Mansfield Park

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Cambridge University Press, 20 окт. 2005 г. - Всего страниц: 738
When a poor cousin, Fannie Price, comes to live at the estate of the sophisticated Bertram family, she suffers from the condescension of her haughty relatives and from the hopeless love she bears for their youngest son. Life becomes even more complicated when she is forced into a rivalry with a charming and vivacious newcomer. Fannie will have to question her most cherished beliefs about herself and her world as she struggles to make a home for herself. Displaying Austen's characteristic irony and perception, Mansfield Park delivers a scathing attack on social conventions that earned it a reputation as her most controversial novel. Also includes Elizabeth Inchbald's play, Lovers' vows (1798), freely adapted by Inchbald from August F.F. von Kotzebue's sentimental melodrama Das Kind der Liebe (1790). Lovers' vows is featured by Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
 

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Jane Austen's life is striking for the contrast between the great works she wrote in secret and the outward appearance of being quite dull and ordinary. Austen was born in the small English town of Steventon in Hampshire, and educated at home by her clergyman father. She was deeply devoted to her family. For a short time, the Austens lived in the resort city of Bath, but when her father died, they returned to Steventon, where Austen lived until her death at the age of 41. Austen was drawn to literature early, she began writing novels that satirized both the writers and the manners of the 1790's. Her sharp sense of humor and keen eye for the ridiculous in human behavior gave her works lasting appeal. She is at her best in such books as Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816), in which she examines and often ridicules the behavior of small groups of middle-class characters. Austen relies heavily on conversations among her characters to reveal their personalities, and at times her novels read almost like plays. Several of them have, in fact, been made into films. She is considered to be one of the most beloved British authors.

John Wiltshire is Associate Professor of English at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

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