I've seen the BBC adaptation about 3 times, but each time I try to read the book I get distracted about half-way through, so I've read the first half about 4 times, but I've never actually finished it. From what I've read though, I think the BBC adaptation is really well done (I've seen old + new) and does the book justice (the old one more, I think).
**Spoilers** Be warned! (would have used the cool spoiler tag but pretty much the whole post is for people who have already read the book)
I've just finished re-reading Mansfield Park and I'm having dilemmas over the whole Fanny/Edmund/Henry thing! I find the ending quite unsatisfactory, but I can't put my finger on why.....I'm not sure I wanted Fanny to marry Edmund, I almost feel like she should have married Henry, but I'm not sure that would have been satisfactory either...I'm confused!
Does Edmund really love Fanny or is he just settling for second best? Does Fanny only love Edmund because he's the only person who has constantly made her feel special throughout her life? Is she grateful rather than in love? (although SHE obviously believes she's in love, is she mistaken?).
Austen implies that, had Henry not run off with Maria and Mary's character subsequently been revealed to Edmund that Mary and Edmund would have married and Henry would have eventually won Fanny over. Would this have been a happier ending for Fanny or not?
I remember hating Fanny Price the first time I read Mansfield Park, but I have to admit she grew on me a little bit, and I don't hate her so much as I'm exasperated with her. I kept picturing the wee woman with the funny glasses that never speaks in that tv show Teachers! She's a bit annoying but I did want her to be happy and I'm not sure her marriage with Edmund will be so.
What do other people think? I only finished it about 20 minutes ago so all the issues are pretty fresh in my mind and I haven't consolidated my ideas yet. The whole marriage thing comes pretty quickly at the end, doesn't really give you a chance to reflect! Obviously having read it before I knew what to expect but I couldn't remember how it came about. Edmund's attachment seems a little sudden - he thinks of her in a seemingly a-sexual, sisterly way for 99% of the novel, so it's a little hard to accept when he decides he actually loves her as a wife!
So will Fanny and Edmund be happy?
Although not a favourite of some die-hard Janeites, Austen's pastiche on the then fashionable Gothic novel Northanger Abbey is an enjoyable read.
Catherine Morland meets and falls for a nice young clergyman in Bath. Befriended by the man's sister, Catherine is invited to their home (Northanger Abbey). Having an overactive imagination fed on the Gothic tales she has been reading, Catherine behaves as though she was in one of these overblown stories, and the fledgling romance flounders.
Eventually all is resolved, and everyone who should lives happily ever after.
Northanger Abbey is the current 'Classic Serial' being broadcast in 3 parts on Sunday afternoons on BBC Radio4, (starting today) at 3pm, and repeated the following Saturday evenings at 9pm.
Lady Susan - Jane Austen - 1795
I know this is not a very large book, but I read it a while ago and thought I would mention it here.
Jane Austen never really finished this book. But - though it has an end, she just never refined her work. I would have loved to see this as a complete novel, I'm sure it would have been one of her very good ones.
(thread first started 15.01.07)
Emma - Jane Austen - 1816
She might be right there. However, there is something likeable in Emma, after all. She is rather selfish and starts a lot of different things only to abandon them later but she means well with other people. She might be too intelligent for her time, women were not supposed to think.Emma is the Jane Austen's only heroine without money problems, that's already a difference to her other novels. Maybe that's what makes it so interesting.
(thread first started 15.01.07)