Mad about Mansfield Park

So back in 2013 I had this idea that I would reread all the Austen novels, starting with Pride and Prejudice as it was turning 200. I thought it would take me only like a year to read through each one, writing a post on any little thing or thought that came to mind while writing. In my timeline, I’d be halfway through Persuasion. 

Uh, yeah. It didn’t happen. Life got in the way.

So then I adapted. Instead I would do the first four chapters of Pride and Prejudice, then Sense and Sensibility, then Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. 

Great idea!

I finished up Pride & Prejudice in November 2014, and then moved onto the first four chapters of Sense and Sensibility  in December 2014.

I finished up the four chapters in March 2015 and then moved onto Emma, skipping Mansfield Park (sorry), as it was Emma’s 200th year.

I’m just burning through

Then that’s where we ran through another snafu. Life got in the way and I am still currently finishing up the first four chapters of Emma. 

Oh no!

Yes, problems arose last year-the 100th anniversary of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. I took a break from Emma to work on Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. I planned to work on both throughout the year. Great plan, right?

Yeah, that didn’t work out either.

Oops!

So this year, I was little lost and decided why not do all three? I’ll be doing the first four chapters of Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion, instead of making them wait.

But then I started thinking about Mansfield Park. Poor Mansfield Park, you’ve become like your main character Fanny Price-forgotten, ignored, seen as not as important, witty, or powerful. Poor little Mansfield Park.

And I decided that I am going to throw it into the mix as well. Yep, all four books out at once!

Yes, Lady Catherine be darned-this stubborn gal has them all out at once!

So thanks for putting up with my lengthy intro, now onto the (mostly) serious part. Mansfield Park like Northanger Abbey gets very little love. Mostly because people think Fanny is “boring” and “spineless”.

But Fanny isn’t boring or spineless. Mansfield Park is a great book and Fanny is a fantastic character! Fanny is a sweet kind girl-niece to the Bertram family, and was sent to stay with them. Instead of being treated as family, she is seen as “less” because of the “bad blood” inherited from the low class, wastrel father her mother married down to.

She is particularly mistreated by her evil aunt and two cousins; all of which take pride in bossing her around and being as cruel as can be. Fanny is the essence of sweetness, taking this injustice in stride and trying to remain optimistic in a bad situation.

While she is humble and kind, she is not timid or spineless. When push comes to shove, she can out-stubborn Elizabeth Bennet.

So if you haven’t read it, I would start reading it-you won’t be sorry.

Or you can follow me as I journey through Mansfield Park and the books/films based on it.

Books:

The Matters at Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair) (Mr. &  Mrs. Darcy #4) by Carrie Bebris

Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE edited by Christina Boyd

Mansfield Park Cloth Book by Little Literary Classics
Edmund Bertram’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #4) by Amanda Grange

Mansfield Ranch (The Jane Austen Diaries #5) by Jenni James

My Jane Austen Summer: A Season in Mansfield Park by Cindy Jones

Fanny Price, Slayer of Vampires by Tara O’Donnell & Stephanie O’Donnell

Mansfield Park and Mummies: Monster Mayhem, Matrimony, Ancient Curses, True Love, and Other Dire Delights (Supernatural Jane Austen Series #1) by Vera Nazarian & Jane Austen

Central Park (Austen Series #3) by Debra White Smith

 

Movies:

Anna Karenina (1948)

Mansfield Park (1983)

Mansfield Park (1999)

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

Mansfield Park (2007)

 

Other:

From Mansfield With Love (2014)

Opera Modesto Presents Mansfield Park

If you have noticed the lack of Mansfield Park gifs, memes, images, etc.-it’s hard to find them. I wasn’t kidding when I said the world treats it like how the Bertram’s treated Fanny.

Sad really.

For more on Mansfield Park, go to Little Literary Classics Mansfield Park Cloth Book

For more Fanny Price, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

You’ve Persuaded My Heart

So we all know that Northanger Abbey is celebrating its 200th birthday. Well it isn’t the only one. When Northanger Abbey was published in 1818, it wasn’t published singularly like the other novels. Instead it came as a 2-for-1 deal, published jointly with Persuasion. 

Her brother Henry published this one and like Northanger Abbey, chose the title. We will never know exactly what Jane would have called it. But it doesn’t matter, it is a great book whatever it is called.

It is often called a wish fulfillment as old lovers broken apart are reunited years later, something Austen herself hoped would happen with her love, but never did.

The technical aspects of the navy seem to be based on Austen’s brother Captain Austen, and one of the main characters wives, based on her sister-in-law. That’s pretty cool and sweet of her to include them.

Hmm…

She also uses a strong irony in this as Anne was rich when she turned down poor Wentworth, but when he returns Anne is poor and Wentworth rich. I simply love this book because it seems so real, how the characters react and treat each other are the emotions they actually would.

Austen also does a great line about women being portrayed as a “femme fatale” so often as men are the writers of these novels; therefore the view is biased. Great book to check out, and we will be! We will be going through the book ourselves and checking out the great character of Anne Elliot:

And Captain Wentworth

And a whole crew of great characters!

Along with going through the book I will also be reviewing the books that are based on the novel or “rewrites” or “twists” on it.

Books:

Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends #2) by Juliet Archer

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues by Christina Boyd

Rational Creatures: Anne Elliot, Mrs. Croft, Mrs. Clay, & Louisa Musgrove by Christina Boyd

Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) by Sonali Dev

The Lady Anne Elliot Wentworth, Duchess of Glastonbury by Timothy Figueroa

Jane in Love by Rachel Givney

Captain Wentworth’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #3) by Amanda Grange

The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz

Persuaded (The Jane Austen Diaries #3) by Jenni James

Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Classic Retold Through His Eyes by Regina Jeffers

None But You (Frederick Wentworth, Captain #1) by Susan Kaye

For You Alone  (Frederick Wentworth, Captain #2) by Susan Kaye

Holiday Mix Tape by Beau North and Brooke West

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1) by Diana Peterfreund

Anne Elliot, A New Begining by Mark Lydon Simonsen

Possibilities (The Austen Series #6) by Debra White Smith

Film:

Persuasion (1960)

Persuasion (1971)

Persuasion (1995)

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

Persuasion (2007)

For more on Persuasion, go to Jane Austen Bridal Shower

For more on Anne Elliot, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

For more on Captain Wentworth, go to I’m On a Boat

In Celebration of Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey? I’m sure there are many of you out there who have no clue what I am talking about.

Huh?

Its one of Jane Austen’s last novels, published by her brother after her death. It is also an amazing book that hardly anyone knows.

It really is sad

So we are here to spread some Northanger Abbey around as this year marks its 200th anniversary!

Like what I did with Pride and PrejudiceSense and Sensibilityand EmmaI will be going through Northanger Abbey and sharing with you everything about it.

The book is a parody of romantic fiction and gothic novels.

It has a great main character, Catherine Morland (which my pseudonym comes from) who we can easily connect to. We all feel like Catherine at times in our lives, hoping that we will have an adventure and meet a dashing hero.

And it has a great leading man in Mr. Tilney. I mean it! Once you read about him, he is a real contender for the number one Austen hero.

Yep a great book that I can’t wait to start celebrating and spreading!

Besides going through the book I will be also reviewing things that are referenced in it, inspirational to the book, and those inspired by it.

Books:

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

North by Northanger: Or the Shades of Pemberley (Mr. &  Mrs. Darcy #3) by Carrie Bebris

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd

Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan by Christina Boyd

Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

Jane in Love by Rachel Givney

Henry Tilney’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #6) by Amanda Grange

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

Northanger Alibi (The Jane Austen Diaries #2) by Jenni James

North by Northanger by Rebecca H. Jamison

Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom

The Female Quixote; or, The Adventures of Arabella by Charlotte Lennox

The Monk by Matthew Lewis

Northanger Abbey Audiobook Narrated by Anna Massey 

Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (Supernatural Jane Austen Series #2) by Vera Nazarian & Jane Austen

The Castle of Wolfenbach by Eliza Parsons

 The Mysterious Warnings by Eliza Parsons

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

Clermont by Regina Maria Roche

Northpointe Chalet (Austen Series #4) by Debra White Smith

Film:

American Dreamer (1984)

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Northanger Abbey (1986)

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

I Watched Northanger Abbey (2007) With My Thirteen Year Old Niece

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Other:

Pup Fiction, Wishbone (1995)

Being a Guest on P. S. I Love Rom Coms’ Podcast, Northanger Abbey (2007)

For more Northanger Abbey, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Catherine Morland, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

For more Mr. Tilney, go to Midnight in Austenland

Captain Wentworth’s Diary

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Captain Wentworth’s Diary (Jane Austen’s Heroes #3 by Amanda Grange

So Amanda Grange is loved by many Austen fans.

I love it

They say she just “gets the characters” and is able to give all a voice, mimicking Jane Austen’s style.

Double double yay

Well what do I think of her writing?

I don't like it!

I don’t like it!

I think her writing is horribly bo-ring. She just recycles the plot, never giving us anything new or interesting insights into the character’s mind and seeing what they are feeling. Instead she keeps them one-dimensional and emotionless.

frozenConcealDon'tfeel

I couldn’t stand it.

And it is such a shame as Persuasion has a lot going on in it. I would love glimpses int0 Captain Wentworth’s head as he is confronted with an old love, wants to one-up her with another, but then after realizing how much he still cares tries to woo her.

You pierce my soul Persuasion

But we get nothing from Grange.

willy-wonka-you-get-nothingyoulose

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

There are four more books left in the series and I am not looking forward to any of them.

No thank youhowaboutno

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For more by Amanda Grange, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

For more on Persuasion, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

For more Persuasion variations, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)

 For more books based on Jane Austen, go to The Austen Series: Amanda

Mr. Knightley’s Diary

Mr.Knightley'sDiary

Mr. Knightley’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #2) by Amanda Grange

So I read this book mostly because it was recommended to me and because I am trying to review every book based on Jane Austen’s works. However, I wish I hadn’t read this as in my opinion this book sucked!

I don't like it 11

Now this should have been a hit. We have the handsome, kind, wise, amazing Mr. Knightley…

Emma Mr.knightley2

And the hilariously comedic story Emma.

emma

It should have been an instant win. But it wasn’t.

lord-henry-remind-u-that-ur-getting-old

I sure won’t get the time I wasted on this book back.

And why? What went wrong? Well I will tell you.

So my biggest issue with this book is how they present the character of Mr. Knightley. First he is so formal, his writing stilted, and it is just a rehash of Emma.

uh-no-gif

I mean I understand that it is his diary, so of course the writing won’t be on the same level as a novel, but come on it’s his diary! It should be so interesting it is impossible to put down.

ImReading

As a diary there should be more leeway and less formality as this is a diary. It’s not like letters which were read aloud and basically the TV of the 19th century, this is a diary! It’s private, it’s an entrance into his mind, and there should be more there. It shouldn’t be so dry and boring. And it should not be a rehash of the novel.

AA_KnightleyDisapproved

As a diary and a look into the mind of Knightley, we should get more development of his character. For instance, Mr. Knightley is the older brother, has the estate, is making enough money to have married years ago, but yet is single.

Hmm

Hmm

Eventually we discover that he is in love with Emma, but was he at the beginning of the novel? Or did it develop over time? If he wasn’t aware of his feelings at the beginning, why didn’t he marry? Was there no one he was interested in romantically? Had he just been focused too much on his land? Did he have a bad experience with a woman or witnessed a bad marriage that has made him cautious? Does he just not want to upset his routine?

The plot thickens

We don’t know, but as the diary of Knightley you could chosen any of those answers and built up his character more. But what does Amanda Grange decide to do?

“And now [John and Isabella Knightley] have five children. It is, perhaps, time that I too, thought of taking a wife.”

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Is that the extent of character building you are going with? BORING!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Take for instance, An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aiden. In that she followed Pride & Prejudice exactly, but added a few things to Darcy’s character to broaden out “his version of the tale” along with allowing us a more complete picture. We saw more interaction with his sister, Mr. Bingley, etc.; giving a bigger picture of Darcy.

Take note Hollywood

So I did not like this book and am not looking forward to reviewing her other diaries. But I will for all of you out there. Ah, my love for my followers.

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For more on Emma, go to Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

For another book inspired by Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged