Tuesday 21 February 2017

Mansfield Park - Read a long.

Good Morning!  I hope you are all well.

It was a race to the end with this book.  I really must work my timings better and actually look at how many pages there are and not reading other books in the middle.  Righty ho, onwards, from a book about a paedophile in Lolita to an adulterous affair in Mansfield Park.

The beginning I found quite long, but I think is needed to set the scene of propriety at the time.

I would have hated very much to have been alive at the time I think, I would more than likely have been a servant!  lol

I can see some of the similarities between the upper class then and now.  Although, I think girls, ladies if you will, no longer care so much for their name and modesty.  You only have to watch programmes like {Geordie Shores} and {Made in Chelsea}, to know that this is no longer worried about, especially when it is now seen as the thing to do, to be on TV and wash your undies in public.... (none of the casts are good role models at all.  Its like a race to the bottom with Geordie Shores from what I hear.  I've only ever watched 2 of it programmes.  It was a horror).

I feel we all know a Mrs Norris, one who thinks that they are the epitome of style, taste, local knowledge etc.  In real life I shy away from these people and try and not have much to do with them.  As they tend to try and walk all over you, with their supperior knowledge.  Wide berth on that one.

Mrs Bertram needs to get a back bone.

Fanny Price, had feelings for Edmund early on, (first cousins are no longer permitted to marry).  I wonder how many aristocrates would now a days become a Vicar or Priest.  Not many I would say.

The book was quite longe compared to modern books, but I dont feel that once I got into it, that this took away from its story.  Will I read it again? Not for a while.  There are lots of other classics to read.  I will revisit it in a few years.

6/10 for Mansfield Park.  Above average, but not high enough I will read it between other books, whilst completing the read a long.

I am very much enjoying the process of reading these classics.  And I am delighted if anyone joins in.  Join in when you like the sound of the book, if you want to miss it out and go on to the next, do that to.  I am just pleased if you want to join in on any of the books!

Can you believe we are on to book number 5 already!

On to the next book, {The Handmaid's tale}.  I didnt know until I Googled it, is going to be a new TV series in April.

I hope this book doesnt disapoint, I read it at school and I think now that I have read even more dystopian fiction that this one will really light up for me.


Raybeard said...

My experience at re-reading this was utterly different from the previous three encounters, the last time having been twelve years ago. Before, I'd been considerably captivated by the novel, especially the third time round, as I'd only 'discovered' (about thirty years ago) the manner in which one ought to read Jane Austen in order to get the utmost therefrom i.e. with complete, undistracted attention and slow deliberation. Austen, along with Henry James (another one with whom I'd had prior problems) had now become for me the supreme writers of elegant prose - and enjoying their works was rather akin to the pleasure of biting into a soft, warm, sponge cake, each mouthful of which one allows to be leisurely savoured by the taste buds before being despatched below. Thus it was then.

About ten years ago it was announced that much of (though not entirely) Austen's scriptoral finery had come, not from herself, but from that of her editor. It seems, apparently, that her grammar was often askew, with spelling leaving much to be desired, and - just one example - she had a complete disregard as to the proper use of paragraphs. Furthermore, a considerable number of times her vocabulary was wanting so that her editor fund himself substituting a more apt word for the one she had employed. What a come-down! This latest reading of 'Mansfield Park' is the first time I've read any Austen since that study was published.

Now exactly how much my changed opinion is due to this 'epiphany' I can't honestly say, but I did find this reading to be a somewhat tiresome exercise. To take specific cases, I did find that in conversations between the characters, the absence of clear indications as to who was saying what, more than a bit trying. It required more concentration than I was in the mood to input. Also, several characters share the same surname, yet in talk they are sometimes only referred to in surname terms so I had too keep referring back to find out precisely about whom remarks were being addressed. This wouldn't have happened so much if I'd maintained a close concentration for a lengthy period, but I have to confess that this time I did keep putting the novel aside more than I usually do in reading, with the result that when I got back to it, my memory as to where I was had got to was clouded - and I found myself having resumed my reading with a false assumption. In fact, when I'd got just forty pages from the end my interest had reduced to such a minimal level that it took me more than a week to pick up the book and finish it off!

It was a sad encounter this time, and clearly not Austen's fault as I'd got much pleasure from my previous readings of the same work. But either I have moved on or something has now interposed itself to prevent my repeating the previous pleasurable experiences. Clearly the discovery about her editor being such a salient part of the published product was at least influential to my change of heart. Shame about it, whatever the cause, but I do hope that I'll be around long enough to give 'Mansfield Park' yet another chance - though maybe not for a while yet!

Sol said...

argh blogger ate my comment.

I didnt know that about Jane Austens editor, changing it. I am trying to think if I feel it changes it? I also hated the length of the 'speech' sentences. The sentences in some parts are enormous. Really enormous. It is one of the reasons I find classics hard to read, as I want more full stops!

Thanks for the comment and for joining in. I hope you will like reading the next book if you are joining in.

local alien said...

Years ago I loved these classics and their elegant prose. Now I just get impatient and definitely am not prepared to give the books the attention they deserve. I cheated and listened to it on YouTube and found I followed the story far easier and got to know the characters better.
I'll post my brief review

Sol said...

Hi Linda, maybe I need to listen to it as it is hard in some areas like Ray said to know who is talking. I think I have the same problem, that I dont seen to have the attention span. I also read other books at the same time and I think I need to stop this, as I read fast pace young adult fiction. I have just finished the 5th wave by Rick Yancy, I also didnt know this was a film, that came out last year.