Title: Mansfield Park
by: Jane Austen
Fanny Price is the dearest female protagonist in this story & her aunt Bertram becomes quite fond of her and even dependent on her. Her uncle, Sir Thomas, grows fond of her as well until she rejects a suitor whom he thinks is quite fitting for her. He sends Fanny back to her family for a visit, but it ends up being a torturous visit to a family whom she hasn't seen or been around for almost 10 years.
Her family had too many kids & her father hardly took notice of her, so she got to grow up with her cousins at Mansfield Park. She becomes closest with her cousin Edmund, who is always careful & loving towards her from the very beginning. Even though she has female cousins (Julia & Maria) she is closest to Edmund.
Henry & Mary Crawford enter the scene when they come to visit one summer, and they bring with them all the airs of the theater & convince the eldest, Tom, to arrange for them to perform a play (in Sir Thomas' absence.) Henry pursues Fanny's engaged cousin (the future Mrs. Rushworth) & earns the title of soundrel as he continues to flirt with her despite her engagement (and later, he disregards her marriage too and convinces her to run away with him.) After Mrs. Rushworth got married, however, Henry decides he wants a challenge & pursues Fanny, who shows no interest in him whatsoever. Poor Fanny feels strange & does not return his love or attention & she is right & determined to refuse him, since he ends up running away with her cousin in the end. There is another love story, too, in between Mary Crawford & the beloved Edmund, but Mary mocks Edward once he studies at the parsonage and then after the scandal between her brother & Edmund's married sister, she feels they need to end their connection entirely. This then prompts Edmund to get over her & learn who he truly loves, and has loved, all along. It was quite the story!
"That you seemed almost as fearful of notice & praise as other women were of neglect."
"You will think me rhapsodising; but when I am out of doors, especially when I am sitting out of doors, I am very apt to get into this sort of wondering strain. One cannot fix one's eye on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy."
"Never met with a girl who looked so grave on me! I must try to get the better of this. Her looks say, 'I will not like you, I am determined not to like you,' & I say she shall.'
Foolish fellow! And so this is her attraction after all! This it is, her not caring about you, which gives her a soft skin & makes her so much taller & produces all these charms & graces."
'It was a love which, operating on an active, sanguine spirit, of more warmth than delicacy, made her affection appear of greater consequence because it was withheld & determine him to have the glory of forcing her to love him."
My Rating: 4 stars/5