At the tender age of 10, Fanny Price is 'adopted' by her rich relations and is removed from the poverty of her home in Portsmouth to the opulence of Mansfield Park. The transplantation is not a happy one. Dependent, helpless, neglected and forgotten, Fanny struggles to come to terms with her new life until, tested almost to the limits of endurance, she assumes her rightful role....
Public Domain (P)1995 Naxos Audiobooks
"fabric artist and quilter"
I had read this book before but many years ago and like so many others knew Jane Austen from Pride and Prejudice and more from the tv series than reading the book. However, Jane is at her most observational in this book - characters are so real that they are recognisable from people we know today and she is also at her most cynical - the wit is brilliant. Its a fantastic book and Juliet Stevenson is masterly in her narration. If I could have given it six stars I would have done!
Well, it's a classic. I love this type of story so it appeals to me right up front. This narrator is the best at this type of story. Just only negative is it's so long and somewhats meanders so much that I almost quit out of boredom but then it would pick up again. Descriptions are wonderful - I like listening to it.
A well spoken narrator reads this book with the upmost perfection. "A timless classic"
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
From the many reviews I've read, I know this novel isn't that popular among Jane Austen fans, most finding the heroine Fanny Price to be too much of a wallflower for a lead character. To me it seemed like she was on the contrary a young woman of conviction with a strong moral fiber, who seemed to have more depth than the leading young women in the other two novels I've read by Jane Austen (S&S and P&P), which I found too frothy for my liking. The secondary characters were very entertaining; indeed, their presence was essential in moving the story forward and providing plenty of spice and drama. Excellent performance by Juliet Stevenson, who is one of my favourite narrators.
An exceptional narration and abridgement of a classic. But I bought it because of the narrator Juliette Stevenson.....superb.
I actually really enjoyed this book. There are a number of reviews where people harp on the frailty of Fanny Price and her timid nature. While, she is no Elizabeth Bennett... I do think there is something to be said about the true soul of Miss Price. She lives in a world where she has been told again & again that her station was beneath those around her. Wouldn't being sent away from parents and siblings to a world of fashion and elegance where people make sure you know that you are inferior and should be grateful of EVERYTHING could make one want to blend into the background? I think that Henry Crawford starting his attentions just to relieve boredom by making her fall in love with him and then falling in love with her because of her nature and how different it is to those around her. I'm ashamed to say that I watched the 1999 movie before reading the book. I like the relationship with her brother; who is not in the movie at all. But, I prefer that Edmund seems to love Fanny all along in the movie rather then the original story of disappointment in Mary showing him the benefit of Fanny. Still, it's worth the credit.
If you like Jane Austen you can't do better than Juliet Stevenson. She manages all of the characters' voices, including the men' and the narrator's, providing a dramatic yet sensitive reading catching what we might imagine was Austen's own voice. Each time I listen to one of the books I hear a new line or thread in the narration that I didn't catch before. Love them all.
Juliet Stevenson's narration is superb in all the audiobooks I've listened to, but even her skill cannot lift Mansfield Park to the heights of Pride and Prejudice. Fanny Price is a drip! Edmund is a doofus! The story is a treadmill of reiteration! But if you feel compelled to read Mansfield Park anyway, this edition is the best I've heard. For those not familiar with Jane Austen's works I recommend Northanger Abbey. It's goofy on purpose.
I would recommend this recording to any Jane Austen fan. The narrator has an excellent feel for the language and is a delight to listen to. I wasn't excited about finally tackling this story given that generally speaking people seem not to like this book. Once I got past the theatre scene, however, my feelings about the story changed and I anticipate re-reading or re-listening at a later date to study the novel in more depth.
It was sad to Fanny to lose all the pleasures of spring. She had not known before what pleasures she had to lose in passing March and April in a town. She had not known before how much the beginnings and progress of vegetation had delighted her. What animation, both of body and mind, she had derived from watching the advance of that season which cannot, in spite of its capriciousness, be unlovely, and seeing its increasing beauties from the earliest flowers in the warmest divisions of her aunt’s garden, to the opening of leaves of her uncle’s plantations, and the glory of his woods. To be losing such pleasures was no trifle; to be losing them, because she was in the midst of closeness and noise, to have confinement, bad air, bad smells, substituted for liberty, freshness, fragrance, and verdure, was infinitely worse: but even these incitements to regret were feeble, compared with what arose from the conviction of being missed by her best friends, and the longing to be useful to those who were wanting her!
Mansfield Park is a very strange book, but I think it is also under-appreciated.
Juliet Stevenson is my favorite narrator for the Jane Austen books. The only one I don't have by Stevenson (can't find) is Pride and Prejudice, which is my favorite JA novel. Maybe she hasn't narrated it? Her voice is easy to listen to, and doesn't go to extreme high volumes, which can be annoying in an audio book.
The reason I love Mansfield Park is all summed up in the very last chapter. It does move a little slow, and it can be very trying to follow Fanny Price, but only because her personality is steady and quiet. In the end, she is rewarded for her upstanding character, and every other character in the book receives their just reward, as well. The summation of the entire story is so well done in that last chapter. I love listening to it just to get to that part.
I've listened to this one many times and am not tired of it yet!
"Better than some more expensive versions"
I would recommend this very highly. Jane Austen's characterisation and dialogue are, as always, brilliant, and seem to be particularly effective when read aloud.Since reading circles were a common social activity in J.A.'s time, perhaps she intended this. Juliet Stevenson does full justice to the text. She uses different voices for different characters, which bring out their character beautifully, yet sound quite natural. I am pleasantly surprised, because this is one of the cheapest versions of Mansfield Park, and yet it must be one of the best (I haven't tried the others, but other people's reviews seem to indicate some are not as good).
Just as good as Jane Austen's other novels.
Lady Bertram -I can just picture her laid out on the chaise longue,so outrageously self-absorbed and indolent that she becomes comic..
Yes, but I rationed myself, so I would have it to look forward to.
"Sparkling wit at its best!"
Ah, the wit and wonder of Jane Austen is second to none - many an acerbic observation made me gasp or laugh out loud throughout this, one of my favourite of her books. I think Fanny Price is such a gentle natured girl that she may be in danger of getting overlooked as one of Austen's main characters most deserving of attention. She is full of both sense and sensitivity and is rather lovely to spend time with! The other characters are flawed and very human indeed, with foibles a plenty and scandals abounding. Plenty of opportunity for Austen to get out her claws and hold her mirror up to society. Things have changed since, the scandals may seem tame but the hurts they would cause would still be far reaching even if the consequences very different now. The ending still makes me smile and sigh with relief (trying not to spoil things for future readers too much!) and it is over all too quickly.
Juliet Stevenson's reading of the audio book is excellent with some brilliant voices for the different characters, she certainly sounded like she was having a lot of fun as she was reading it!
"Julliet Stevenson Narrating at her best"
Brilliant a joy to listen too, the characters are portraied so well, I could listen to it over and over again
"Rushed ending disappointed me."
Juliet Stevenson does an excellent job of narrating this book.
This is my least favourite Jane Austen novel for the simple reason that she seemed to rush the ending. Waiting for the climax of the book with baited breath, I was extremely disappointed that she told the conclusion in summary rather than describing the culminating events through the eyes of the characters as they happened.
For this reason I can only give three stars, though the bulk of the story is excellent, and what I would expect from Jane Austen. It seemed to me that the author got tired of telling this story and finished it in too much of a hurry. What a shame.
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