About the Book :
Mansfield Park, published in 1814, remains a unique novel in Jane Austens oeuvre. Markedly contrasting Pride and Prejudice, its immediate predecessor, Mansfield Park does not celebrate the traits of spiritedness, vivacity, celerity and lightness associating them with happiness and virtue, but rather praises social stasis. Lionel Trilling, in discussing the novel, examines this departure and observes, It was Jane Austen who first represented the specifically modern personality and the culture in which it had its being. Never before had the moral life been shown as she shows it to be, never before had it been conceived to be so complex and difficult and exhausting?.The sanctions upon which it relies are not those of culture, of quality of being, of personality but precisely those which the new conception of the moral life minimizes, the sanctions of principle, and it discovers in principle the path to the wholeness of the self which is peace when we have exhausted our anger at the offence which Mansfield Park offers to our conscious pieties, we find it possible to perceive how intimately it speaks to our secret in expressible hopes.