Saint Thomas Book Group

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Andrew Hall, Parish House

This month we discuss Mansfield Park (1814) by Jane Austen.

In his poem “A Letter to Lord Byron”, W. H. Auden addresses Byron regarding Jane Austen: “You could not shock her more than she shocks me / Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.” Auden is commenting on the way Austen treats money and its effects, but he might as well be describing her moral acumen. Mansfield Park has been called her most serious work, and its heroine, Fanny Price, is often criticized for being mousy and boring. Even if you agree re. Fanny (and many of us don’t!), the novel is full of vibrant characters who are morally untethered enough to be a danger to themselves and others. Indeed, Alan Jacobs argues that “the great theme of Mansfield Park is moral education.” In this—arguably her most well-written book—Austen provides us an experience as patient as it is dynamic, as humorous as it is poignant. As in all of Austen's works, characters will be recognizable.

David Daniel

Mansfield Park
by Jane Austen
ISBN: 978-0192802644

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