So yesterday I finally finished Mansfield Park and have now read all six Jane Austen novels! Um, GO ME!
So here's a final verdict.
I left Mansfield Park until last because it was one of two that I knew absolutely nothing about. I hoped this would mean it was my favourite. Sadly this was not the case. It has to be my least favourite. Though it did have some entertaining moments, Fanny was the only one of Austen's heroines that I felt almost nothing for. She was so bloody cowardly! And boring.
Edmund too was a huge letdown. He spent 460 pages in love with someone else. My copy was only 485 pages long. You can do the math.
No, Mansfield Park was a massive disappointment and I don't plan to ever reread it.
I'm glad I took the time to better justify my opinion of her. Though I can't say I've had a 360 degree change in my opinion of her, at an older age I've been better equipped to appreciate the extreme subtlety of her writing. Her novels are incredibly witty and have caused me to laugh out loud many times (not a common occurrence for me), but this humour is so tongue in cheek, so incredibly subtle that a girl of twelve (which is how old I was when I read Pride and Prejudice) could not really pick up on it.
Having read all six novels, my favourite was definitely Pride and Prejudice. I'm reluctant to say that since it seems like the most obvious choice, but I just loved the dynamic of five sisters. Henry Tilney was undoubtedly my favourite hero. And my favourite heroine? Hmm, probably Anne Elliot. She was the heroine I felt the most for.
Ranked by order of Favourite:
1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Northanger Abbey
5. Sense and Sensibility
6. Mansfield Park
It's been an interesting study and I'll be sad to be without a reading mission. Perhaps I'll undertake something similar one day?