Tag Archives: Everything Austen Challenge

Lost in Austen (Everything Austen Challenge)

I’m giving up on this one. I made it to stage two, but I lack the motivation to continue.

I find the concept intriguing and I think it would be quite fun to do as a group.

If you’re extremely familiar with Pride and Prejudice then I recommend just reading the bits where you have to make decisions – Ms Webster paraphrases Pride and Prejudice, but if you’ve read the original why would you want to read a lesser version?

Next up Mansfield Park (the BBC adaptation).

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Filed under Contemporary Authors, Everything Austen Challenge

Everything Austen Challenge – Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park is my least favourite Austen novel. I’ve always secretly preferred Mary Crawford, didn’t think the theatricals was that bad and hoped that Fanny and Henry Crawford would get married. I thought the Everything Austen Challenge was a great opportunity to read it again.

It contains some fabulous Austen quotes – such as …

But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.


A large income is the best recipe of happiness I ever heard of


 Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.

What I really noticed this time was how isolated and powerless Fanny Price was – nobody, apart from Edmund, seems to think about her at all (and Mrs Norris is simply evil).

She has amazing strength of character to hold out when everyone (including Edmund) wants her to marry Henry Crawford – I’m not sure how I would go in similar circumstances.

Mary and Henry Crawford are witty and engaging, but it’s all on the surface. They are both selfish and vain thinking only of themselves. Austen seems to making a point (a bit like Mr Wickham in Pride and Prejudice) that surface appearances can be misleading. The theatricals to a modern mind don’t seem too bad, but it’s more about the intimacy generated by repeated rehearsals – just think of all of those Hollywood actors who fall in love with their co-stars.

And one final thought, did Austen provide Fanny with more strength than she herself had (when accepting and the rejecting Harris Bigg Wither’s proposal)?

I shall think highly of Mansfield Park from now on … Fanny might even be my favourite heroine.

Next up Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster – look I’ve almost caught up now I just need to get Lost in Austen finished by the end of september.


Filed under mansfield park

Everything Austen Challenge

Stephanie’s written word is offering an ‘Every Austen Challenge’. In this challenge you have to read or watch six Austen related items in six months (July to December 2009).

Now my six Austen things are…

Jane’s Fame by Claire Harman

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster

The Absenteeby Maria Edgeworth – Possible influence on Austen (does that count?)

Lesley Castle by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park BBC (1983)


Filed under Everything Austen Challenge