Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Shelf Control: Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park

Shelf Control hosted by Lisa of Bookshelf Fantasies "is all about the books we want to read — and already own! Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available sitting right there on our shelves and e-readers."

Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is
often referred to as Jane Austen's Gothic parody. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.*
Austen's Mansfield Park is "a subtle examination of social position and moral integrity"* about a young woman of little means who goes to live with her wealthy cousins.


How I got them: I bought both Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey at Barnes and Noble. (I could have sworn I had a copy of Sense and Sensibility. The last I saw it, it was on my husband's TBR pile, but it seems to have disappeared. We searched high and low and it seems to be nowhere. Did it get donated on accident? Hrmphf. I wasn't very fond of the cover anyway (movie cover), so if it is truly lost, I will happily buy a new copy.)

When I got them: Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey have been with me since July, 2005.

Why I want to read them: Eventually, I want to read everything Jane Austen has written, or just about. Although Pride and Prejudice and I didn't get off to the greatest start, I ended up loving the book the second time around and now count it among my all-time favorites. I also loved Persuasion and Emma. How is it possible I haven't yet read these three?! I keep telling myself I will read at least one Jane Austen novel this year, but I still haven't managed it.


Have you read these books? If so, what did you think? Should I move them up in my TBR pile?


* excerpts taken from Goodreads synopsis

© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

33 comments:

  1. I love both stories - Mansfield Park more than Northanger Abbey though :p But be warned, some people find Fanny (the protagonist of Mansfield Park) too passive for their liking. I liked her, but you never know...

    Hope you get to read them soon!!

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    1. Eustacia - I am glad to hear it. I hope I will too! Thank you for the warning about Fanny. Sometimes knowing ahead of time can help me prepare and keep my expectations in check. :-)

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  2. I was a little disappointed in Northanger Abbey, but it was years ago, and I should give it another chance. Strangely, I liked Emma much better after seeing the movie. :) I had no patience with her in the book. Still have not read Mansfield Park.

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    1. Jenclair - Maybe you would like it better the second time around like I did with Pride and Prejudice. Or maybe not. :-)

      I wasn't sure about Emma initially, but she grew on me. I think she, of all the Austen major characters I've met so far, grew the most over the course of the book.

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  3. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who buys books and then holds on to them for years before reading them.

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  4. I loved Persuasion as well! It was my first Austen book (I only read it last month, lol) so I got Northanger Abbey next; I'm planning to read it this month!

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    1. Nina - I just love Austen's writing. It always takes me a moment to settle into one of her books, but once I do, I get swept away. If I didn't already have a full reading calendar this month, I would read Northanger Abbey alonside you! It certainly sounds good, doesn't it?

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    2. It does! I'm thinking when it comes to classic literary works I prefer the ones with Gothic themes/undertones, so hopefully Northanger Abbey will count among those as well!

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  5. I really liked Mansfield Park although wasn't expecting to, because it seems to be everyone's least favourite... And I love Northanger Abbey - the film with Felicity Jones is a great adaptation too :D

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    1. Catherine - Northanger Abbey sounds so intruging, just from the description. I am glad to hear you enjoyed Mansfield Park too!

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  6. I love both these books! But then, I love all of Austen's novels. Northanger Abbey is one of my favs, though, and I'm a very big fan of Fanny Price, no matter what anyone else says about her!

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    1. Lark - I really like Austen's writing too. I am looking forward to reading these. I have heard mixed things about Fanny, but I am glad to hear you like her. :-)

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  7. I loved Pride and Prejudice, but can't remember if I've read Persuasion or Sense and Sensibility. I think I've a copy of Northanger Abbey somewhere... I need to find it. ;)

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  8. Admittedly I've only ever read one Jane Austen book before and it was neither of the two you mentioned. BUT I have read Emma and watched a few versions of the movie for it and really liked it! But had my professor not required us to read it for class I likely would never have picked up anything by her. I'm not really a huge classics person, try as I might to fall in love with them! And to think I call myself an english major LOL.
    great post!
    Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

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    1. Emily - I am glad you enjoyed Emma so much. I don't read a lot of classics either, but sometimes one catches my fancy and I just have to read it. Like with contemporary books, some appeal to me and some don't.

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  9. I haven't read either of these, though they are sitting in my Kindle somewhere. I think I tend to read classics more in the colder months, so I doubt I'll get around to them that soon, even though I really liked Pride and Prejudice when I read it this February.
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. Litha Nelle - Classics do have a colder weather feel to them. :-)

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  10. Northanger Abbey is a lot of fun...and it's short. Definitely reason to pull it off the shelf sooner than later. ;) I haven't read Mansfield Park yet...I bought my copy when the movie came out all those years ago. I need to get to it! And Persuasion but I don't think I have a copy of that one.

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    1. Trish - Northanger Abbey sounds like it would be--and it helps that it is short. LOL

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  11. I haven't made it through all of Jane Austen's books either. I've been saving Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. I just need to jump in and don't know what I'm waiting for.

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    1. Iliana - I hope you do enjoy Pride and Prejudice when you read it. So many people do, and I hope you aren't disappointed. I've seen the movie version of Sense and Sensibility, but it's been years and years . . .

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  12. Hi, Wendy!

    First of all, I apologize for the late comment back.... You commented on my "Waiting On Wednesday" post last week, for which I thank you, and I'm only returning the favor now. I do my best, though, to always comment back, as I feel it's the courteous and friendly thing to do! As you know, I also reply to comments on my blog. So you and I are on the same page! (Yes, pun intended, lol.)

    As for this meme, I regret to say that I had meant to participate in it this week, but totally forgot! I'm SO used to Wednesdays being for the WOW meme, you see. Lol. But I will certainly remind myself to chime in next week!

    Now that I have finished my lengthy preamble....on to the books you've picked! I have the very same books sitting patiently on my shelves, also unread! What a coincidence, right? Anyway....yes, I have these two, except that they're in one very nice, leather-bound volume. And of course I want to read them as much as you do. As for "Pride and Prejudice", I had the very same experience you did, except that I don't consider this novel one of my all-time favorites. That honor belongs to "Jane Eyre"!

    I don't remember when I purchased the book, or where. That's one thing about this meme -- you also need to give this information, which is a great idea!

    Okay, so next week, FOR SURE I'll be participating!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Hope you, Mouse, and your hubby are all having an AWESOME weekend! Hubby and I are ensconced in our comfy, cozy condo while it rains outside. And my books are all around me! Ahhhh, BLISS!!! HUGS!! <3 :)

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    1. Maria - I am envious of your rain. I live in a more desert like area in which it doesn't rain a lot. Sometimes I dream of living somewhere wetter. I am not a fan of snow and the cold though. Hawaii would be nice. Haha One can dream, right?

      Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorite books too. :-) I have several as it would be impossible for me to name just one favorite book.

      I look forward to your participating in this meme next week! There's a comment meme I really want to give a try, but I just haven't had a chance to put a post together.

      It was good to hear from you, Maria!

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    2. Hi, again! Yes, the rain does help, although I'm not a fan of the humidity, lol. I would LOVE to experience snow!! I never have, you know, since I'm from a tropical climate. I guess the grass (or, in this case, the snow) is always greener on the other side of the fence, right? Hehe.

      As for "Shelf Control", just a note: I've decided to participate with my other blog this week. That blog is titled MINDSPIRIT BOOK JOURNEYS. Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies hasn't published her post yet, but I'm all set with mine! (It's now 1:06 AM, Miami time.)

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    3. Maria - I am glad you are participating this week! It doesn't look like she gets many participants, but I have been enjoying highlighting some of the older books on my TBR shelves.

      I much prefer snow on the distant mountain tops. It's so wet and cold. Haha.

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  13. I've read both. Mansfield Park tends to divide opinion but it's worth reading because you don't know if it's one you'll love - if you do, great, if you don't you've still read another Austen and have knowledge of it. Northanger Abbey, I think, is more general in that a lot more people like it, but then it is very different as you know. A lot of fun, not at all serious.

    Because of the writing style, Northanger Abbey's a quick read so you could make it an additional current read without adding too much to your reading schedule.

    Failing that, just go for Sanditon. It's very good even if it does end abruptly halfway through.

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    1. Charlie - I'm sure I'll eventually read Sandition. I don't have a copy of it, and so it's not a priority at this point. I'm most excited about reading Northanger Abbey, and while I would love to drop everything and read it now, it just isn't feasible. Maybe before the end of the year sometime.

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  14. I love all of Austen's novels. My parents bought a compilation of all of the books a few years ago and then quickly decided that they didn't care for her so I inherited it. Because I had that, I got rid of all of my individual books. Big mistake. The big book is too big to hold and read and it certainly won't fit in a purse for rereading!

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    1. Lisa - I can see how the compilation would be too big. Omnibuses are great when looking for a good deal, but not always the easiest to read.

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  15. I love all of these! Mansfield Park was maybe the hardest for me to get through -- it felt very different in tone to me, and with a main character who's pretty dissimilar from the leads in the other books.Northanger Abbey is really fun. Read them all! :)

    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

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    1. Lisa W - I've heard that Mansfield Park is a bit different. I will have to keep that in mind when I read it.

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