Mansfield Park is a little different to Austen’s other novels. For one thing, it’s much longer. Perhaps as a consequence of this, it’s written in a subtler style than her other novels, with less authorial presence. The most obvious difference, however, is her choice of heroine. Fanny Price is quiet, modest and has perfect judgement. She is always right but she rarely feels brave enough to voice her opinions. Indeed, she almost seems the perfect woman and perhaps she would be, were this novel written by a man. Austen, however, shows the reader the faults in Fanny’s faultless character. In fact, it seems that, unlike Emma who is ‘faultless despite her faults’, Fanny’s fault is her apparent faultlessness, her qualities that make her the perfect wife. Namely her modesty and shyness. Yet, this does not mean that you do not care for Fanny. Like all Austen’s novels, the success of Mansfield Park relies on the reader caring for the heroine and even though she lacks Elizabeth’s wit, I did care for Fanny. To be honest, I’m not sure how Austen managed this but she did and that’s what made this novel wonderful.
Click here to see the review on Good Reads.