Reading the Classics: Review of Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park"
It tells the story of Fanny Price, a young woman who has the unfortunate business of being born in a large, poor, middle class family. She is adopted by the Bertrams, her family of cousins occupying the large and lush Mansfield Park. Fanny soon learns that this family has little interest in her as a person, excepting her cousin Edmund, who -I must admit- is an idiot, but a kind idiot. Fanny is kept a part from the chief of the family until two more families, the Grants and the Crawfords, enter the neighborhood, and bring her forward, and there the real mischief begins. Everyone falls in love with someone who does not or cannot love them, the worst of the worst overcomes the Bertram family, Fanny is soon rewarded for her patience, and all is set to rights in the end.
The real majesty in this book is the craftsmanship put into the writing. Before this book, Jane wrote in a more humorous and lively style, but Mansfield Park marks the beginning of the later and more thoughtful of Austen novels. The mindfulness with regard to detail, language, and sentiment is all superior than any other piece she had done hitherto and even since, as some might argue. It's not everyone's favourite; some do not agree with Fanny's religiosity and quietness, some don't believe that she should have married Edmund after how terribly he neglected her, but upon the whole, Mansfield Park shows Jane's prowess at its finest. I recommend it as one of my favourite books.