Mansfield Park revisited

I have been visiting an old friend – good old Jane Austen and Mansfield Park. I remember that it was not one of my favourites when I read it the first time. Not sure what that counts for, since Austen is my all-time favourite author.

What always gets me about Jane Austen is her ability to make nothing in particular interesting. Let’s be honest, on the surface her books are about young women trying to find love and marriage. It is generally a rather limited set of characters and the action is confined to a few dinners, visits to friends and the occasional ball. Yet…

She is so good at letting you live in that time, with those people and feeling the hopes and pains and disappointments that must occur when trying to find your place in life, that in the end you are drawn into that world and forget that action-wise, not that much happens.

I have seen the film adaptation of Mansfield Park (1999) more times than I care to remember. Usually I don’t compare book and film. They are two different media and have their own charm. But in this case it gets confusing. The film adaptation is a mix of Mansfield Park and Jane Austen’s letters. The stories don’t follow each other. It will be interesting to see which story-line I like the best.