Sunday, 28 March 2010

Mansfield Park (2)

I have something in hand - which I hope on the credit of P&P will sell well, tho' not half so entertaining. Jane Austen letter to her brother, Frank, 1813
Edmund Bertram may not have the glamour of Mr Darcy but his kind heart makes him one of Austen's most appealing heroes. When ten-year-old Fanny, newly arrived at Mansfield Park, sobs on the staircase because she is homesick, Edmund takes the time to discover what is wrong and provides practical assistance supplying her with writing paper to send a letter home, ruling her lines and ensuring her letter is posted.

His anger at his mother for making the delicate Fanny cut the full-blown roses in the full heat of the sun and his good taste in finding the perfect gold chain for her amber cross demonstrates his continued care of Fanny even when he thinks he is in love with Mary Crawford.

Mansfield Park keeps us guessing until the very last pages. Will Fanny marry Henry Crawford and is he really so bad? Will Edmund marry Mary Crawford? Mansfield Park is Austen's mature masterpiece.

Bought a small potted mimosa acacia at the weekend. It's fluffy ball yellow flowers and vanilla smell make me feel that the long winter is over at last.

10 comments:

callmemadam said...

Emma is my favourite but I agree with you that Mansfield Park is JA's masterpiece.

My neighbour has a huge mimosa tree. As some of the branches dangle into my garden, I'm entitled to cut some and may do so before Easter.

Hannah Stoneham said...

I really enjoyed Mansfield Park as well - and yes it is mature. this weekend my husband and I sat down to watch the DVD of Emma - with Romola Garai and it was fantastic - exactly as I imagined Emma! I have never seen an adaptation of Mansfield Park but imagine that there is a good one somewhere for me to dig up!

Thanks indeed for sharing

Hannah

Steph said...

Love the photo! It's so very Spring!

I have to confess that I've never read Mansfield Park! I've seen the film, but not read the book because I'm rationing my Austen reads. I'm deciding whether to read this one or Persuasion next...

claire said...

Love vanilla smells. And I'm so excited to hear Austen keeps us guessing till the end in Mansfield Park, because I plan to read it very soon. Cannot wait!

Laura said...

Mansfield Park was the only Austen book I read without knowing how it would end. I think it will always hold a special place for me because of that. I do remember wishing, though, that Fanny had ended up with Henry Crawford instead.

Laura said...

Ack, did I just spoil the ending for someone? Feel free to delete that!

Read the Book said...

I think this is my favorite Austen novel. You're right that Edmund Bertram is not quite as breathtaking as Mr. Darcy, but he is such a steady, kind man. The whole first cousin thing, however, is a little creepy (I know this was more common back in the day, but still...)

theduckthief said...

I'm slowly working my way through the Austen's, adaptations and books. I just watched the '99 version of this with Johnny Lee Miller yesterday. Frances O'Connor was perfect.

bookssnob said...

Interesting post! Personally I always struggle with Mansfield Park. I've read it a few times, but it just doesn't charm me as much as her others. Perhaps because I found Edmund a little heartless in his treatment of Fanny when Mary comes along. I can never quite forgive him, even though he did the right thing in the end.

Vintage Reading said...

callmemadam, I'm fond of Emma, too, but MP and Persuasion are my favourites.

Hannah, I was impressed with Romola Garai in I Capture the Castle, a lovely young actress. I liked Gwyneth Paltrow's portrayal of Emma, too.

Steph, Persuasion is delightful. One of my favourite JA's.

Claire, I think there is some almond in there as well! Look forward to your MP review.

Laura, I can't dislike Henry Crawford although he was cruel to poor old Maria. I'm less keen on Mary Crawford although her wit provides some of the best comic moments in the novel.

Read the Book, yes I wonder about whether the whole first cousin thing was different in Austen's day? Certainly Sir Thomas is aware of the possiblities of first cousins in love when he invites Fanny to his home.

theduckthief, I have to say I've never seen a film or TV adaption of MP. I'll look out for the one you suggest.

Booksnob, Edmund is not exactly Mr Sensitive and Romantic is he? But then, Fanny is annoyingly passive at times, too!