February 24, 2011

No one loves Poor Fanny Price.

Except me. I love her. I love her just as she is. I do not wish her to be someone she is not. I only wish others to love Fanny simply for being Fanny.

If you currently have no clue as to what I am referring, you have not read Mansfield Park by Miss Jane Austen. I hadn't read it until a few years back, preferring instead to read & re-read the much loved Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, or Emma. Then my mother went on a quest to fill out my Austen library to it's entirety. I now own every novel she ever wrote including the unfinished ones. And Mansfield Park is brilliant.

The problem being its heroine.

"Mary Crawford is, so it seems, the very model of a Jane Austen heroine. Spirited, warm-hearted, and, above all else, witty, she displays all the familiar Austen virtues, and she stands in need of the familiar Austen lessons as well......But Mary Crawford is not the heroine of Mansfield Park- Fanny Price is...." Amanda Claybaugh, Associate Professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University.

The lovely folks at Austenprose.com have even tackled the question of why Fanny Prices rankles our ire.

You see, Fanny is a good girl. She is shy, retiring, quiet, well behaved, timid, and more than a bit insecure. Fanny is not dazzling. She does not sparkle. She does not hold the room's attention. She is entirely too plane Jane. And I adore her for it.

The film industry, on the other hand, despises Poor Fanny. They cannot leave the poor waif alone. Heaven forbid a movie be made about a genuinely good person. Instead they attempt to make Fanny more daring, more interesting, more Hollywood. They warp her into an aspiring author or a closet feminist.

I have seen portions of 2 versions of MP and could finish neither. Both versions went completely against who Fanny was. Both versions tried to force her to be someone she simply is not. I've read that the 1980's version of the film (possibly a mini-series?) sticks much closer to Miss Austen's original character & story. I would really like to see for my self.

But in the meantime, could we all please leave Miss Price in peace...and quit trying to drastically change the person Miss Austen created?

(Yes, I realize just how hypocritical this sounds in light of the fact that I adore Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters.....but they are open and hones, as well as a bit tongue in cheek, about their adaptations of these classics. Therefore I wholeheartedly forgive them....but not the villains who've tainted Poor Fanny.)


Kork said...

Dear Farmwife -

Thank you for agreeing with me about poor Miss Price. She is perfect as she was penned and imagined by Miss Austen.

Thank you,

PS - will you please hack my blog and fix it pretty?????

Inkling said...

I love your new pretty template. The only thing I don't love is trying to read the centered text. That format is okay for flyers, but I find it hard to read things longer than that. Is there any way to change that part of it?

a crazy, picky request from your highly sensitive cousin who hopes you won't be mad at her for asking

FarmWife said...

Inkling, I'm wondering the same thing. When I have time I'll play with it some more. I'm not crazy about the centered text myself. Makes me feel like I'm reading epic poetry...and my blog is about the furthest thing from. :)