; Literary Encyclopedia

Recommended reading for Mansfield Park

Fabricant, Carole.“The Literature of Domestic Tourism and the Public Consumption of Private Property.” The New Eighteenth Century: Theory and Politics and English Literature. London: Methuen, 1987. 254-275. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Fabicrant begins and ends this essay with a consideration of Fanny Price's response to Sotherton in Mansfield Park, the burden of her remarks being that Fanny's responses are in part those of the propertyless tourists who progressively constitute a new consumer audience for views and tours of the English landscape and its great houses from the mid-eighteenth century onwards. They are also, rather oddly, tinged with her other function in the novel, that of the guardian of traditional ideas of the estate and its relationship to the local community. Fabricant's reading serves to open up many of the ideological questions which the ironies in Austen's writing depend upon. The central section of Fabricant's essay provides a very valuable synoptic account of the rise of landscape tourism, its relationship to the modern heritage industry, its place in Georgian England and in particular of the guide books which taught the tourist how to perceive the famous gardens at Stowe and Leasowes. Altogether this is an eye-opening essay.

Harding, D. W. Regulated Hatred and Other Essays on Jane Austen. London: Athlone Press, 1998. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Harding was professor of psychology at Birkbeck in the 1940s. His 1941 essay relating Mansfield Park to Cinderella has become a classic, and is still one of the rare psychoanalytic approaches to Austen.

Lloyd, Trevor.“Myths of the Indies: Jane Austen and the British Empire.” Comparative Criticism. Ed. Eleanor Shaffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 59-78. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Offers an historically grounded demolition of Edward Saïd's reading of Mansfield Park.

Saïd, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. London: Chatto & Windus, 1993. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Very influential contention that Mansfield Park is concerned with British slavery in the West Indies.

Fleishman, Avrom. A Reading of Mansfield Park: An Essay in Critical Synthesis. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Fleishman is succinct, highly intelligent and historically informed. His commentary has informed much critical work since 1967 but it still merits reading or re-reading, especially his chapter 'The Novel in its Time' which moves cogently from Evangelicalism to the politics of 'Lover's Vows', the critique of the landed gentry, the Corn Laws and Luddites. Fleishman describes a novel which does not seek to defend the landed class but display its short comings and ask for its reform.

Sales, Roger. Jane Austen and Representations of Regency England. London: Routledge, 1994. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Roger Sales's chapter on Mansfield Park provides a useful introduction to the ways in which the novel comments on the Regency. His central observation that Tom Bertram has a quasi-Regency over Mansfield during his father's absence is pertinent, as is his commentary on the novel's critique of Regency mores. He does, however, have a tendency to restating what has become obvious, and a flatness of style that can be tiresome. Fleishman's work on Mansfield Park is a better critical model, but Sales is necessary reading for those interested in the novel's social commentary.

Lloyd, Trevor.“Myths of the Indies: Jane Austen and the British Empire.” Comparative Criticism. Ed. Eleanor Shaffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 59-78. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Offers an historically grounded demolition of Edward Saïd's reading of Mansfield Park.

Lloyd, Trevor.“Myths of the Indies: Jane Austen and the British Empire.” Comparative Criticism. Ed. Eleanor Shaffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 59-78. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Offers an historically grounded demolition of Edward Saïd's reading of Mansfield Park.

Lodge, David.“The Language of Mansfield Park.” The Language of Fiction. London: Routledge, 2002. 98-119. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Flavin, Louise.“Mansfield Park: Free Indirect Discourse and the Psychological Novel.” Studies in the Novel 19 (1987): n. pag. Print.

Recommended by Robert Clark

Add Recommended Reading