and bestowed such very disrespectful reflections on the pride of Sir Thomas, as Mrs. Norris could not possibly keep to herself, put an end to all intercourse between them for a considerable period.

Their homes were so distant, and the circles in which they moved so distinct, as almost to preclude the means of ever hearing of each other's existence during the eleven following years, or, at least, to make it very wonderful to Sir Thomas, that Mrs. Norris should ever have it in her power to tell them, as she now and then did, in an angry voice, that Fanny had got another child. By the end of eleven years, however, Mrs. Price could no longer afford to cherish pride or resentment, or to lose one connection that might possibly assist her. A large and still increasing family, an husband disabled for active service, but not the less equal to company and good liquor, and a very small income to supply their wants, made her eager to regain the friends she had so carelessly sacrificed; and she addressed Lady Bertram in a letter which spoke so much contrition and despondence, such a superfluity of children, and such a want of almost everything else, as could not but dispose them all to a reconciliation. She was preparing for her ninth lying-in; and after bewailing the circumstance, and imploring their countenance as sponsors to the expected child, she could not conceal how important she felt they might be to the future maintenance of the eight already in being. Her eldest was a boy of ten years old, a fine spirited fellow who longed to be out in the world; but what could she do? Was there any chance of his being hereafter useful to Sir Thomas in the concerns of his West Indian property? No situation would be beneath him; or what did Sir Thomas think of Woolwich? or how could a boy be sent out to the East?

The letter was not unproductive. It re-established peace and kindness. Sir Thomas sent friendly advice and professions, Lady Bertram dispatched money and baby-linen, and Mrs. Norris wrote the letters.

Such were its immediate effects, and within a twelvemonth a more important advantage to Mrs. Price resulted from it. Mrs. Norris was often observing to the others that she could not get her poor sister and her family out of her head, and that, much as they had all done for her, she seemed to be wanting to do more; and at length she could not but own it to be her wish that poor Mrs. Price should be relieved from the charge and expense of one child entirely out of her great number.

'What if they were among them to undertake the care of her eldest daughter, a girl now nine years old, of an age to require more attention than her poor mother could possibly give? The trouble and expense of it to them would be nothing, compared with the benevolence of the action.' Lady Bertram agreed with her instantly. 'I think we cannot do better,' said she; 'let us send for the child.'

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 197 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2005

    A 16-year-old bookworm

    Ever since I read Pride and Prejudice, I've been completely hooked on to Jane Austen! This is the second novel of hers I read, and I have to say, I liked it even more than Pride and Prejudice (which was awesome!). Fanny's sweet character and manners touched me, and to meet all of the characters and travel along with them in time is a very touching experience, which makes you miss them when you've finished the book, as if you'd let go of old friends. I recommend this book to anyone who likes Jane Austen, or who wants a comfy read.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    All mixed up

    Do not download. The pages were all mixed up and in the wrong order.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    incomplete version

    this seemed to start just after Crawford's proposal and the text and chapters are not well laid out. i think i will download a paid version.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    I Love This Book!

    I have read all of Jane Austen's novels, and Fanny Price is my favorite heroine. I love her realistic character traits, and gentle nature. Mansfield Park is fantastic. I thought that Austen portrayed life-like characters and plausible events. This novel is still relevant to people's lives today. My only dissappointment is that the ending seemed abrupt. I thought there should be more explanation for Fanny and Edmund. Other than that, I love this book. Highly recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2004

    My Favorite Austen novel yet

    Of the four Austen novels I have read (the others being Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility), Mansfield Park was my favorite. Why? To be frank, though I love Austen's work and would never want to speak badly of it, the heroines in none of her other novels appeals to me as much as Fanny. Emma is too obviously obsessed with social class, and Eliza's apparent high opinion of herself and her abilities annoys me. Fanny is the only heroine who actually sticks to her beliefs. As always, I recommend the movie, but not after you've read the book!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    TERRIBLE

    There are incorrect words, random letters.
    VERY HARD TO FIGURE OUT THE WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2011

    fantastic read

    i love this book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Roan

    What.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Leah

    O ok....cool.........is ur nook cting up? Mine wont post.......i gtg.....its pointless to stay bc i cant post and im super tired ;(

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    L.e.a.h.

    O ok...cool! I gtg bc my nook wont post ;( night....sorry for having u come on

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    Rope

    To climb

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Test

    Review

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    JAFanatic

    I love anything Jane Austen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good story except for one thing

    I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters and plot were well developed. I loved Fanny and Edmund. I wanted them to find true happiness so badly. My only issue is that I didn't want them to end up together because they were 1st cousins. I suppose it was more socially acceptable back then. Fanny was starting to have some admiration of Mr. Crawford, and things were looking hopeful for Edmund and Mary Crawford. It could have all turned out so well, but it just wasn't meant to be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2009

    interesting austen period novel

    in my opinion this one hasn't aged well - it was interesting but a bit boring. glad i was reading it on tape - much easier to listen to it - very well done as well.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2001

    Amazing, and totally profound

    I first read Pride and Prejudice, and found myself falling in love with Jane Austen's novels. Then I read Mansfield Park. Some people say that Fanny is dull and boring. Some even say that no person can have the same personality, but I found myself loving her for she is like me, and I disagree with any person who doesn't like her. She is so simple, but so profound! And the plot, well, it's just exceptionable! The novel was great, and I'm also very pleased with the new movie version of Mansfield Park, who's actors and actresses couldn't do a better job with one of Jane Austen's finest novels.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2000

    The best work by Austen

    I have read many works by Austen, and Mansfield Park is definetely the best, but sadly not her most popular work. Unlike Pride and Prejudice and its fairy tale story, Mansfield Park explores the deep emotions of human beings. From this book, Austen tries to show that anyone can be both good and bad, like Henry Crawford, whom I both hated and felt sympathy for. I don't understand why some say that the ending is bad, because without its surprising ending, Mansfield Park wouldn't be the profound novel that it is.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    I really enjoy it

    I really enjoy it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Do not read

    Even a five year old can type better





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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Rfbbjdejqjkwolnceffnmmwkfmfkfnfmmmedwqaassssssmssnssmsnsnsnsnsnsmsmsmsnsnansaaassassasassasassdsdffffdfdffdffdffgghgghhghghghhghgjjhjjhjhkkjkkjkkli.umynrnnwbqBhdjsjshhhjxj-#-$-%*373$1*%%*%#$-2-#@-@-@2%'2%-$-$$%--$$-**%$*$/%$3%*$#1&4*:42&3$**2%**$--$-

    DfwjjfkjdfjjfjfjfjjfjfjfjfjfjfjfjjjfjfjfnffjfjfjjfjffjfffffjfjfjdjjdjdjdjdjddjjdjddkdjdhddhdddhdhdhdhdhdhddhdhsgsgsgsgssvsssvsggggsgsgsdhejfkfkrkjjjjffefeuuwiwwwwiduwudbbheuduwujdddjjjjjddddddddddddddxxxxxxxxxxdxdxdxdxdddxdxdxdxdxdxdxdxdxdxdxdxdxxdxdxxdxxdxdxxdxxdxdxxdxxdxdesiixxddxxdxdxxdxddxdxxdxdsdwssdwszwddaqdqzqftSengbcbvrhfbcthvcgbcrbcbhyhfjdjjsjjjdjjjdjjjdjjejjdjjjfnjjfjjjnjbdhdndjdjjdjdjddjdjwjdjsjjsjsjdddjdjjjndnsjdjjdjdshwqieioiquxnzzjzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsqsdwdxjdwjjjxdjddsssssjsjsjjsj

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