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I just discovered this blog and was excited that Mansfield Park (the most underrated Austen) was finally getting its due, but it looks like they’re all from Pride & Prejudice. *sigh*

Is Mansfield Park underrated per se rather than just less immediately relatable and popular? It’s the only one, I think, that I’ve ever actually studied in an academic context – not that that means much per se but it suggests that it’s certainly considered to have literary merit.

Ultimately though I just used the show I had screencaps for – tomorrow’s strip branches out but to Persuasion, not Mansfield Park. To be honest though it was only ever really intended to be ‘default Regency’ – it just so happened that I had stills for an iconic production. The ‘Against Feminism’ strip aside none of them actually reference the books in any more than an implicit way anyway…

Anyway, the short answer is I expect I’ll get to Mansfield Park eventually!

I love Mansfield Park. A lot of people don’t like it, and claim that Fanny Price is insipid but to me, she is the epitome of a strong woman in a society designed to oppress her.

First of all, she behaves as an ideal – for her time and culture – of feminine meekness, domesticity, and spirituality. However, despite the outright abuse to which she is subjected, she sticks to her guns when she knows she’s right, even when she knows she’ll be abused even more, because of it. She doesn’t have the strength or the support to avoid the abuse, but she NEVER lets it break her spirit or change her mind from what she knows to be the correct course of action. Her love is true and pure and stands against all the obstacles thrown at it. Yeah, she is a quiet and demure heroine, without the spunk and sparkle of Elizabeth Bennet. However, for wisdom, you can’t beat Fanny. She’s smart as can be, thinks clearly, sees clearly, and really has a deep understanding of the world, and human nature that Elizabeth does not.

Mansfield Park doesn’t have the same witty repartee that Pride and Prejudice has, but as a role-model, I just adore Fanny Price. And as for comedy, there is plenty of it to be had in some of the other characters, especially as they give in to their own foolishness.

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