I come to the sticky part: a discussion of the troubling content. Full disclosure is best. Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Austen novel, and Mansfield Park my second favorite. On any given day I can easily call it to mind, and I often do. I remember very vividly the end of my first reading experience.here
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It is a book shaped by a mind consciously harboring a tabooed, expressly forbidden love which, if Sir Thomas were to suspect in the scene where she refuses Henry Crawford, Fanny would be horrifically castigated and outcast immediately. Of course whether we like a book is essentially chacun a son gout. As with Pride and Prejudice , I own 11 editions of this book, not counting translations into French and Italian. On the other hand, and this is important, Mansfield Park is beautiful, it is peaceful, it is an upper class haven of reading and peace and culture.
And that too is what is today unacceptable: the aspiration to that. As girls they are denied privileges accorded to their brothers, for instance, just as Fanny is denied the privileges given to her cousins. Most interestingly, she suggests that the contempt some students expressed for Fanny was really self-contempt at a female role many were in reality forced to adopt in modern Indian society. These reactions, however, are found also in Australian students, whose social situation is not at all similar to their Indian counterparts. They, too, despise Fanny Price. Hers is a life governed by constrictions and denials, and many young readers do not want to imaginatively align themselves with such a life, or do not allow themselves to understand how little free in effect a life may be.
One cannot help thinking, though, that if the truth were told, many of these students-quiet, intelligent girls, whose inner life is sustained by reading-resemble Fanny far more than they do Elizabeth Bennet. The heroine of this book is consequently someone who lives on and in herself as she is; she is in a way intensely self-possessed, not to be taken over by others if she believes they are doing wrong at the same time as she has no need to change them. I submit it is this lack of valuing socializing itself and for itself, a Rousseauian impulse that is so disliked.
Click here. She has created timelines for each of the six novels and the three unfinished novel fragments. She is currently working on a book, The Austen Movies.
Visit her website for further Austen related articles. Jane Austen was born in Hampshire in , the seventh child and youngest daughter of George Austen, rector of Deane and Steventon, and his wife, Cassandra. She began writing poems, plays and stories for her family from a young age, and her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility , was released by Thomas Egerton to sell-out acclaim in Her novels, including the posthumously published Northanger Abbey and Persuasion , are today considered amongst the finest in the English language.
She died at Winchester in Lucy Worsley is an historian, author, curator and television presenter. Darya Shnykina is an illustrator based in Moscow, Russia. Although created using digital techniques, her artwork retains the charm of traditional material and textures. Her style is influenced by impressionism, and she is inspired by the famous modern artists of the twentieth century. Both a sparkling comedy of manners and a gripping romance, Pride and Prejudice remains one of the best-loved books in the world. New Fiction. Classic Fiction. Classical Texts. Historical Fiction.
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