Through Fanny Price, the heroine of Mansfield Park, Jane Austen views the social mores of her day and contemplates human nature itself. A shy and sweet-tempered girl adopted by wealthy relations, Fanny is an outsider looking in on an unfamiliar, and often inhospitable, world. But Fanny eventually wins the affection of her benefactors, endearing herself to the Bertram family and the reader alike.
In her Introduction, Carol Shields writes, [Mansfield Park's] overriding theme is difficult to isolate, since the novel is about everything it touches upon: nurturing, steadfastness, belonging and not belonging, about fine gradations of moral persuasion, about human noise and silence, and about action and stillness.
About the Author
Jane Austen is one of the most important English novelists to emerge in the 18th Century. Her brilliant, satirical, and elegant novels have transcended time and earned her a place among the greatest literary figures that ever lived. Born to a clergyman in 1775, Ms. Austen's writing career began at the tender age of 14, when she completed her first novel, Love and Friendship. She would go on to thrill the world with her romantic literary tales ever after.
Carol Shields was born in Chicago and lived in Canada for most of her life. She is the author of three short story collections and eight novels, including the Pulitzer Prize -- winning The Stone Diaries and Larry s Party, winner of the Orange Prize.
"Never did any novelist make more use of an impeccable sense of human values."