Well, well, I finally did finish Mansfield Park. What a disappointement, reader. I had found a novel by Jane Austen that I had not yet read, and I was so happy, and I started reading it, and I was already a little less happy, but then around page 350 things got interesting again, and then IN THE END, it all went terribly wrong and terrible!
I knew it was not going to be the best book I ever read, because I had had some advice from my sisters, who told me it was not her best book. But then again, I wanted to read some proper Jane Austen to compensate for reading that novel about her supposed life, which annoyed me a little. And I did not want to re-read a book I had already read, because I was not in the mood. So I thought, let us read Mansfield Park, it might not be her best, but it's bound to be really good, like all her other books.
It was pretty good in some parts, really interesting, and incredibly funny (I don't think I ever laughed so much out loud reading a Jane Austen book before) but I just couldn't like the characters as much as I usually do. That Fanny Price girl, honestly... I don't know if you've ever read Mansfield Park, reader, but she is just terrible. She's shy and perfect, she's always incredibly nice, and never does anything that would not do her credit, she never hurts anyone, speaks softly and has pale eyes, and is very pretty. Who cares about such a girl? Let her be a little witty, a little mischievous, and it'll get me interested! But as she is, really, angel-like and perfect, honestly, she just calls for disappointment.
Anyway. She's in love from childhood with her stupid cousin Edmund, who is perfect too, of course, and beautiful, and rich, and clever and wants to be a clergyman. COME ON!
Of course, he's in love with someone else, and she has to put up with being courted by some other guy, who is quite cool, for a change, and really bad, a kind of Willoughby, and he's called Mr Crawford. I'd rather be called Mrs Crawford than marry a guy called Edmund, whatever their respective characters may be, but even considering their attitudes to life, I'd rather spend my life with a terrible flirt than with the image of perfection. Nothing to talk about but kindness, how great our neighbours are, and maybe, once in a little while, criticize some girl's behaviour. Well OK, the other characters really behave terribly, but still, at least they do something! Nice change!
In the end however, Saint Edmund does marry Saint Fanny, and I do wish them joy. I'm sure they'll have plenty of children, only I don't know if they'll get to really know them, since I'm sure they'll start glowing like lightbulbs as soon as they're born, and then they'll fly directly up to heaven, through the nearest window, with the little wings they were born with.
Not a decent proposal scene in the whole book, too! Honestly, that's not serious! So I decided I needed to compensate, and am now reading Emma instead. I did not remember quite how witty and clever it was, and I'm enjoying it very much. That Mr Knightley, that's someone. I think I'm going to hell...