Mansfield Park (Austen)

Mansfield Park
Jane Austen, 1814
~ 450 pp. (varies by publisher)

Through Fanny Price, the heroine of Mansfield Park, Jane Austen views the social mores of her day and contemplates human nature itself. A shy and sweet-tempered girl adopted by wealthy relations, Fanny is an outsider looking in on an unfamiliar, and often inhospitable, world. But Fanny eventually wins the affection of her benefactors, endearing herself to the Bertram family and the reader alike.

In her Introduction, Carol Shields writes, [Mansfield Park's] overriding theme is difficult to isolate, since the novel is about everything it touches upon: nurturing, steadfastness, belonging and not belonging, about fine gradations of moral persuasion, about human noise and silence, and about action and stillness. (From Random House edition—cover image, top right.)

Three fairly recent film adaptations include: a 2007 BBC miniseries with Billie Piper as Fanny Price, a 1999 film with Frances O'Connor as Fanny, and a 1983 miniseries with Sylvestra Le Touzel as Fanny. (From 2001 Modern Library edition, Random House.)

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