NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 18, Mansfield Park

To be a writer, it’s necessary to read. What are you reading now and is it any good?

I have loved Jane Austen for a long time, and I have read all of her books (including the partials like Lady Susan). I’ve also read the Quirk Classics Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters very recently.

Right now, I’m reading Mansfield Park. It’s the only one of the core six that I haven’t read multiple times, so I’m not very familiar with it. It’s also the only one that I don’t own. I picked up a copy at the library today after reading Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating by Laura Henderson, which aside from being a bit stuffy at times, was a really interesting book.

I’m only three chapters in, but I am already remembering why I didn’t really take an interest in Mansfield Park the first time around. It lacks some of the verve of Austen’s later works, and Fanny Price isn’t exactly the most fascinating of protagonists.

Still, I do like the way the characters are developed and the understated commentary from the author. This understatement is probably my favorite aspect of Austen’s writing style.

So, what’s everyone else reading lately?

3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 18, Mansfield Park

  1. bambiquim says:

    I’m a little confused by your use of the word “verve.” Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice were published before MP. And Northanger Abbey, of course was written before these novels. What do Emma and Persuasion possess that these other novels do not? I like all of them, to be honest, although MP is also the one I have read the least. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • jenovotony says:

      I’m using “verve” in the sense of “vitality, vivacity, or energy.” I mean that Mansfield Park seems far more plodding and less spirited than some of the other novels. I’m not sure if it’s the style itself or the characters that give me this feeling, but for instance with Emma, the social commentary and critiques of the characters (particularly Emma herself) are still understated but seem to have more bite to them.

      Somehow I completely mixed up Mansfield Park with Northanger Abbey! At least as far as publication date goes. I don’t know how I did that. I feel really silly now.

      Still, I have to admit that Emma and Persuasion are my favorites, which I would relate to the aforementioned verve. I think the characters are just more interesting.

      I am hoping that another read of MP will give me a better appreciation for it, though. After all, it was a long time before I understood why Pride and Prejudice is so beloved.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bambiquim says:

        Okay, thanks for clarifying. It’s so interesting, how two people can have such different opinions! I personally feel that Elizabeth Bennett is the character with the most “verve,” but again, it’s a matter of opinion. I also love Emma and Persuasion, though the latter seems more sedate than Emma or P&P, to me. Northanger Abbey certainly strikes me as the most energetic of Austen’s novels, with the swoon-worthy Henry Tilney and ludicrous imagination, although Catherine herself is fairly placid in action and word.

        Thanks for sharing! It has been an interesting discussion and made me think. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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