Welcome back for another installment in our series covering Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas share their commonplace quotes which leads them into discussing Fanny’s character in contrast to the heroine of a gothic novel. They talk about what makes a good marriage in the Regency period and Jane Austen’s own personal life, as well as the contrast between the household of Sir Thomas compared to Fanny’s own family home.
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Fear the man who says he knows how things should be. He doesn’tAlexander Galich
Things were easier for us. We were brought up on stories with happy endings and on the Prayer Book.C. S. Lewis
One of the most dangerous of literary ventures is the little, shy, unimportant heroine whom none of the other characters value. The danger is that your readers may agree with the other characters. Something must be put into the heroine to make us feel that the other characters are wrong, that she contains the depths they never dreamed of. That is why Charlotte Brontë would have succeeded better with Fanny Price. To be sure, she would have ruined everything else in the book; Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris would have been distorted from credible types of pompous dullness, lazy vapidity and vulgar egoism into fiends complete with horns, tails and rhetoric. But through Fanny there would have blown a storm of passion which made sure that we at least would never think her insignificant.C. S. Lewis
Something Nasty in the Bookshop
by Kingsley Amis
Between the Gardening and the Cookery
Comes the brief Poetry shelf;
By the Nonesuch Donne, a thin anthology
Critical, and with nothing else to do,
I scan the Contents page,
Relieved to find the names are mostly new;
No one my age.
Like all strangers, they divide by sex:
Landscape Near Parma
Interests a man, so does The Double Vortex,
So does Rilke and Buddha.
“I travel, you see”, “I think” and “I can read”
These titles seem to say;
But I Remember You, Love is my Creed,
Poem for J.,
The ladies’ choice, discountenance my patter
For several seconds;
From somewhere in this (as in any) matter
A moral beckons.
Should poets bicycle-pump the human heart
Or squash it flat?
Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart;
Girls aren’t like that.
We men have got love well weighed up; our stuff
Can get by without it.
Women don’t seem to think that’s good enough;
They write about it.
And the awful way their poems lay them open
Just doesn’t strike them.
Women are really much nicer than men:
No wonder we like them.
Deciding this, we can forget those times
We stayed up half the night
Chock-full of love, crammed with bright thoughts, names, rhymes,
And couldn’t write.
Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah by Cindy Rollins
That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis
Pamela by Samuel Richardson
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Jane Austen by Peter Leithart
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