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Mansfield Parsonage: A Mansfield Park Regency Novel Kindle Edition
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Ms Kramer has perfectly captured the language and style of Jane Austen but, dare I say it, has increased the level of wit beyond that of Ms Austen's work. I felt this to be a brilliant book, a fine tribute to Mansfield Park but well-written, well-characterised and a wonderful story all of its own. The mores of social life and expectations put on the genders is brilliantly captured and you can tell that Ms Kramer is a historian. She is also a very talented fiction writer, and if you love Jane Austen you will love this book, but even if you don't you will love Mansfield Parsonage in any case. Strongly recommended.
Now to read Mansfield Park again, with a fresh perspective on Fanny Price...
Having opened the book with some trepidation – after all, Jane Austen is a difficult act to follow – I soon found myself drawn into this alternate view of Mansfield Park. I quickly discovered that Mansfield Parsonage: A Mansfield Park Regency Novel is an absolute delight to read. Written in the spirit of Jane Austen, Kyra Kramer; has managed to emulate the language, storyline and even the subtle nuances of the great novelist.
If you haven’t read Mansfield Park, do not worry; Kyra Kramer has cleverly blended the original novel into her new adaptation, including the politics of the time, such as war with Napoleon, the Whig and Tory parties of British politics and the slave trade. The father of Mary’s love interest, Edmund, is a slave owner in the West Indies and it is interesting to see how Mary Crawford, an opponent to slavery, reconciles her own interests in Edmund against her abhorrence of slavery.
Looking at the story from Mary Crawford’s point of view makes an interesting turnaround and provides a new and exciting story for avid Jane Austen fans. This is not a rewrite of Mansfield Park, but rather and alternative look at the same story. Mary Crawford is viewed much more sympathetically than in the original book. She comes across as a generous, forthright girl, unaware of Fanny Price’s designs on her own love interest, Edmund, or her consequent animosity towards Miss Crawford. Indeed, Mary acts as Fanny’s champion on several occasions, much to Miss Price’s ingratitude and chagrin.
Mansfield Parsonage: A Mansfield Park Regency Novel is full of wonderful, vivid characters, their stories told in the best tradition of Jane Austen herself. The relationship between Mary Crawford, her brother Henry and sister Mrs Grant, is wonderfully told and their interactions are a delight to read. The central story, of Mary and Edmund’s relationship, is beautifully re-told; the little allusions to Fanny’s jealousy providing a new insight into the original heroine.
Mansfield Parsonage: A Mansfield Park Regency Novel provides us with an excellent opportunity to look at a beloved and familiar story from the viewpoint of an alternative protagonist, while not taking away from any of the major events and personalities of the original story and characters. You really feel that the author put herself into the head of Jane Austen when writing. On every page she has emulated the words and actions of the original characters with stunning accuracy.
Mansfield Parsonage is fabulous from the first page. Regency England is gorgeously rendered with rich detail and a vibrantly drawn cast. Author Kyra Kramer delights with her cheeky take on one of Austen's most misunderstood characters. Through sharp observation and a talent for turn of phrase, Kramer polishes Mary Crawford into the bright jewel she truly is. By the end, you'll be wondering why the original wasn't written from her perspective all along. Even more impressive is how Kramer deftly weaves in the politics of the time; heavy topics, such as slavery and poverty, are expertly navigated. We never lose sight of these struggles through the view of characters who live in relative pastoral comfort.
This is Regency Era at its finest. As Miss Crawford would say, Mansfield Parsonage is a true source of felicity!
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