Introduction and Notes by Dr Ian Littlewood, University of Sussex.
Adultery is not a typical Jane Austen theme, but when it disturbs the relatively peaceful household at Mansfield Park, it has quite unexpected results.
The diffident and much put-upon heroine Fanny Price has to struggle to cope with the results, re-examining her own feelings while enduring the cheerful amorality, old-fashioned indifference and priggish disapproval of those around her.
Mansfield Park is a study of three families-the Bertrams, the Crawfords, and the Prices-with the isolated figure of the heroine, Fanny Price, at its center. Fanny’s quiet passivity, her steadfast loyalty and love for the son of the family who regard her as the poor relation, and who have taken her under their roof, are not appreciated until they are tried against the brilliant and witty Mary and Henry Crawford, the unfortunate consequences of whose influence are felt by everyone. AUTHOR Jane Austen (16 December 1775 ? 18 July 1817) was an English novelist, whose realism, biting social commentary and masterly use of free indirect speech, burlesque, and irony have earned her a place as one of the most widely read and most beloved writers in English literature. Austen lived her entire life as part of a small and close-knit family located on the lower fringes of English gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to Austen’s development as a professional writer. Austen’s artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years until she was about thirty-five years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried and then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. During Austen’s lifetime, because she chose to publish anonymously, her works brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews