First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my blogs and my book, Homey’s Adventures.
On my trip to Las Vegas and back, I listened to an audio book version of Mansfield Park by Jane Austin. My sister urged me to read Jane Austin. My sister reveres Jane Austin as the queen of romance novels. Homey’s Adventures is a romance novel, so, I decided to listen to the audio book. I found this description online:
Mansfield Park has the dubious distinction of being disliked by more of Jane Austen’s fans than any of her other novels, even to the point of spawning “Fanny Wars” in internet discussion forums. Its themes are very different from those of her other books, which can be simplified into one sentence, or even one phrase: Sense and Sensibility is about balancing emotions and thought, Pride and Prejudice is about judging others too quickly, Emma is about growing into adulthood, and Persuasion is about second chances. The theme of Mansfield Park, on the other hand, cannot be so easily described. Is it about ordination? Is it an allegory on Regency England? Is it about slavery? Is it about the education of children? Is it about the difference between appearances and reality? Is it about the results of breaking with society’s mores? Any, or all those themes can, and have been applied to Mansfield Park.
I do not want any of my readers to be upset, but by chapter 12, I was pounding my chess wishing it were a knife to put myself out of misery.
I recently watched a Netflix series entitled The Good Place. The series focuses on Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a recently deceased young woman who wakes up in the afterlife and is welcomed by Michael (Ted Danson) to “the Good Place,” a heaven-like utopia he designed, in reward for her righteous life. Eleanor realizes that she was sent there by mistake, and hides her morally imperfect behavior (past and present). In fact, Eleanor is being tortured by the demons because The Good Place is a Bad Place designed to completely irritate Eleanor. If theses demons wanted to torture me, they would play an audio book of Mansfield Park repeatedly.
At this point, a kind and humorist friend might say sarcastically to me: “Jim, why don’t you tell us what you really think?”
I think if you took all the unnecessary adverbs and adjectives and qualifiers out of the book, there would be little to read. I am left wondering what would happen if somehow, we were able to put this book into Microsoft Word and see if the automated editor tears it to shreds.
I remember one chapter which was dedicated to deciding if the lead character, Fanny Price, should be invited to dinner. It reminded me of a hilarious episode of the TV series “All in the Family.” Edith Bunker is telling Archie about how she ran into a car with Cling Peaches. Edith must tell Archie every detail that led up to the accident and this drives Archie crazy. I cannot help but think that understanding women contributes my failure to like Mansfield Park. I am sure Jane Austin had a purpose for this chapter, but I saw it as pure torture.
Towards the end of the book, Fanny Price is pursued by a rich unwanted suitor. This suitor eventually runs off with her married cousin causing distress to the noble family. The happy conclusion is that Fanny becomes closer to her noble uncle and brother who is wounded by the scandal. In a way, the book is a criticism of the trivial concerns of the English noble class of the early 19th century. I will admit part of my dislike for the book is the Edith Bunker way of telling the story. I will also admit that this concern was troubling to the English nobility especially after the American revolution war. So, even though it was an intensely boring book, it had some redeeming value.
If you liked Mansfield Park, I apologize for my honesty. I never want to be anything but loving to you, my reader.
If you want to learn more about Jim and Homey, then please visit my website https://www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters of my book for free. If you like what you read, you can buy my book from my website or on Amazon and many other book retailers. You can search for my book online using the words: “Homey’s Adventures” by Jim Wish.