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1.13.2017

Fun Friday - Mansfield Park Poll

In doing research for this poll, I kept seeing Mansfield Park rated at the bottom of lists, or people saying how they don't care for the novel.  I happen to like the novel and was wondering how everyone else feels about CNJ-JASNA's novel of 2017.


1.09.2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? - Mansfield Park


Title: Mansfield Park
Author: Jane Austen
Publication Date: July 1814

Synopsis: Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen's most profound works.

Review:  A few years ago we started a cycle of reading through Jane's novels in publication order and in 2017 we are onto Mansfield Park. We will be discussing it during our February meeting so now is a great time to get started on this novel.

1.06.2017

First Line Friday - Mansfield Park

About thirty years ago Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet’s lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.
-Mansfield Park - full text at The Republic of Pemberley

This year is all about Mansfield Park for our region. We'll be discussing the novel at our February meeting and discussing criticism of the novel during our August meeting.  Please see the Meetings and Events tab at the top of the page for more meeting information.

1.04.2017

Regency Woman Wednesday - Mary Brunton

Mary Brunton
(1 November 1778 – 7 December 1818)

Mary Brunton was a Scottish novelist. She started to write her first novel, Self-Control in 1809 and it was published in 1811. Jane Austen had reservations, describing it in a letter as an "excellently-meant, elegantly-written work, without anything of Nature or Probability in it." Self-Control was widely read and went into its third edition in 1812. A French translation (Laure Montreville, ou l’Empire sur soimême) appeared in Paris in 1829. The anonymous novels Things by their Right Names (1812) and Rhoda by Frances Jacson were initially ascribed to her as well.

The other novel that Mary Brunton completed was Discipline (1814). Like Walter Scott's Waverley, published in the same year, it had Highland scenes that were much appreciated. It went into three editions in two years. The Bruntons spent some time in London in 1815 and Mary began to learn Gaelic in the same year. She then planned a series of domestic stories, of which one, Emmeline, was far enough advanced when she died for her husband to include it in an 1819 memorial volume, along with a Memoir and extracts from her travel diary. The story described with a sympathy unusual in that period how a divorced woman's marriage is destroyed by her feelings of guilt and the ostracism she suffers.

The success of Brunton's novels seems to have lain in combining a strongly moral, religious stance with events that stretched or broke the rules of society.

The Works of Mary Brunton appeared in 1820 and further editions of her first two novels in 1832, 1837 and 1852. However, the popularity of her novels was immediate but somewhat short-lived: "They rose very fast into celebrity, and their popularity seems to have as quickly sunk away," as her husband put it in retrospect. Modern editions have appeared of Self-Control (London: Pandora, 1986), Discipline (London: Pandora, 1986; Boston, MA: Unwin Hyman, 1987) and Emmeline (London: Routledge, 1992, facsimile of 1819 edition).

Alexander Brunton had a volume of Sermons and Lectures published in 1818, Outlines of Persian Grammar in 1822, and Forms of Public Worship in the Church of Scotland in 1848. He was appointed moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May 1823, and served also as convenor (chair) of the Indian Mission Committee in 1834-47. He died at Coupar Angus, Perthshire on 9 February 1854.
-Mary Brunton, Wikipedia