What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Jane Austen’s Mother Not a Fan of All Her Work… Mansfield Park is probably Jane’s least popular novel, and it appears that readers of today are not the only ones to hold that opinion. From January 2017 the British Library will put on display Austen’s handwritten notes of what friends, family and correspondents thought of the novel. They’re not all complimentary. Of the documents on display is one which shows that Jane Austen’s mother Cassandra, thought that Mansfield Park was not as good as Pride & Prejudice and found the heroine, Fanny Price, “insipid”. On the upside, Jane’s sister Cassandra was “fond of Fanny” and “delighted much in Mr Rushworth’s stupidity”. That’s not the worst review of Mansfield Park on display though. Other writings of Austen’s show that she recorded the thoughts of a lady called Augusta Bramstone, who thought Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice “nonsense … but [she] expected to like M.P. better, & having finished the 1st vol. – flattered herself she had got through the worst”. Poor Jane! We can’t help but feel at the Jane Austen News that it’s a little ironic, given these reviews, that Mansfield Park was the novel which made her the most money within her lifetime! Jane Austen Could Make You £20,000 There was a lot of buzz around the first batch of the Winston Churchill £5 notes which were released back in September, but they’re out now so it would make sense (more…)
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