February 20th, 2010

earthsea

February Books 12) Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen

I think this brings me to the end of Jane Austen's novels. It is a peculiar case: some very interesting characters and family dynamics, with a wealth of layered detail, but I found the basic social message of the book rather uncongenial. Austen's heroine is Fanny Price, informally adopted by her rich uncle and aunt; Fanny is generally passive and when she expresses an opinion tends towards priggishness (with the author's full approval); the stable conservative world of Mansfield Park is under threat from the cosmopolitan horrors of London, but Fanny supports the resistance. Most of the climactic events take place off-screen in the last few chapters, which is a bit unsatisfying. (Also the kind rich uncle clearly has made his money thanks to slavery.) The book does have its points of interest, but I would advise anyone thinking of casual dabbling in Austen to stick to Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.

Top LibraryThing Unsuggestion: On Intelligence, by Jeff Hawkins