Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Appearing in 1814, between the sparking wit of Pride and Prejudice and the flawless craftsmanship of Emma, the subject matter of Mansfield Park is unexpected, but anyone interested in the social laws of the Georgian period and in those characters who tend to be marginalised, both during the period itself and in modern-day historical romantic fiction, will be fascinated by the story of Fanny Price and her home at Mansfield Park.
Thomas Bertram, the husband of Mrs Price’s most advantageously-married sister, to take the child into his home.
Fanny’s relatives do not adopt her as their own, however. She becomes a helpmeet to her mother’s last remaining sister as she manages the house on Lady Bertram’s behalf, and her cousins are instructed always to bear in mind that she is not their equal.
The only cousin to take a real interest in her is Edmund, the younger son who aspires to become a clergyman. Then the neighbourhood is shook up by a pair of fashionable strangers. Mary Crawford enchants Edmund, whilst her brother Henry uses his position as a favourite at Mansfield Park to draw Fanny into the social circle as an equal.Mansfield Park stands out because of its unusual premise and the fascinating interaction between the characters in a setting both well-chosen and superbly executed.
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