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Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
     

Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.6 167
by Jane Austen, Amanda Claybaugh (Introduction)
 

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Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

Overview

Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

From its sharply satiric opening sentence, Mansfield Park dealas with money and marriage, and how strongly they affect each other. Shy, fragile Fanny Price is the consummate "poor relation." Sent to live with her wealthy uncle Thomas, she clashes with his spoiled, selfish daughters and falls in love with his son. Their lives are further complicated by the arrival of a pair of witty, sophisticated Londoners, whose flair for flirtation collides with the quiet, conservative country ways of Mansfield Park.

Written several years after the early manuscripts that eventually became Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park retains Austen’s familiar compassion and humor but offers a far more complex exploration of moral choices and their emotional consequences.

Amanda Claybaugh is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She also wrote the Introduction and Notes for the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593081065
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
04/01/2004
Series:
Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
4.13(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.28(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Amanda Claybaugh's Introduction to Mansfield Park

Mary Crawford is, or so it seems, the very model of a Jane Austen heroine. Spirited, warm-hearted, and, above all else, witty, she displays all the familiar Austen virtues, and she stands in need of the familiar Austen lessons as well. Like Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice (1813), she banters archly with the man she is falling in love with, and, like Elizabeth, she must learn to set aside her preconceptions in order to recognize that love. Like Emma Woodhouse, the heroine of Emma (1816), she speaks more brilliantly and speculates more dazzlingly than anyone around her, and, like Emma, she must learn to rein in the wit that tempts her at times to impropriety. But Mary Crawford is not the heroine of Mansfield Park (1814)—Fanny Price is, and therein lies the novel's great surprise. For Fanny differs not merely from Mary, but also from our most basic expectations of what a novel's protagonist should do and be. In Fanny, we have a heroine who seldom moves and seldom speaks, and never errs or alters.

"'I must move,'" Mary announces, "'resting fatigues me'." Before her arrival at Mansfield, she had made a glamorous circuit of winters in London and summers at the country houses of friends, with stops at fashionable watering places in between, and at Mansfield she is no less mobile. A vigorous walker, she soon takes up riding, cantering as soon as she mounts. Fanny, by contrast, has hardly left the grounds of Mansfield since her arrival eight years before, and she is further immobilized by her weakness and timidity. A half-mile walk is beyond her, a ball, she fears, will exhaust her, and she is prostrated by headache after picking roses. She must be lifted onto the horse she was long too terrified to approach, and her exercise consists of being led by a groom.

"'Now, do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat,'" says Mary to her listeners, who have not, in fact, caught the joke at all. So dazzling a talker is Mary that she must serve as her own best audience, amusing herself with witticisms the others cannot hear. With a keener eye and a sharper tongue than those around her, Mary sets her words dancing alongside the inanities, vulgarities, and hypocrisies that make up the other characters' speech. Fanny, by contrast, barely speaks at all, and when she does, it is in the silencing language of moral certainty. "'Very indecorous,'" Edmund says of Mary's far more captivating discourse, and Fanny is quick to agree and contribute a judgment of her own: "'and very ungrateful.'" There is little that can be said after that.

"'I will stake my last like a woman of spirit,'" Mary proclaims in the midst of a card game that Fanny had been reluctant to play at all. Mary wins the hand, only to find that it has cost her more than it was worth, and, in doing so, she reminds us that to act is necessarily to risk being wrong. Fanny, by contrast, is always right. "'Fanny is the only one who has judged rightly throughout'"—this is Edmund Bertram speaking to Sir Thomas in the aftermath of the theatricals, but it could just as properly be the narrator at the novel's end. The language of Fanny's right judgment suggests, however, that her moral certainty is a function of her passivity: "'No, indeed, I cannot act,'" she had insisted, and the double meaning of "acting" suggests that Fanny knows not to "act" in a theatrical sense because she never really "acts" at all.

It is in the contrast between Fanny and Mary that we can most clearly see that Mansfield Park is, in the words of the critic Tony Tanner, "a novel about rest and restlessness, stability and change-the moving and the immovable" (Jane Austen, p. 145; see "For Further Reading"). Mansfield Park is hardly the only Austen novel to take as its subject matter a pair of opposed terms, but typically these terms stand in a dynamic relation to one another, each altering the other until a proper synthesis or balance is achieved. In Sense and Sensibility (1811), for instance, the rational Elinor Dashwood and her romantic sister Marianne must each learn from the other to moderate her mode of feeling; similarly, Mr. Darcy must modify his pride and Elizabeth, her prejudice before marriage can unite them. Other of Austen's novels draw careful distinctions within a single term, as when Persuasion (1818) establishes a continuum from the most laudable to the most lamentable instances of conforming to the wishes of others. Mansfield Park stands alone in this regard, for it unequivocally endorses one set of terms and unequivocally condemns the other. Rest has, in this novel, nothing to learn from restlessness, and restlessness can in no way be redeemed.

Meet the Author

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English author known primarily for her six major novels set among the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Considered defining works of the Regency Era and counted among the best-loved classics of English literature, Austen’s books include Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. The latter two were published after her death.

Brief Biography

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

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Mansfield Park (Ignatius Press Edition) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 167 reviews.
Louisa Mendelsohn More than 1 year ago
Do not download. The pages were all mixed up and in the wrong order.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a popularity poll of Jane Austen¿s six major novels, Mansfield Park may come close to the bottom, but what a distinction that is in comparison to the rest of classic literature! Even though many find fault with its hero and heroine, its love story 'or more accurately the lack of one', its dark subtext of neglect and oppression, and its moralistic tone, it is still Jane Austen with her beautiful language, witty social observations and intriguing plot lines. Given the overruling benefits, I can still place it in my top ten all-time favorite classic books. Considering the difficulty that some readers have understanding Mansfield Park, the added benefit of good supplemental material is an even more important consideration in purchasing the novel. Recently I evaluated several editions of the novel currently in print which you can view here. For readers seeking a medium level of supplemental material, one solid candidate is the new reissue of Oxford World¿s Classics'2008' which offers a useful combination of topics to expand on the text, place it in context to when it was written, and an insightful introduction by Jane Stabler, a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Dundee, Scotland and Lord Byron scholar. Understanding all the important nuances and inner-meanings in Mansfield Park can be akin to `visiting Pemberley¿, the extensive estate of the wealthy Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen¿s more famous novel Pride and Prejudice. One is intrigued by its renown but hard pressed to take it all in on short acquaintance. The greatest benefit of the Oxford World¿s Classics edition to the reader who seeks clarification is Jan Stabler¿s thirty page introduction which is thoughtfully broken down into six sub categories by theme The Politics of Home, Actors and Audiences, The Drama of Conscience, Stagecraft and Psychology, Possession, Restoration and Rebellion, and Disorder and Dynamism. Written at a level accessible to the novice and veteran alike, I particularly appreciate this type of thematic format when I am seeking an answer or explanation on one subject and do not have the time to wade through the entire essay at that moment. Her concluding lines seemed to sum up my recent feelings on the novel. ¿The brisk restoration of order at Mansfield Park and healing of the breach between parent and child is underwritten by the same doubt that lingers around the last scene of Shakespeare¿s King Lear: `Is this the promis¿d end? 'v. iii 262'. Recreating the urge to defy parental authority while teaching us to sit still, and pitting unruly energy against patient submission to the rule of law, Mansfield Park is an enthralling performance of the competitive forces which governed early nineteenth-century politics, society and art.' For me, Mansfield Park is about Jane Austen teaching this unruly child to sit still and enjoy the performance! With patience, I have come to cherish Fanny Price, the most virtuous and under-rated heroine in classic literature! Re-reading the novel and supplemental material was well worth the extra effort, expanding my appreciation of Austen¿s skills as a story teller and the understanding of the social workings in rural Regency England. I am never disappointed in her delivery of great quips such as ¿But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.¿ The Narrator, Chapter 1 Also included in this edition are four appendixes the first two on Rank and Social Status and Dancing which are included in all six of the Oxford World¿s Classics Jane Austen editions and have been previously reviewed, followed by Lovers¿ Vows 'the theatrical that the young people attempt to produce in the novel', and Austen and the Navy which helps the reader understand Jane Austen¿s connection to the Royal Navy through her brothers James and Francis and its influence on her writing. The extensive Explanatory Notes to the text help place the novel in context fo
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
AustenGirl More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this book
kcast610 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The words were so mangled it was nearly impossible to make out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are incorrect words, random letters. VERY HARD TO FIGURE OUT THE WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love anything Jane Austen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw a butterfly, sitting on your right shoulder, As I kissed you in, the very corner of the room, I learned how it feels, to experience true pain, The piano sounds rebound, In my head they spin 'round! Saw a butterfly, sitting on your right shoulder, As I kissed you in, the very corner of the room, I learned how it feels, to experience true pain, The piano sounds rebound, In my head they spin round! I am having the worst nightmare, and I desperately need someone here to wake me up, What happens early on at the start, of the story's not worthy of importance, Please don't ask me where I want to go, because I won't be able to answer you, you know, The night was too impressive for me, so it dazzled me and now I've lost my way. Making my lashes longer, and shaping them carefully, Wearing eyeliner and a hint of lipstick too. Saw a butterfly, sitting on your right shoulder, As I kissed you in, the very corner of the room, I learned how it feels, to experience true pain, The piano sounds rebound, In my head they spin round! In my head they spin round, r-r-r-round! In the corner of- In the corner of- In the very corner of the room-! M-m-my head, m-m-my head they spin round! While I was standing out in the rain, my hair got all wet, and looked frozen and strange, All my loneliness went down the drain, while I waited outside for you, cold and afraid... When I follow you, then run away, It means that I want you to follow me as well, If you think that it's all just a joke, you will surely get hurt- I hope you understand. Painted my nails in red, put a cheap ring on my finger, If I get hurt again, I'll buy some new earrings, Hold onto me tight, cause I have this void inside, You're the only one, who can make my heart feel alright, So aren't you the one? The only one I need, I know that you are, I can't control my needs! Feelings of regret, make me feel like giving up, My self-pity, or my pleasure, which one will come out on top? I need this to stop, or I'll end up going mad, Give me one moment, of feeling I'm at ease. What's leaking out of my wounds? Is it blood or is it love? I feel it dripping out, ahhh-ahhh! Feelings of regret, make me feel like giving up, My self-pity, or my pleasure, which one will come out on top? I need this to stop, or I'll end up going mad, Give me one moment, of feeling I'm at ease. Hold onto me tight, cause I have this void inside, You're the only one, who can make my heart feel alright? So aren't you the one? The only one I need, I know that you are, I can't control my needs! Saw a butterfly, sitting on your right shoulder, As I kissed you in, the very corner of the room, I learned how it feels, to experience true pain, The piano sounds rebound, In my head they spin round! FROM NATSU DRAGNEEL!!!
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even a five year old can type better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It waas not readable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How many of this book are there? Btw i might read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unclear and difficult to read.