About This Book
Perhaps Fanny is almost too good to be true, but we still sympathise
with her lonely position, we are impatient with her cousins for not
appreciating her, and we are glad when the dashing Henry begins to
admire her charm and pay court to her. This novel is satisfyingly hard
on those who are hard on those around them . . . and truly kind to those
who are good and kind themselves. Despite the grim reality fashionable
in modern novels, even modern readers must warm to the thought that,
at least within the pages of Mansfield Park, a happy ending can
be attained at last!
About Jane Austen
(1775-1817) Jane Austin was the seventh child of English clergyman
George Austin and his wife, Cassandra. At 17, she was already
attempting serious writing, and by the time she was 20, she had already
completed a novel called "Elinor and Marianne," which later became the
basis for "Sense and Sensibility." The first versions of
"First Impressions" later to become her masterwork,
"Pride and Prejudice" were written in the following two years.
In 1803, the manuscript for "Susan" (later to be "Northanger Abbey")
was sold to publisher Richard Crosby, but was never published by him.
Jane Austin's first book to appear in print, "Sense and Sensibility,"
was self-published. It appeared in 1811, and its success made possible
the publication of "Pride and Prejudice," in 1813. "Mansfield Park"
was published the following year, "Emma" in 1815. "Northanger Abbey"
and "Persuasion" did not appear in print until after her death in 1817.
Jane Austin's six great novels are all studies of character. They are
acknowledged classics of the first order, and she, herself, has been
widely called a writer of real genius. Even so, she led a relatively quiet
life. She never married. Her home was in her father's parsonage until
she was 26 years old. Her father, or one of her brothers, represented
her in all her dealings with publishers, and she and her sister lived
in her father's or brothers' homes for most of their lives.