Wednesday, June 29, 2005

jane austen book club

Anyone out there read Mansfield Park? I really like Jane Austen and am reading it at the moment but really struggling with it - so far it has very little of the wit and insight I was expecting; rather it is a series of (doubtless well-observed) social set-pieces and little else. Granted I am only about a hundred pages in, but so far it seems to be lauding quiet respectability and compliance rather than intelligence or originality. I'm sure that will change.

Nevertheless, I'm finding it very dark, flat and featureless thus far. Any comments? Should I press on?

5 comments:

Tim said...

You've stumbled upon the dud Austen. Read it, but don't expect too much. Persuasion is the one you want.

Anonymous said...

I loved MP. Keep reading!

Liz R-J said...

Hey Jonno

Haven't read MP, but Tim's right - Persuasion is worth going the distance for. Northanger Abbey is also good in a spoof gothic way...

jonathan said...

Hi Liz!

Yep, I'm a big fan of Northanger Abbey; it was the first Austen novel I read for pleasure rather than out of duty, and I really enjoyed it.

Will persevere with Mansfield Park.

Ben said...

I've not read Austen for a long, long time, but I think 'Mansfield Park' is one of the few books of hers I haven't read. 'P&P' is decent, from what I recall, as is 'Emma', but 'Persuasion' was my favourite - because of / despite the fact we studied it at A level.

Probably a bit too mannered and neat for my liking now, though, despite the nicely ironic touches - Woolf writes about the same sort of upper middle class society but in a way that engages with much deeper issues than whether so-and-so should be invited round to tea...