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In the latest Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine there is an interesting article (by Paul A Bethel) on the similarities between Emma and Mansfield Park.

Here’s a small excerpt:

Rather, she [Austen] simply began with the premise: “What if a character much like Mary Crawford should have grown up in a small village outside London? What kind of life would she have lead?” Few novelists have been more acutely aware of the twin influences of nature and nurture upon individual character; and this is the key difference between Mary and Emma.  Having similar natures’ their upbringing could not be more different. And that is why, ultimately, Emma is capable of reformation and redemption, while Mary is not.

He then goes on to highlight the similarities in their opinions. He then compares other characters; Fanny and Jane Fairfax, Henry Crawford and Frank Churchill, Edmund and Mr Knightley, Lady Bertram and Mr Woodhouse.

None of this had ever occurred to me; as Emma is my favourite novel and Mansfield Park my least favourite I was surprised to find areas in common.

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