Your Invitation to Mansfield Park

Today in the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mansfield Park, Jane Austen’s third novel. Janeite and Austen scholar Sarah Emsley is organizing “An Invitation to Mansfield Park”, a blog event in honor of the bicentenary. Please join the celebration over the next few months with essays on the novel by many eminent Austen scholars and just plain Janeites like me.

Many thanks to Sarah for organizing this event. The line-up of writers is amazing an I am all anticipation to party like it’s 1814.


Laurel Ann


Sarah Emsley

Mansfield Park You’re invited to a conversation about Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park !

When: from May 9 to December 31, 2014

Where: right here at

I really hope you’ll join us in celebrating 200 years of Austen’s masterpiece. More than forty wonderful people are writing guest posts about Mansfield Park for my blog this year, and I hope you’ll all participate in the discussion in the comments. With exactly one month to go before the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication, the countdown is on!

An Invitation to Mansfield Park

The party begins on Friday, May 9th, with Lyn Bennett’s thoughts on the first paragraph, followed in the next few weeks by Judith Thompson on Mrs. Norris and adoption, Jennie Duke on Fanny Price at age ten (“though there might not be much in her first appearance to captivate, there was, at least, nothing to disgust her relations”), Cheryl Kinney on Tom Bertram’s assessment of Dr. Grant’s health (“he…

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6 thoughts on “Your Invitation to Mansfield Park

  1. Thanks very much for sending out invitations, Laurel Ann. I appreciate your help with planning the party, and I’m excited to read your contribution to the series. The more I reread Mansfield Park, the more I appreciate its complexities and its brilliance. Happy MP200!


  2. The summer I was 13 I was introduced to JA via P&P. I then read S&S, Emma and NA, I was 16 when I 1st read MP. Compared to the spirited Lizzy, the vivacious Emma, passionate Marianne and the curious and imaginative Catherine Morland, I found Fanny both bland and boring. So while I reread the other novels numerous times over the years, I did not reread MP until I saw the BBC adaption with Billie Piper ( yes, I admit to being a big Dr. Who fangirl :). So a mere 25 years after 1st reading MP, I gave Fanny Price another shot and found I felt quite differently about her. I recognized her quite strength, I saw shyness instead of blandness and found a deep personal integrity that was not boring at all. I was awed at the talent that Jane showed in bringing Fanny to life. While MP will never be my favorite JA novel, there is now a copy on my shelf along side the others and a permanent copy in my kindle. And more importantly, to me, is I see the beauty in Fanny and why JA felt the need to tell her story.


    • It does seem to take quite a while for MP to win people over. Thanks for telling your story, Teresa. How interesting that it was Billie Piper as Fanny Price that prompted you to give the novel another try. I haven’t often heard people say good things about that adaptation! I’m so glad it did have the effect of making you want to reread the novel. I read the other five Austen novels first, and I held off on reading MP because I didn’t want to find out the plot — I wanted to know there was an unread Austen novel waiting for me. I didn’t love it right away, but my affection for it has increased over the years, with each rereading. There is always something new in it, and my admiration for Fanny’s strength increases, too.


  3. Don’t expect me to be a ‘neutral’ observer because I’m a staunch Fanny Price admirer and will take on all comers. I’m one of those literary oddities – a manly lover of all things Austen. I’ll stop in from time to time to get and offer my share in the dialogue. I’ve also published reviews in the past at due to Laurel Ann’s generosity. Thanks for hosting…..


    • I’m so glad you’re joining these conversations about Mansfield Park, Jeffrey. I admire Fanny Price, too, and my firm belief in her strength of character is part of what made me want to host this event to honour the 200th anniversary.


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