Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

by Jane Austen

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596880108
Publisher: Large Print Book Company, The
Publication date: 10/01/2004
Series: World Classics Series
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author


Jane Austen (1775—1817) was an English novelist best known for her six major novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Emma.

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

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.'

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.

What People are Saying About This

Russel-Mitford

"I would almost cut of one of my hands if it would enable me to writer like Jane Austin with the other."

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."

From the Publisher


“Never did any novelist make more use of an impeccable sense of human values.”—Virginia Woolf
 

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?

Customer Reviews

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Mansfield Park (Ignatius Press Edition) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 177 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.
artikaur on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not one of Jane Austen's finer works. Saw the movie. Book was too boring to finish. It kept dragging on and on and on...
bookwyrmm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mansfield Park is the fourth of Austen¿s works that I have read. I was not too thrilled with the last one I read, Persuasion, but I did love Mansfield Park. Fanny was rather shy for a main character, but she was a lot of fun. And the ending made me happy.
kpolhuis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fanny Price breaks my heart. Such a wonderful, intelligent girl with such strong morals and opinions. I respect this about her. I am so sorry that she ever suffered to be exposed to such a hypocritical and avaricious family. What a miserable life it must have been, watching these idiots exist day to day. That she took Edward at the end, now that was stupid. He constantly exhibited a weak personality, why marry that?
Schmerguls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
1031 Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen (read 2 Nov 1969) In June 1954 I read Pride and Prejudice with greatest delight. In May 1965 I read Sense and Sensibility , Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion with similar appreciation. Quite by accident--I found a copy for 10 cents--I have now read this work. Fanny Price goes to live with her maternal aunt, Mrs. Thomas Bertram. who lives at Mansfield Park. Another maternal aunt, Mrs. Norris, is there--and she is a caricature of the evil aunt. Fanny is all goodness. She falls in love with her cousin Edmund, who is in love with Mary Crawford. Mary's brother, Henry Crawford, woos Fanny. But Fanny cannot stand him. Edmund's sisters, Maria and Julia, are worthless. Fanny of course triumphs. First, the story drug--much to-do over amateur acting, etc. But in time the craftsmanship caught me up--as Jane Austen has always done. So deft, so carefully done. One cannot but be impressed. Edmund is a prig, but since Fanny loves him one can forgive him much. One continues to be struck by the fact that the rich in Austen's time apparently did nothing. Even Fanny's poor parents have two servants besides all their children. One cannot be sorry for poor people so lazy as to need servants. The only major Austen novel I now have not read is Emma. I will read it sometime. [I did 20 Aug 1972.]
Carmenere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why is it when I'm on the train going east, everybody is going west? Why, when I am on the elevator going up, everybody else is on the elevator going down? Why is it that when so many readers seem to dislike Fanny Price and Mansfield Park, I absolutly love her as well as Mansfield Park?Having read all of Austen's major works I sensed from the start that Mansfield Park would become my favorite. Austen's characters are richly drawn and each deciferable in their own way. Fanny is Cinderella to her well to do Aunts, Norris and Lady Bertram. I don't believe I have met a character that I dislike more than Aunt Norris. She requests that Fanny move to Mansfield from her crowded home in Portsmouth only to pawn her off on her sister's family headed by Lady and Lord Bertram. She is essentially a servant to them and is repeatedly reminded of her place within the family. Fanny is greatful to be at Mansfield and knows her place. Oh, how the family is shocked to find that a financially independendent gentleman is smitten with Fanny. Fanny's love however is with another similarly shocking young man who has his sights set on another. How will this love triangle be reduced to a duo? Will Aunt Norris ever get the comeuppance she justly deserves? Jane Austen, you tease, makes the reader dwell, hope, dream of a suitable outcome until the final chapter. This book has suspense, shocking revelations and is much more mature in material than any other Austen I have read. I found Fanny to be an endearing creature who trusts her instincts despite what others may believe to be the best for her. You go, Fanny.Would I recommend it: I truly recommend this novel, it is an absolute classic in my opinion.
mkhongms on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The twists in this tale were quite hilarious.
schmal06 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The most unpopular of Jane Austen's novel but I loved it. I particularly liked its young heroine Fanny Price though she is in many ways the least Austen-like. I am biased perhaps because I like to think I am like Fanny in some ways. It was refreshing to see people realize a sense of propriety is more valuable than vanity and selfishness, however charming and attractive. Wonderful social and psychological commentary and brilliant writing as always.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mansfield Park is usually tied with Emma for least-loved of Austen's books, and though the heroines of each are very, very different, the two books' lower favor with Austenites is usually due to Fanny and Emma, respectively. While Emma is an interfering, independent young woman, Fanny is her exact opposite, and loves nothing better than to hide while others receive all the attention. Many modern readers find Fanny too passive, and call her "weak." But this misses the essential point of the story ¿ strength is not in being feisty and independent, but holding firm to your convictions under pressure. This review will contain spoilers, so proceed with caution.Mansfield Park is the story of Fanny Price, the dependent niece of Sir Thomas Bertram who is taken into the Bertram family at a young age as a favor to her parents, who are not well-to-do. From the first, Fanny is taught her inferior place in the family by her officious Aunt Norris, who dotes on Fanny's cousins, Maria and Julia. At Mansfield Park, her cousin Edmund is the only one who sees Fanny's distress and tries to make things easier for her. He quickly becomes her only confidante and comfort in the Bertram home, and this continues into Fanny's adulthood. When the charming brother and sister Henry and Mary Crawford come into the neighborhood, things begin to change ¿ and not, in Fanny's opinion, for the better.Austen's characterizations are excellent, as always. I think she achieved something special in Lady Bertram, even though my lady is quite a background sort of person. Indeed, it may be because of her minor-character status that the execution of the character is so striking to me. The word for Lady Bertram is "indolent," and rarely has anyone exemplified it better. She is not ill-meaning, and has a good heart, but she cannot be bothered to do anything for anyone. She is comfortable, pleasant, and in many ways only half-alive. And yet I like her very well, for some unaccountable reason. Austen achieves similar things with the character of Henry Crawford. Usually I'm able to disdain the bad guys in Austen's world as cads and weaklings, but Crawford is written so well that I think I feel some of his charm even through the pages of a book. The way Austen probes his motivations and feelings is really fascinating. His main vice is not deliberate deception or evil, but rather overweening vanity and selfishness. And he is capable of good things. The other characters are also well-drawn. Sir Thomas in all his dignity and yet truly good beliefs underneath the formality. Tom, with his thoughtless profligacy and unfixed principles. Maria with her haughty pride of beauty and money, and helpless love for someone who slights her. Edmund, with his kindness and, sometimes, blindness. Julia, with her jealousy of Maria and her selfishness. Aunt Norris, with her selfish officiousness and ruthless economy. Mr. Rushworth, with his money and his ridiculous two and forty speeches. Mary Crawford, with her unsound principles and disdain for anything unfashionable. We get a clear picture even of Dr. and Mrs. Grant, who have almost no dialogue whatsoever in the story. Many readers disparage Fanny, the principal character of the story, as weak and passive. Certainly she does not have the spunk and polite sauciness of an Elizabeth Bennett or Emma Woodhouse. Constantly belittled during her formative years and made to feel her inferiority by Aunt Norris, Fanny is terrified of being singled out for any kind of special notice. She was passive and retiring by nature, and her upbringing had the effect of exaggerating these qualities. Many modern readers can't stand this in a female character; modern conventions have taught us that heroines must be sassy and spunky. But I tend to fall into the small but determined camp that appreciates Fanny for who she is. Fanny is always ready to give way for the convenience of others ¿ but this does not stop her from observing their behav
auntieknickers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is always something new to find in Austen's books.
elbakerone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mansfield Park is by no means the best Jane Austen work I've encountered, but I still view it as a valuable piece of literature. Austen once again excels at the task of conveying her message through her characters. In this work, the reader is introduced to Fanny Price - a young woman of high character and low finances - who is raised in the household of her cousins, the Bertrams - who are wealthy but lack Fanny's high morals. The contrast of Fanny and her female cousins paints Austen's oft used theme of character versus class and sensibility versus stature. Meanwhile Fanny's cousin Edmund (the object of her affections) teaches the lesson of the blindness of "love" as he relentlessly pursues a woman who is, in Fanny's eyes at least, entirely wrong for him. I found Mansfield Park to be a good story but a bit difficult to read in terms of the pacing of the book. Many chapters went by with little story development only to have the denouement contain many rushed plot points that I craved further details about. Nevertheless, Austen's recipe ingredients of honorable young women, unrequited love, faithless cads in the disguise of noble suitors, and true love in the end still built an enjoyable book that I am happy to have read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago