|A slightly silly cover for Mansfield Park since Fanny and her cousins are only young for a few pages of the book.|
1. My goal was to read 52 pages each week (your page count will be different according to the edition of the book you are using.) Did I make this goal? No. I am on page 41 which is in the middle of chapter 5.
2. What has happened so far? We meet the Bertram family and learn why they invite their niece, Fanny Price, to live with them. She is neglected and friendless until cousin Edmond comes to her rescue. As the years pass she still views herself as inferior to the rest of the family. Fanny is now 18 and we have just met Mary and Henry Crawford, who are quite full of themselves.
3. Surprises? There were lots of differences between the book and the movies made from it. For one thing there is more laid about about the sisters---Mrs. Bertram, Mrs. Norris, and Mrs. Price. They had a falling out over Mrs. Price marrying below herself so they didn't communicate for many years. Not until she was pregnant for the ninth time did she write her sisters and ask for help. She wanted to send her eldest son off to the Navy, instead the older sisters asked her to send them Fanny.
One other thing that surprises me is how much of the story has already happened and I am only 1/10 of the way through the book. It seems like the movie is already over 1/4th over at this point. Based on this I think I will encounter many parts of the book that I will not be familiar with at all in future weeks.
4.A question I've wondered as I read this section. Did Jane Austen really like Fanny Price? She seems so docile compared to her other heroines. The author of the Introduction, Amanda Clayburgh, suggested that Austen probably actually liked Mary Crawford better because she had more of Austen's personality.
See you next week. I will try to catch up on this week's unread pages so that I will be back on track.