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Mansfield Park

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Overview

When the gorgeous Henry Crawford and his pretty sister, Mary, come to Mansfield, they have no idea of the commotion they will cause. There they find the Bertram family, with their beautiful daughters and handsome sons-and our heroine, shy and sweet Fanny Price. As the inhabitants of Mansfield Park become ever more involved with the Crawfords, a scandal of devastating proportions begins to unfold.
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Mansfield Park

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Overview

When the gorgeous Henry Crawford and his pretty sister, Mary, come to Mansfield, they have no idea of the commotion they will cause. There they find the Bertram family, with their beautiful daughters and handsome sons-and our heroine, shy and sweet Fanny Price. As the inhabitants of Mansfield Park become ever more involved with the Crawfords, a scandal of devastating proportions begins to unfold.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Jane Austen paints some witty and perceptive studies of character.
John Wiltshire LaTrobe University
“Unlike Jane Austen's earlier novels, Mansfield Park is embedded within a specific historical moment, and the Introduction to this Broadview edition splendidly brings out the novel's engagement with a range of contemporary controversies, from female education to the slave trade and the proper use of wealth. The appendices, too, offer readers a generous range of material, expertly selected and introduced. They extend our insight into what Sturrock shows is Austen's most discomforting—as well as engrossing—text.”
Deborah Kaplan George Mason University
“An excellent edition. Sturrock's introduction provides a nuanced view of Mansfield Park as well as judicious treatment of the critical debates the novel has prompted in recent years. Her annotations are genuinely helpful, and the appendices thought-provoking. With a sharp eye for the most relevant passages, Sturrock has assembled late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century writings on issues such as slavery, female education, and private theatricals. These writings create fascinating vantage points from which to view Austen's novel, and they make clear how profound a response it was to contemporary cultural concerns.”
From the Publisher
"McCaddon is the ideal choice to present this classic...a nineteenth-century 'tell all' just as impossible to resist as the tabloids in the check-out line." —-AudioFile
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414500171
  • Publisher: Pavilion Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004

Meet the Author

John Wiltshire is Associate Professor of English at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

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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Table of Contents

General Editor's preface; Acknowledgments; Chronology; Introduction; Note on the text; Mansfield Park; Introductory Note on Lovers' Vows; Lovers' Vows by Elizabeth Inchbald; Corrections and emendations; Appendix. commentary on the text; Abbreviations; Explanatory notes.

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Reading Group Guide

1. Though it was very successful, Jane Austen deemed Pride and Prejudice, her second novel, 'rather too light.' As Carol Shields mentions in her Introduction, Austen hoped to address more serious issues in her next novel, Mansfield Park. Many readers and critics think Mansfield Park is Austen's most serious and most profound novel. How does it differ from Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice? How are her treatments of class, gender, relationships, and most especially, faith, more nuanced and more mature?

2. Describe the social positions of the three Ward sisters Lady Bertram, Mrs. Norris, and Mrs. Price. How did they arrive at such different circumstances and how have their circumstances presumably affected their personalities? How do the sisters treat each other and how much of this is the result of their respective status?

3. As soon as Sir Thomas decides to accept responsibility for one of Mrs. Price's children, Fanny is put into an unusual position. Sir Bertram says, although she is to live with them, 'she is not a Miss Bertram . . . their rank, fortune, rights and expectations will always be different.' Describe the family's feelings for Fanny as the novel develops. How does the treatment of Fanny by Mrs. Norris and the Bertram sisters distinguish her from the rest of the children? How does Fanny feel about the Bertrams and how do her feelings change, especially for Sir Bertram and Edmund? Before her marriage, what changes take place that allow for her acceptance in the family?

4. Fanny Price inspires strong reactions in readers; she is cast by some as a dreary killjoy, and by others as an endearing, admirable heroine. Is this dichotomy Austen'sintention? Discuss the ways in which Fanny embodies both sides of this polarized debate. What is your opinion of her in relation to other well-known female protagonists of the day?

5. Mansfield Park was divided into three volumes, published separately. Why do you think Austen chose this structure, and how does it affect your reading of the book? Think about other writing that employs this structure to inform your response.

6. From the moment the idea is suggested, Edmund is against the staging of a play. Why is the play seen as inappropriate by both Edmund and Fanny? Why, once it is decided upon, does Edmund accept a part in the play, even though he would appear a hypocrite? How much of this license was taken because of the absence of Sir Thomas and how much was simply the influence of Tom? What is the significance of their choice of plays, Lover's Vows?

7. Describe the similarities and differences between the courtship of Edmund and Mary and that of Fanny and Henry. What are the stumbling blocks in these two courtships that cause them to fail? To what extent were the trials of these courtships responsible for Edmund's change of heart toward Fanny?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 196 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(51)

3 Star

(31)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(27)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 198 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.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2011

    All mixed up

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

    8 out of 8 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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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!

    4 out of 5 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 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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Poor quality

    If you absolutely MUST obtain a free copy, I suppose this one will suffice, but there are entire passages which are simply unreadable.

    :fTRSj&% dersiING wiwut fjsir , for instance... I would recommend another copy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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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  • 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.

    2 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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Electronic format unreadable!

    Do not get this copy. The book opens with a chapter from the middle of the story, sentences are incomplete, and many words are misspelled.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    2 separate volumes

    The free Mansfield Park books are actually in 2 separate volumes. Check the tiny print on the covers. There ARE a lot of typos because it was transcribed electronically, but you get used to it. This is not my favorite Austen book, but it's still Austen!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Poorly transcribed

    The words were so mangled it was nearly impossible to make out.

    1 out of 1 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.

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  • 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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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 198 Customer Reviews

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