Tuesday, 8 February 2005

Mansfield Park...

A timid young girl is taken out of a life of urban commoners and poverty to be raised by her wealth aunt and uncle in the country. She grows up to be a wise, respectable, reasonable, but still docile woman (perfect for the period but much too overlooked and passive by our standards) and lives happily ever after... after some rather historically traumatic experiences. It took me a while to read this in the dribs and drabs I had the time to do so but I kept coming back. A mostly entertaining story, I was mostly intrigued by the fact that the two main characters (Fanny and Edmund) would have been considered ideal specimens of humanity (at least socially) then, but would be considered extremely conservative, polite to a fault, and still very sexist now. How times change... It also fascinated me to think of the immensity of the distances crossed (that are nothing to us now).

It was very convenient that I was well into reading this when PBS' Regency House was aired, so that I was well prepared for my wife's at-the-time favourite show.

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