When I announced to Mr. Lisa I was putting together a Jane Austen blog, he gave me that look as if to say I didn’t get enough Austen as it is. He then questioned how often I read her works since he’s never actually seen me pick up and read one of her novels (this is the same man who said he had no idea I had a stack of books on my side of the bed) and then went on to say my love of Austen came from strictly from the movies.
Well, no. As I mentioned on my about page, I have no idea when I started reading our Jane but I have been reading the six published works every couple of years. (I will not tell a lie and say I have finished Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sandition, and etc though I do own copies of each.) I thought, in the beginning of designing the content for the blog, one of the things I want to do is hold a weekly read along club for each of Austen’s novels to always keep her work fresh.
I have the best ideas.
(I’ll be reviewing Austen paraliterature but Austen’s books themselves will be the read alongs.)
I decided to start with poor Mansfield Park as this, in my humble opinion, tends to be the least talked about of our Jane’s work. While I do feel it’s the weakest of Jane’s work and lacks the oomph of her other novels, it still deserves our love. People love Northanger Abbey for its gothic parody. Of course, Pride & Prejudice as if we could forget. Emma helped along by the movie Clueless, and Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility always seem to rank as favorites.
According to my Penguin Classics copy, there are 47 chapters in Mansfield Park with roughly 10 or so pages per chapter. It would take us nearly a year to finish the book if we did a chapter a week so I’m going to up it to three chapters a week and may adjust as we move along.
Join me every Monday as we read Mansfield Park! It would be most delightful if you were here.