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Mansfield Park | [Jane Austen]

Mansfield Park

Fanny Price, a poor relation of the rich Bertrams, is reluctantly adopted into the family, to be brought up at Mansfield Park, where she is condescendingly treated. Only her cousin, Edmund, a young clergyman, appreciates her fine qualities. Fanny soon falls in love with him, but Edmund is, unfortunately, drawn to the shallow and worldly Mary Crawford.
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Publisher's Summary

Fanny Price, a poor relation of the rich Bertrams, is reluctantly adopted into the family, to be brought up at Mansfield Park, where she is condescendingly treated. Only her cousin, Edmund, a young clergyman, appreciates her fine qualities.

Fanny soon falls in love with him, but Edmund is, unfortunately, drawn to the shallow and worldly Mary Crawford. Fanny's quiet humility, steadfast loyalty, and natural goodness are matched against the wit and brilliance of her lovely rival. The tension is heightened when Henry Crawford, Mary's equally sophisticated and flirtatious brother, takes an interest in Fanny.

Jane Austen's subtle, satiric novel skillfully uses her characters' emotional relationships to explore the social and moral values by which they attempt to order their lives.

(P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Listeners...will be rewarded with Austen's brilliant commentary on the society of her day and by Johanna Ward's solid reading....this is a lively and interesting choice for admirers of Jane Austen." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (204 )
5 star
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Overall
4.2 (117 )
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4.2 (110 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Youngna Bellaire, TX, USA 06-19-08
    Youngna Bellaire, TX, USA 06-19-08
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    "Monotone narration."

    The narrator has a soothing British accent but does not change her voice for any of the characters. For 16 hours I've listened to her read this book and have been straining to figure out which character is talking at any given time. My favorite Jane Austen narrator is Juliet Stevenson who does a marvelous job at giving different voices to each of the characters, thereby really bringing the book to life. I wish this narrator were more like her. If she had narrated the unabridged Mansfield Park, I would have chosen that one.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Alexis Denver, CO 09-29-08
    C. Alexis Denver, CO 09-29-08 Listener Since 2006
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    "Very good narrator and solid writing"

    This book is entertaining, if a little cliched and expected. The narrator is great. The story is, well, Austen. The plot revolves around marriage, money, manners, and morality. One character in the book serves as an unwitting moral compass around which the other characters revolve and, quite frankly, it is easy to get tired of this character's prudence while all the while rooting for her success. Much of the moral musings--while true to the time--are outdated and oppressive. Still, the book is enjoyable. Austen is not, however, at the literary level of a Wharton or Eliot, two others whom I have been reading so much of that perhaps this review is a little unfair in its comparison.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison upstate NY 08-08-08
    Allison upstate NY 08-08-08 Member Since 2008
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    "The worst Austen I've encountered so far"

    I've read only 4 by Jane Austen. I've liked 3. This story is very tedious and quite predictable. I dwelled forever on the choosing and practice of a play that never occured. The characters seemed flat - totally upright and intelligent or completely without morals. The story is filled with redundancies. I'd recommend the abridged version of this one - know the plot line and move on. Narration was also not as good as Juliet Stevensen (spelling?) I would often get confused as to who was speaking. Main character, Fannie, sounded like she had a head cold.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 06-15-09
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 06-15-09
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    "A Solid Performance of Mansfield Park"

    Johanna Ward did a wonderful job narrating Mansfield Park. My understanding and enjoyment of the book and its characters is much improved. The spoken word carries meanings which written words don't quite convey. This is an ambitious work. Miss Austen was reacting to the perceived notion that P&P was too light. To enhance the enjoyment of this book, go to Project Gutenberg and download Mrs. Elizabeth Inchbald's Lover's Vows. At the very least, read acts III and IV. I don't see how one can fully understand the book without reading this play.

    I was struck with how often Miss Austen used the girl rejects handsome (and occasionally) rich man device and thereby fixing his attentions on the girl. It has the advantage of distinguishing her from her fellow single sisters. In Mansfield Park, Fanny Price rejects Henry Crawford; P&P, Elizabeth Bennet rejects Fitzwilliam Darcy; P, Anne Elliot rejects Capt Wentworth and appears as the willing love object of Mr. Elliot; E, Emma Woodhouse flirted indiscreetly with Frank Churchill and didn't even recognize Mr. George Knightley as a potential suitor until it appeared that another was about to carry him off; S&S, Edmund felt rejected by Elinor Dashwood when it appeared that Col. Brandon was a favored suitor and of course, Marianne had eyes only for Willoughby and regarded Col Brandon as little more than a flannel waistcoat; the only exception is Catherine Morland who in Northanger Abbey fell head over heels in love with Henry Tillme almost from the first moment. As Jane Austen would have it, what man can resist a moderately good looking woman with good sense, who is passionately in love with him? In the former case, a Fanny Price or Elizabeth Bennet raised her value by being harder to obtain. In both instances, the rejected men are confounded. They were used to the Julia & Maria Berthams, Miss Bingleys or the Miss Musgroves. Rejection was a new and unpleasant experience and must be overcome.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 11-30-13
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 11-30-13 Member Since 2005

    I have purchased over 400 books. I have high standards for writing and content, but indulge in "travel trash" or fairly good entertainment.

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    "ATTENTION Naration killed it!"

    I don't have much of a review, but am hoping that someone reads these so that perhaps it will get through to the producers. I know this is probably a very good book. I have liked most of Jane Austins' work. the problem was that I like to relax when I am listening, I often listen in bed in the middle of the night when I can't sleep or for an afternoon nap. Johanna Ward, has a lovely voice, but she read so fast that I had to work to assimilate the text. It was as if she was reading it for a speed test. I am truly sorry, I was looking forward to the book. Hope this helps somehow.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Halethorpe, MD, United States 11-11-11
    David Halethorpe, MD, United States 11-11-11 Member Since 2010

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "Austen is always good, but this was not her best"

    I have generally enjoyed my excursions into Austen-land, but if Austen were a modern writer, I'd call this book a sophomore slump. It was her third, and much of the plot and character interactions were very derivative of Pride and Prejudice but without that book's humor or sting.

    Fanny Price is one of a brood of children, and her mother sends her to live with wealthy relatives to relieve her own family of some of the burden. Fanny thus grows up as the "poor cousin" in a wealthy house, generally not ill-treated but she is constantly condescended to and slighted. The result is that Fanny is a shy, blushing, ridiculously self-depreciating creature whom I found hard to like, though we're obviously meant to. I should say, as a person I would certainly like the poor sweet, modest girl, but as a character she mostly bites her tongue and tries to be as good as possible while never, ever saying anything that might make anyone else unhappy, even the jerk playboy who decides he wants to marry her without regard for her feelings on the subject.

    Naturally, there is another man easily identified as Fanny's One True Love, though while the reader knows who Fanny will marry by the end of the first chapter (even if you've never read Austen before), neither of them realizes it until nearly the last chapter.

    Very Austenian, but almost generic Austen, if one can say that about such a famous author who only ever wrote six books. To be quite honest, Austen's lovely style and occasionally amusing bits of dialog were all that carried me through this book, particularly some long tedious middle parts. I wanted to love you more, Mansfield Park, but I can only give you 3.5 stars, and half a star is charity.

    I found the reading by Johanna Ward to be quite adequate, but I've listened to two other audiobooks by Jane Austen, one narrated by Lindsay Duncan, the other by Juliet Stevenson, and I would have to say I preferred their readings, as they put more energy and personality into their readings, and Mansfield Park really needs some energy to keep you awake.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta New York City, NY, United States 04-07-14
    Roberta New York City, NY, United States 04-07-14 Member Since 2009

    A good narrator reading a Jane Austen novel on audible is my pleasurable escape to a slower paced world. I chose my readers carefully!

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    "Most complex Jane Austen novel & best narrator"
    What did you love best about Mansfield Park?

    Mansfield Park is a 19th century literary classic, which is totally accessible to the readers of today. The moral and romantic challenges confronted by its' fictional characters, would reflect the sensibilities of many discerning readers across global cultures and time frame.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the penetrating character descriptions narrated by the writer. Character development was beautiful and the story was filled with surprises, just as life is.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    As she walked with rich Henry Crawford on the ramparts of Portsmouth Bay, Fanny Price realized that Henry might truly love her. Nevertheless, Fanny also remembered that Henry was emotionally impulsive and callus in his flirtatious social displays of attachments to women. For example, Fanny's female cousin Maria, who was then an engaged to be married woman, was first pursued by Henry Crawford, and then suddenly with no explanation dropped by him. Thus, Fanny decided Henry was untrustworthy and it would be unwise for her to marry him --- in spite of her current family pressure to do so.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I have listened to this entire book more than once, and never spent more than one hour or read more than one chapter at any one time. I can't imagine anyone listening to the entire book in one sitting; not if that person wants to understand it fully. Reader intelligence, tenacity and some knowledge of British cultural history is helpful, if not necessary to an enjoyment of Mansfield Park.


    Any additional comments?

    I have invested a lot of time and effort in writing this review. I hope that it is useful to Audible --- a company that has given me many years of pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mona WOODLAND HILLS, CA, United States 12-27-13
    Mona WOODLAND HILLS, CA, United States 12-27-13
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    "Awful narration ruined one of my favorite books."

    Terrible narration. She doesn't distinguish between the voices of different characters so it's hard to tell who is speaking in a dialogue. Definitely choose another narrator because the book itself is wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Ansley New York, NY USA 07-12-13
    Elizabeth Ansley New York, NY USA 07-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "while I love Jane Austin I hated this one"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Boring, both the story and the delivery Boring is the best I can say for it


    Has Mansfield Park turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    GREAT disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    It was an Audible suggestion and I have been stung so many times before with those, Shame on ME!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 10-20-11
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 10-20-11 Member Since 2011

    Jennifer B.

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    "Mary Crawford brought to life!"

    Fabulous job by a great narrator. Of Jane Austen's books, this one does tend to drag a bit when reading it, but the narrator pulls the story along, and makes it enjoyable. In particular, she really gets under the skin of Mary Crawford. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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