"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mansfield Park Read-Along: Part 1

The lovely Amber at Seasons of Humility is hosting a Mansfield Park Read-Along all through January! As Mansfield Park is one of the Jane Austen works I haven't read yet, I needed to join the fun.
"This is not a very promising beginning." Me, being late and behind on everything this year. Opps. I am so sorry! I will try to remedy that soon.

Um, there might be a few spoilers, so if you haven't read Mansfield Park, please don't read.

Mansfield Park Volume I: Chapters 1-12
Discussion Format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading

Favorite Quotes:

"'Here's harmony!' said she, 'Here's repose! Here's what may leave all painting and all music behind, and what poetry only can attempt to describe."'
(Then Edmund was just like, "Nice.")

'Mrs. Grant and her tambour frame were not without their use; it was all in harmony; and as everything will turn to account when love is once set going, even the sandwich tray, and Dr. Grant doing the honors of it, were worth looking at.'
(I was laughing so hard! This is why I love Jane Austen.)

General Impressions:

Mansfield Park is said to be Jane Austen's least liked novel. But why? I have seen one movie version of it (that was a looong time ago.) and I can see some things that people might not like but most people's problem is Fanny. I thought, "Okay then. She must not be that likeable."

Oh my word. I am Fanny. It is crazy! Does that mean people don't like me? Hm...
'He knew her to be clever, to have a quick apprehension as well as good sense, and a fondness for reading, which, properly directed, must be an education in itself.'
I mean, I'm not clever, but I do love to read! And, I don't get treated like her as I have a wonderful family, but we are the same person.

Fanny thinks the best of everyone. She always tries to believe the best in each circumstance. She is kind to all around her, though sometimes she can get offended when people insult things close to her heart. (I can just imagine her looking exactly like me when I am upset. A red faced blond. [That Wonderland Creek quote is ssssoooo accurate!]) She loves her home and family more than anything. "...which shows you to be a very good girl; but you must remember that you are with relations and friends, who all love you, and wish to make you happy."

'Her sentiments towards him were compounded of all that was respectable, grateful, confiding, and tender.' I am still trying to sort out my thoughts for Edmund. I like that he is nice to Fanny, but I don't like it when he is weird and thoughtless. Ugh. Why does he like Ms. Crawford? I mean, it's okay to like her, but please don't neglect Fanny. This is a very good description of him: '...for he was not pleasant by any common rule, he talked no nonsense, he paid to compliments, his opinions were unbending, his attentions tranquil and simple.'

Mrs. Grant: I don't know why I am listing her so near the top, but oh well. I really like her. I don't know what it is, but she is just so great! I don't know what makes her that way, but she is one character that I would like to just sit down and talk with for an hour or two. She seems very nice. And all of Ms. Austen's bits with her are gold! "'I pay very little regard,' said Mrs. Grant, "to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.'"

I like Mrs. Rushworth, I mean ("Stop saying that!"), she was so nice to think of Fanny, when no one else was. "Miss Price, who had never been at Sotherton yet, and it was a pity she should not see the place."

Maria and Julia: Spoiled is the only word I can think to describe them. They make fun of Fanny for not knowing as much as them, then they are just so annoying!!!

Tom Bertram: I don't really have my thoughts put together for what I think of him. I might remember something from the movie, but I don't know. I like that he danced with Fanny, even if it was to get away from Dr. Grant.

Miss Crawford: I don't know, she is sort of annoying as well. I don't think I have agreed with a single thing she has said.

Henry Crawford: Another annoying person. But, I am triumphant to say that I am taller than him.

Mr. Rushworth: What is trying to be said about him? I think he is very agreeable.

Discussion Questions:

1. Would you consider the Bertram family taking in Fanny to be a kindness in the long run? If so, why? If not, could it have been a kindness if they approached things differently?

Well, that is a harder question than you would think. I think it was sad for Fanny to be separated from her brothers and sisters. But, Edmund is nice to her (sort of), and she has gotten a good education.

2. If you were a governess teaching the Bertram children and Fanny, what lesson would you specifically choose for each of them (as kids or adults)? Feel free to have fun with this!

I think Edmund would have a lot of fun with science. Tom would be good with Geography. Julia, I would teach Math. And I would just try to get some sense into Maria's head. I would teach Fanny history, because she loves it. '...delighted to connect anything with history already known, or warm her imagination with scenes of the past.'

I have no idea why I picked all of those things. It just seemed right.

3. Imagine you had joined the group on their visit to Sotherton. Which part of the tour would you most have enjoyed? Would we find you wandering the halls or meandering through the wilderness?

Definitely wandering through the wilderness. I actually would take Julia's position, because I like to listen to people and walk slowly.

Thank you so much to Amber for hosting this! I am sorry I am so late!



  1. I don't know why people dislike Fanny so much. I love her because she is exactly like my mother. (Literally, they are the same person.) Fanny is a sweet, endearing, genuine young woman, and I think she deserves a lot more love. (Anne Elliot...she is one that I can understand disliking. But not dear Fanny, oh no, no.)

    And I agree with your general impressions of Edmund. I can't count him among my top favorite Austen heroes simply because he is a terrible judge of character and blind to the goodness that was right in front of him the whole time! (If I had been Fanny, I'd have moved on. He clearly didn't deserve her in my opinion. Yet he's exactly the type of person that befitted her character to love, if that makes sense.)

    Henry Crawford is one I feel sorry for. At one point, I was really hoping that Fanny would accept him because I felt she brought out the best in him and could change him for the better. When she dumped him, however, he exhibited such poor conduct that I was a little relieved that Fanny had been honest and turned him down. Still, he's a conflicted character that I don't hate as much as, say, Mr. Wickham.

    Oh, Mr. Rushworth. He is a comical character and one I rather like. I think he reminds me of Sir William Lucas from P&P a little bit.

    You know, I have to say that the Bertrams taking Fanny in was a kindness in the long run. She would have had an unfortunate life ahead of her had she stayed in Portsmouth. Going to live at Mansfield Park where she could be educated and associate with elegant company was a good thing for her and ultimately led to a better life for her, even if she had to go through some hardships at first.

    1. Oh, and I forgot to mention in that little book I wrote above how much I enjoyed your review. Mansfield Park is a great book! Looking forward to your posts on the rest of the book. :)

    2. That is so cool! You actually get to know your own Fanny. :) She is such a sweet character. I can see how people might think she is "too" perfect, but if she is, what is wrong with that!? I would love to spend time with her. (Yeah, I'm not sure if I like Anne... but I have yet to read Persuasion.)

      Haha! Yes, I would have moved on already. What does he even see in Miss Crawford? I mean, when they talk of things in front of Fanny, he always seems to have a different opinion, but he still agrees with Mary. What? Ms. Austen's other heros are better.

      That is true, he is just a little mixed up. I am annoyed at him, but also pity him that he has spent all his life with Mary. She is not the greatest example in my book. He was better with Fanny, but one of the reasons I love is that she is honest.

      Oh yes! He is very funny, I like what he adds to the book. :) He does a little!

      Oh definitely! Even though she had to deal with Julia and Maria, it was better for her. Plus, we get a story out of it. Going riding everyday was definitely good for her health, as well as going for walks.

      Aw, thank you so much!! I am enjoying it a lot. Thanks, I can't wait to discuss the rest of the book with you! :D

    3. Hahaha! I never thought of pitying Henry for having to spend his life with Mary for a sister! That's too good! I definitely do pity him on the score now. Good point, MC. :)

  2. Mansfield Park is my least favorite of Jane Austen's books, but I assure you, it is NOT because of Fanny. Rather, it is because of all the annoying and silly characters (Maria especially). What really did me in was what happened towards the end....*shudders*

    Awesome review, MC!!


    1. Oh, of course, the end. I remember watching it and being like, "Whoa! Is this Jane Austen?" And Maria is so silly and annoying I groan every time she is mentioned. Fanny may be the only best thing about the book. Or at least the best person.

      Aw, thank you Catherine!

      And, thanks for your comment!!!

  3. I'm so glad you jumped in, MovieCritic! Never too late! :) It's fun to read your thoughts on the first part of the book and that crazy cast of characters. ;)

    I love Mrs. Grant's conversation (I believe it was with Miss and Mr. Crawford?) about marriage. Although she doesn't seem to get enough page time, she really does seem like a great character! And Fanny's character is sweet and endearing too. :) Boy, does she have a lot to put up with, though!

    Also, your response to question #2 is awesome! Love the thought you put into the subjects that might interest each of them. :)

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the book!


    1. Thank you! I'm glad I jumped in too! Hopefuly I can get the rest of my thoughts put into order. :)

      Yes, I do believe her conversation was with the Crawfords. I was actually laughing out loud! She is a great character, and deserves more in the book! Fanny does put up with a lot! I am like her in some ways, but I couldn't put up with that much! She is so sweet. :)

      Thank you! I think Julia is very smart, and she would do well in Math, then I some how came up with the rest! :)

      I hope so! Thank you for hosting this, Amber!!! :D


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