Finally on to my last Jane Austen novel, the universally acknowledged Pride and Prejudice πŸ’Ÿ (see what I did there?) I’ve read this book so many times and seen the movies and TV series more times than is probably healthy, but it never gets old!

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve read the book so many times already, but Pride and Prejudice seems to be the most relatable of Austen’s  works. It also has the most overt and direct romance which is a nice change from her five other books in which the romantic language occurs in the last two pages of the stories πŸ˜‘ Regardless, I love all her works and I’m so happy I have a complete set!

I think I may have found a new Austen favorite! Persuasion, where have you been all my life? I think I’m in love with this book 😍  This is one of Austen’s later works and it shows! Everything from the tone to the relationships to the heroine, Miss  Anne Elliot,  is more mature.

Yes, I love the romance aspect– Captain Wentworth is certainly swoonworthy– but what I love most about this book is the family relationships and friendships. This particular set of characters is the most relatable I’ve come across in all of Austen’s stories. It’s sometimes hard for me to remember that Austen’s stories are set during a real time period because her writing and characters are so different from what I’m used to, and this makes it difficult to immerse myself in the setting. But this was not a problem with Persuasion!This lovely illustration by C.E. Brock is my favorite so far because it depicts a scene that could very well happen today! Anne’s young nephew is jumping on her while she’s attending to her other nephew and Captain Wentworth pulls him off her. It’s such a normal situation that Austen doesn’t often write about.
I adore Anne and most of the secondary characters and I highly recommend this book for anyone simply looking for a nice, light read or anyone looking for a book to write a paper on!

I finished Sense and Sensibility and am very content with the ending. As I mentioned in my previous post,  I wasn’t sure how Austen was going to pull off a happy ending with less than 100 pages to go but, per usual, she managed! I started the book favoring Marianne, but Elinor deserves so much respect. I think I relate more with Marianne which is why I liked her more at first, but Elinor is so calm and reasonable when Marianne is freaking out and you can only admire her good sense. The sisters are a wonderful duo and even when they’re down and hurting, they treat each other well. I think Marianne had the most growing to do and she certainly accomplished it in the end. And Elinor so deserved a happy ending, which she got πŸ™‚
I’m not a fan of some secondary characters, mainly Fanny and John Dashwood who are incredibly rude to the Mrs. Dashwood and the Dashwood sisters. John is their brother yet he is so easily influenced by his wife, Fanny, to ignore their father’s dying wish to leave the Dashwood women some money to live on. John improved a little as the story progressed but he’s still a bit of a prat by the end. Other secondary characters I really liked and felt them to be more genuine than other Austen characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sense and Sensibility. It’s more satirical than Mansfield Park, which I currently feel to be the most sedate of Austen’s works, but also takes a more thoughtful stance on certain aspects of love and human nature.

“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” 

-Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility 

I have less than 100 pages left in Sense and Sensibility and, even though I know it has a happy ending, I’m kind of worried about how Austen is going to pull it off…It seems like Marianne and Elinor have so far to go to find happiness but they both deserve it so much! I love the above quote from Marianne because it’s such a progressive thought during that period, even if she meant it in a sillier way. Women’s desires and requirements weren’t taken much into account back then, so much love to Austen for creating girls like Marianne and Elinor who aren’t afraid to stand up and think for themselves πŸ’• Even in today’s more “progressive” world, women still sometimes need the reminder that it’s OK to put yourself first! 
*Illustration by C.E. Brock 

“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;β€”it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”
-Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Am I the only one who thinks cutting and keeping a lock of someone’s hair is a weird way to express love and devotion? Thank goodness I don’t live in the 19th century cause I couldn’t deal with that…

I’m about a quarter of the way through Sense and Sensibility and I’m surprised at which character is currently my favorite. I thought I’d like the calm and rational Elinor, but I rather like Marianne! Of course, there are plenty of pages to change my mind but so far all my favorite quotes and thoughts have come from the romanticly inclined Marianne. She’s young and certainly brash but I like her poetic musings and how she turns to her instinct (as displayed in the quote above). I do like Elinor as well and she’s certainly crucial to Marianne’s balance! Does anyone else a have a favorite sister??

*Illustration by Ann Kronheimer

 

Ugh, I am quite unsure of my feelings regarding Mansfield Park. For the most part, I really enjoyed it. It lacked Austen’s usual wit and satire surrounding certain stereotypes, but I actually enjoyed the tamer depiction of life and people during that time period. I also really liked Fanny, but majorly disagree with her eventual fate. Edmund IS NOT the type of Austen gentleman I wanted Fanny to end up with. He’s selfish and only learns to appreciate Fanny when his other love option turns out to be even more selfish than he is. Fanny’s one flaw is her blinding love for Edmund which, since it makes her happy, I guess can be forgiven. I enjoyed the other characters and Austen, as always, did a fabulous job of making me hate the appropriate villains. Overall, Mansfield Park is home to my favorite Austen heroine so far; despite the whole Edmund thing (ugh), Fanny is smart, sensible, observant, and loving. *Illustration by Philip Gough

“I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of.”

-Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Fanny Price calling out the playersπŸ˜‚ She’s truly such an underated Austen heroine! I’ve got about 80 pages left in Mansfield Park and I hope Austen gives Fanny all that she deserves for dealing with such bratty friends and family! 

Another BEAUTIFUL Jane Austen scene, this time interpreted and illustrated by C.E. Brock. 

I’m about halfway through Mansfield Park and Fanny is continuing to impress me! Where most of Austen’s leading ladies are in the middle of the drama, Franny’s clear, outsider perspective is refreshing. While there is certainly drama, Mansfield Park seems less satirical than Northanger Abbey and Emma, and I’m enjoying Franny’s less privledged view of English high society. Edmund still has to step it up though…