I would like to say that out of all the Jane Austin novels I enjoy Mansfield Park the best, but I cannot. Only because I haven’t read all of Jane Austin’s novels yet. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. I tried to read Sense and Sensibility but couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I’ve wanted to read Emma but haven’t gotten around to it. That leaves Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both of which I haven’t read either. So, yep, that’s left 3 out of 6 that I read or tried to read, which is why I can’t say it’s the best. But out of the ones I’ve read (cut me some slack will ya?) I’d have to say I almost enjoy Mansfield Park a tad better than Pride and Prejudice.
I just like Fanny. She’s so opposite of bold Lizzy and I can relate a bit more to Ms. Fanny Price than Lizzy. While I love Lizzy’s spunk and her stubbornness, I like how Fanny tries to blend in with her surroundings and never wants to be in the spotlight. Lizzy doesn’t really seek attention, but she carries herself well when the spotlight finds her and doesn’t really mind if it does find her. Fanny seems to be running away from it whenever she can. And … I don’t know. I just kind of admire that. To be honest, that’s kind of what I do.
Aside from Fanny, I liked this plot. It seems like a lot is going on, definitely more so than in Pride and Prejudice, and at times it can be a little hard to follow, but when you get it or if you can keep up with it, it’s so much fun! And exciting. And so soap opera-ish. Not that I particularly like soap operas (and actually I don’t. I find them too dramatic for me. And that’s me in particular okay? If you love them, no judgement from me) but it really makes things interesting, especially when you’re considering them from Fanny’s point-of-view. Everyone seems to dismiss her so they tend to forget that she’s there, watching.
And I love the fact that Austin gave this heroine another beau. I mean, I know Mr. Collins proposed to Lizzy, but we knew she didn’t like him and wouldn’t even consider it. We knew that, so it doesn’t count. But with Fanny, she actually starts to consider Henry. For a moment in the book, we could picture Fanny with Henry. Or I could, at least. And I was rooting for him! I really was. I watched the movie so I knew he wasn’t endgame, but reading the book I almost wished he was. Don’t get me wrong. I love Edmund and the fact that he woke up and ended up loving Fanny was an awesome moment, but I really gave some thought to the “What if Henry resisted Maria, really felt deeply for Fanny, and proved it to her?” Gosh, I was rooting for him.
Fanny and Edmund. Endgame.
As much as I was rooting for Henry, I loved the moment that Edmund realized he loved Fanny and realized just how good of a match she would be for him. I mean, swoon! Almost as good as Mr. Darcy and his love letter. I mean, I’m a sucker for love letters (letters in generally really, but come on, who doesn’t love a really good love letter?) so I’m a little bias here. But it really was a swoon-worthy moment.
The varying plot depths, the loyal and shy heroine, the possible love interest, the happily ever after. All this bumps Mansfield Park a few, and mind you it’s like a hairline few, points a head of Pride and Prejudice in my book.
Now, I just have to read Emma to compare to Mansfield Park. I’m so curious to see how Austin writes that love story. Emma and Knightly. Hm …